The past few months have seen some significant changes in our market. It’s not just the interest rates, though – they’ve actually gone down a bit of late. I am running the numbers a little bit differently as well.
*Active in July 2005: 456
Active in July 2006: 418
% change: -8.33%
In short – the market has slowed. Some would say tremendously. Surprisingly, there were fewer properties on the market in July 2006 versus July 2005, but fewer of those are going under contract. The greatest jump in new-to-the-market inventory was in the second quarter of this year. The big difference is that more of these properties are staying on the market.
From an aggregate point of view, May, June and July –
There were nearly 4% more properties on the market for this time period in 2006 when contrasted with 2005, yet not nearly as many going under contract.
Bottom line (except for the asterisks): Real estate remains a wise investment. Everybody’s expectations need to be re-evaluated: buyers have time to decide, sellers need patience and agents need educating. The jump of discretionary sellers to the market may have reached or passed its plateau. One month is not enough to make that conclusion, but it may be an indication. Time will tell.
*Only for those properties in CharlAlbemarle, Fluvanna and Greene. As fuel prices have risen, the market has shrunk a bit.
**I excluded neither condos nor new construction for this analysis. Accessing and processing the raw data is extraordinarily time-consuming.