Below is a link to a report from the National Association of Realtors outlining January’s existing home sales numbers. The national number is down 5.3% from December 2008 and down 8.6% from January of 2008. However, inventory of available homes has also dropped 2.7% and is at the lowest level in two years. While national numbers do give a broad view of the entire market, it is more important to look at the regional market action and then the local market action.
In the Western region, existing home sales were unchanged from December 2008 to January 2009. Even more impressive, existing home sales in the West are up 29% over a year ago.
For Baker City’s real estate market, closed sales dropped 60% (2 vs 5) between December of 2008 to January 2009 and an even worse number, closed sales, dropped 80% (2 vs 10) compared to January of 2008. The silver lining is that pending sales are up 1100% (12 vs 1) from December 08 to January 09 and up 140% (12 vs 5) from January 2008 to January 2009. January’s numbers for the Baker City real estate market can be viewed by clicking here:
So….what does all of this mean? We have no idea…. There is no indication from the numbers on what the real estate market will do going forward. There is support for both a strengthening and a weakening of the national and local real estate markets. Low interest rates and falling prices are being countered by increased unemployment and the worsening stock market. We hope that the stimulus plan, housing plan, bank plan, etc. have the effect of increasing home sales, but we just won’t know until it all works through the process. Usually, Baker City’s real estate market is somewhat insulated from the national trends, and that may be the case going forward. But, we may be at the top of the slope ready for a ride down, also. One thing is for sure, we will know in the next few weeks and months how it is going to play out for us locally. Keep logging in to the Baker City Real Estate Blog to stay informed and up-to-date.
NAR: Existing-Home Sales Fell in January http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2009022501?OpenDocument