Well Remembrance Day is behind us, Christmas is looming in front of us and through the hoopla of election, pipeline and Starbucks cups, we once again focus on some real estate stuff.
2015 is continuing to catch up on last year’s numbers after a slow start in January and February when oil prices tumbled. Year to date, without including January and February, we are neck to neck on sales figures.
After September’s record sales numbers, last month settled down but was still slightly ahead of last October. There were 25 sales as opposed to 23 last October and year to date we have moved up to just 10% down from 2014, selling 249 houses compared to 277 last year. I say moved up to 10% down as we were 24% down in June, then 20.5% in July, 20% in August and 11.8% after September.
The median sales price continues to rise, ending October at $263,000 which is up almost 10% from 2014’s number. Sellers are continuing to receive approximately 96% of their last asking price and sales times have dropped 13% to an average of 55 days on the market until sold as of the end of month 10.
There were more listings coming on the market in October, as 37 new properties came available which is up a whopping 54% from last year’s 24. As of the end of last month our inventory was sitting at an even 100. That isn’t a lot of listings but up about 10% from the 91 that we were struggling with this time in 2014.
We continue to have people surprised that our numbers aren’t in distress due to the oil prices. My only explanation is that we still have lots of jobs available in other industries so that hasn’t affected us as much. The other question that surfaces is about whether the gas-fired electric plant has affected the market at all. I haven’t experienced that yet in the single family homes, but multi-family dwellings have had a renewed interest as the expectation is that many of the people coming into work on the site prep and construction phases would be renting rather than buying. Now as rental space tightens up that does tend to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for those thinking about purchasing rather than renting, so as that approaches we may see more call for entry level houses. And as the area behind the hospital develops with new housing, that should open up used houses for resale. Also as seniors’ housing completes both on the south side as well as in the northeast, there may be more inventory on the market in the next 6 to 12 months that should serve to address increased demand for existing homes to purchase.
I guess time will tell. I frequently say that my crystal ball is in the shop, so until such time as it is repaired and I get it back, that is the view from my chair.