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2010 year in review – the stats

2010 year in review – the stats

As you may already know, my background before real estate was a career as a CPA. So, this means that I am more into the numbers than others may be. Don’t worry, you don’t need to look through everything and do the analysis, I’m here for that!

In 2009 the government was paying people to purchase homes by offering a tax credit. This was originally set to expire in October of 2009 but ultimately got extended until April of 2010. As you can imagine, when you used to get paid $8,000 to buy a house and now you don’t, it may have affected our market a bit. It certainly made for a weird year! Usually the first and last two months of the year slow down slightly with about 800 homes selling in those months compared to about 1,100 in the others months (give or take, of course) so not coming to a halt, but slower.

As you can see from the chart below, 2010 was not like this. We experienced a bit spike through April and since then have been about 800 per month (+/- 50), basically making every month since the credit ended like a slow winter month in other years.

One thing that we have seen improvement in is the distribution of price range for the sales. I think this is because the credit encouraged non-investor buyers in higher numbers than before the credit. As you can see from the chart below in 2007 (and before) the sales curve looked like a bell curve which peaked at $150,000. Especially in 2009 this changed so that the price bracket with the largest number of sales was $0-$50,000 and then the number of units going down from there. This obviously had a negative affect on our average sales price, since our sales mix had changed so much. In 2010 this began to look more like a bell curve again, resulting in an increase in average sales price. Hopefully this trend continues!

So, what do I predict for 2011? Let the guessing begin! I am guessing that we won’t see the declines that we have seen in 2008 and 2009 but that we won’t see large increases either. The number of sales that are foreclosures or short sales continues to be significant and until this turns around I don’t see where we’ll really see large increases. I’m predicting an uneventful year as far as pricing: not significantly up or down. So, if you’re thinking about buying now is the time as interest rates are expected to rise (they are sooooo low right now, they have no other direction to go!) so your buying power will decrease if rates increase. Now’s the time!