Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Market Update - an Ominous Sign...

Happy 2007 Everyone! I'm looking forward to this year being as good as the last few! We had some good news to report regarding the local market over the holidays, in that we managed to stay busy; several new buyers and sellers have requested our services. And as long as people are still moving, our market hasn't gound to a complete stop!

However, as I pulled together some market research this morning, not everything looked so good. The number of current Active Listings is down a little bit, and has been trending downward over the last month. I've seen a few pundits point to this and claim that we're near the market's bottom. What startled me this morning, and the reason I can't agree with these pundits, is the number of expired listings.

The number of listings which have expired (meaning the house did not sell within the seller's time frame) has continued to rise over the last several months, to a point I didn't think was possible, or at least plausible. For example, in Surprise, over the last 6 months, there are 1.1 homes sold for every listing that expires. In one Peoria neighborhood (a 4 square mile area that is generally considered a desireable neighborhood), the last 6 months have produced more expireds than sales! Can you imagine that - more homes don't sell than do sell...?

I'm not ready to predict a doomsday scenario - not even close. But I do believe that the only positive sign in the data is the downward trend in the number of active listings, and that this is merely a reflection of the homes that aren't selling and are coming off the market. Bottom line is that I don't see any sign of the market's picking up steam at this point in time...

-Chris