The March sales will look bleak to the casual observer.
When you compare these preliminary numbers (late-reporters might add another 5% or so) to the frenzied-up March, 2013 counts, the differences are -29% and -22%.
March Sales of Detached-Homes
You can’t blame it on the weather – it’s been spectacular here the last few months. Rates have been in the 4s and remarkably steady since July, so buyers are accustomed to them now. Mortgage underwriting might be slightly easier, though case-by-case (FICOs down to 550 for FHA at a few lenders now).
What does inventory tell us? The Under-$800,000 market around NSDCC is hot, but above that it is murky.
The number of homes for sale between $800,000 and $2.4M has risen 30% since the start of the year, and their avg LP/sf has dropped 5% to 10%:
The simple answer is that more sellers are priced wrong, but heck, this is the priced-to-see-if-we-get-lucky season. Sellers will probably wait until May before giving up hope.
You can’t blame sellers for being optimistic when the average SP-per-sf is still rising. But sellers who are priced over $1,000,000 and have been on the market for more than 30 days should start sharpening their pencil now, and get going while we know there are plenty of buyers left.