Is this the “new” stable market?

Unit sales for the past rolling 12 months held steady although the summer months and new construction fell short of 2013; prices are still climbing, although more slowly; inventories remain steady, although significantly higher in new construction.

Ada County Existing Homes:  Sales held steady over the last 12 months with a small increase of 1.4% over the previous 12 months, despite August closings down 10% over last August.  July’s year-over-year average price increase of 10% continues to drop slowly, with trailing 12 months average sold prices up 8.7% over the previous 12 months.  It certainly appears that prices are stabilizing thanks to higher inventories than last year and distressed sales continuing to drop, now making up only 11% of sales compared to 20% last August.

Inventory has remained steadier over the summer with 3.9 months of current supply, down a bit from 4.2 last month (the total number of properties on the market are up 20% over last July/August).  For the resale market, this remains below the 6 months of supply that many experts believe is a “balanced” market between buyers and sellers.

Ada County New Construction:  The most dramatic numbers are in the new construction market with unit sales down 22% this August over last. Average sold prices are up 11.5% (rolling 12 months) and August pending contracts are down 19% over last August.  A 28% increase in inventory explains the 6.2 months of supply on hand.  If we drill down a little it seems builders were looking for a “sweet spot” in the market. Inventory of new homes priced from $300,000 to $600,000 increased 77% August over August – which may be good news for buyers in that price range.

Buyers in the resale market are still finding good values, despite the dramatic decrease in distressed property, with average resale prices 27% lower than new construction ($219,757 vs. $301,695).  Cash buyers are still active in our valley, first time home buyers are anxious to purchase while historically low interest rates give them greater purchasing power, and move-up buyers are finding greater value at that next higher price point.  It remains a great market for sellers who pay close attention to pricing, staging and marketing.

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