MAAR has just released the numbers, and point to some ‘green shoots’ in their press release:
Three key barometers of market recovery showed signs of hope in March:
1. The March Average Days on Market Until Sale is 9.0 percent lower than a year ago.
2. The March Percent of Original List Price Received at Sale is 0.6 percent higher than a year ago.
3. The April Supply-Demand Ratio, which measures the number of houses for sale per buyer, is 23.5 percent lower than a year ago.
Definitely encouraging news – low rates, low prices, and plenty of incentives are doing their job to soak up inventory.
The market remains bottom-heavy, with foreclosures and short sales accounting for 53.5% of the pending sales and posting a median price of $122,000.00. Accordingly, median and average sales prices continued to slide (down 22.9% and 22.4% respectively) but it must be noted that those figures are so heavily influenced by the number of sales in the lower price bands that they are not a very useful baromoter.
Despite the good news, headwinds persist. Chief among them, as you can see in the graphic above, we still have a supply “overhang” that needs to work itself out. But also:
- The employment and overall economic picture looks mostly bleak
- We are facing a new round of Alt-A and Option ARM resets in 2009, and 2010 (more foreclosures?)
- Fannie and Freddie have removed their foreclosure moratoriums (more foreclosures will add supply)
- The banking system and many parts of the mortgage market remain dysfunctional
Sellers may still face challenges, but lower rates, higher affordability, and lower prices may make 2009 a sweet spot for aspiring homeowners.