The second quarter of 2009 delivered a bit of encouragement to those watching the housing industry in Western North Carolina. While year to date home sales demonstrate a continued decline over the prior year, the month over prior year numbers have gradually improved each month during the past quarter. In fact, Beverly-Hanks & Associates sales in June 2009 exceeded those of 2008.
The inventory of homes for sale has continued to climb but has been slightly outpaced by improved sales resulting in a reduction in months of inventory (absorption rate) to 28.3 months, down from 30 in the first quarter of 2009. Our average sales price has continued to fall, primarily a reflection of the continued softness in the upper price ranges and the positive impacts of the first time homebuyers tax credit enacted as a part of the federal stimulus package.
On the national front Real Trends Housing Market Report recently released figures indicated June 2009 sales were almost dead even with 2008, representing the first month in over 3 years without a measurable decline. The improvement in national sales continues to be led by the Western region of the United States which has seen increases for 8 consecutive months. The Midwest and Northeast regions sales were down only 1.2 and 1.3 percent respectively, their best showings in the past two years. Sales in the South region were down 6.5 percent, a significant improvement over the decreases experienced in prior months. Real Trends editor, Steve Murray, stated . . . “June 2009 results were encouraging in that the decline in closed units and prices appear to be slowing in a significant way.” An improving national real estate market combined with continued low interest rates are key ingredients to the formula for sustained progress of Western North Carolina real estate sales.
While we are excited about the improved results we have seen in recent months, the statistics contained in this report continue to demonstrate challenges facing our local real estate market. As always, with challenges come opportunities and the opportunities for the astute real estate buyer remain abundant.
Whether buying or selling in today’s real estate marketplace, trusted advice and counsel are paramount in making wise decisions. For 33 years the professionals at Beverly-Hanks & Associates have provided these resources to our clients. Our team of highly trained professionals stands ready to assist you with your real estate needs and would consider it a privilege to do so.