This Will Take the Chill Off

January Ada County Market Report: This Will Take the Chill Off
Published February 11, 2014

Single family home sales in January 2014 were 406 in Ada County, an increase of 10% compared to January 2013.  January sales were strong, and, when linked with December gives us two months in a row or double digit year-over-year increases.

Dollar volume for January was up 23% to $96 million.

Days on Market for January were 70.  Yep. You read that right…70. In December we were at 59. In January 2013, Days on Market was 53. Is this a one time “blip” or something more. Check back in March.

New homes sold in January totaled 99; up 27% from last year.

Existing home sales were 307; up 6%.

Historically, January sales decline from December by an average of 27%. January 2014 posted a 29% increase over December 2013.

Of the total sales in January, 12% were distressed; up 2% from last month. In January 2013, 25% of sales were distressed.

For the month of January, REO sales (70% of Distressed; 34 total sales) exceeded Short Sales (30% of Distressed; 17 total sales).

Pending sales at the end of January were 813; down 15% from January 2013.

Of Pending sales in distress (14%), there was a decrease in the number of Short Sales (from 57% to 56% of activity; 31 total sales) and a increase in REO sales (from 43% to 44%; 25 total sales).

January median home price was $208,190; up 12% from January 2013.

New Homes median price for January was $267,000; up 11% from January 2013. For Existing homes the increase is 12% to $189,900.

The number of houses available for sale at the end of January increased  slightly from December  2013 to 2,044.  This reverses four consecutive month of decrease.  This is 22% more than last year at this time.

Historically, inventory doesn’t increase very much until April.

Of the total active listings, 11% are distressed, down 1% from the end of December 2013.

With inventory experiencing seasonal decreases and the percentage of distressed inventory holding very low, median home price will remain strong through the end of this year.

Of our Distressed Inventory, 70% is Short Sales (157) and 30% is REO (67).

In Ada County we now have 4.2 months of inventory on hand, up a little from the end of December.

The price category in shortest supply is <$100K where we have 1.7 months.

From $100,000 to $119,000 we have 2 months available.

From $120,000 to $160,000 we have just over 3 months available inventory.

From $160,000 to $300,000 we have 4 months…except for the very popular $250,000 – $300,000 which has only 3.5 month’s supply available.

Above $300,000 we have a 5 month’s supply. Above $500,000 the supply is closer to seven months.  Remembering that six months of available inventory describes a “stable real estate market”; it looks like we are heading into a period of “normal” like we haven’t seen in several years.

Of sales in January, the most popular price point was $120,000 to $160,000 (21%); followed by $160,000 to $200,000 (14%) and  $200,000 to $250,000 with 13%.

So…what’s next?

The end of 2013 showed some “odd” data points;

Sales to First Time buyers fell to 31%
Cash sales (investor purchased) were nearly 30%

This suggests continued pressure on new household formation; which we’re counting on in 2014.

At the same time, buyers having 20% or more for their downpayment represented 38% of all buyers. This is the first time in four years in which buyers with 20% downpayments exceeded 37%.

This is clearly the impact of CFPB rules for QM on home buyers.

This morning NPR reported that Idaho has the highest percentage of minimum wage workers in the nation…but we are growing jobs faster than the national average.

Bottom line…its going to be a complicated first quarter for real estate.

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