Market Shows Mixed Results in the First Half of 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter a great First Quarter, real estate sales in Summit County cooled off in the Second Quarter.  
Sales of all types of property through June totaled 678 closings.  This is nearly unchanged from the same period last year.  Since the bottom of the market in 2009, first half sales have increased steadily until this year and have averaged about 40% of the total sales for each year.
Total sales have increased every year since 2009 as well and have averaged between ten and fifteen percent more each year.   If this happens this year, we could reach a level just under the 25-year average of about 2000 sales by December 31.
Looking at the  average relationship between first half sales and total year sales since 1992, this first half salesmay not be a good expectation.  First half sales have averaged about 40% of the total for those years and that would be fewer than 1700 sales this year.  1705 sold last year.
But the second half is going to have to be pretty hot to achieve anything like a ten percent gain after the tepid first half. A government shut down or some other event in the fall could stop our market cold, as it has in several of the past few years.
Prices for all sales have increased by 4.4 percent through June.  By contrast, average prices in the First Quarter increased by over eight percent from 2013.  Prices of previously owned property have increased by 7.3 percent, however.  This despite resale prices in June dropping below $400,000, the lowest monthly average since July of 2011.
There are still an unusually low number of properties for sale and this is partly why the number of sales has not increased.  At the  start of July, there were fewer than 1800 properties for sale.
The number of properties for sale usually peaks in mid-July and begins to slowly decline for the rest of the year even as the number of sales increases.  August and September bring the highest number of sales almost every   year.Avg. Sale Price green bars
Properly priced properties are selling in a few weeks.
Properties priced using magical thinking are not.
And there are an increasing number of these as people who bought in the 2006 to 2009 years are now hitting the seven to eight-year holding time that characterizes our market cycle.  Prices are closer to what they paid but not there yet. So by attempting to squeeze just a little more out of the market, they end up selling for less and taking longer to do it.
This is still a fragile market that reacts to economic uncertainty more quickly and severely than urban primary home markets do.   But overall, it is an improving market and we should end up no worse off than last year and possibly a bit better.
Number Sold by MonthSellers who are pricing ahead of what they perceive to be a rising market should be cautious.  Pricing must be for present market conditions, not for what you wish conditions were or what you “need” to get out of the property.
If your needs are higher than reality, plan to hold the property until reality changes.

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