Apples and Oranges

February 14, 2011

Neal HanksThe headline of Sunday’s mountains section of the Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper reads “Slow Start for Home Sales.”

The article outlines a decrease in unit sales as compared to January of 2010. While statistically accurate, important information is missing from the article.

This time last year the market was being fueled by federal tax credits. In 2011, there is no such stimulus. In the Beverly-Hanks 2010 Annual Market Report, we shared the fact that unit sales in the first half of 2010 were up almost 25% over prior year (2009). When the tax credits expired, sales slowed significantly for the balance of the year. Prior year comparisons for the first 6 months of 2011 will be like comparing apples and oranges. A sales pace below that of last year, when compared to the period immediately prior to the expiration of government incentives, does not indicate a slowing market.  It simply underlines the realities of the “new normal” pace of sales without such incentives.

We look for a continued modest improvement in market conditions fueled by an improving economy, a strong buyers market and increasing consumer confidence.

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