From the depths of the housing crash, let’s say in the fall of 08, there’s been an ongoing tug a war, a stand-off really, over prices, between buyers and sellers. For years sellers held out for a market that was long gone and just refused to face reality. But buyers also held the line, they either got it at the price they wanted or they walked. And of course the inventory of homes for sale ballooned. In April 09 I wrote > from the front lines
And that pretty much endured until last spring when things started to loosen up.
Because after a few years of slow sales and falling prices, plus those nagging low-ball offers along with foreclosures and short sales constantly chip-chipping away at prices,
home sellers finally got the message. And little by little they fell in line and lowered their prices to somewhere in the range of 2003 – 2005 prices. And sales picked up. And as more of them joined the party the market improved and the inventory of homes for sale began to fall.
(and we’re seeing fewer new listings because many home owners are either unwilling or unable to sell at these reduced prices)
And then we had that giant pause for the Euro debt thing last August and the consequent fall of the stock market, blah blah…
And then 2012, when things started off slow but sure picked up. And before you knew it we went from slow sales and many homes for sale to fairly brisk sales and the lowest inventory in years.
- on April 29, 2009 there were 585 homes for sale – today there are 327 -
- and from Jan 1, 2009 to April 26, 2009 135 homes sold – while for the same period this year 224 homes sold. So inventory is down 44% and sales are up 65% – the two faces of supply and demand.
So I’m not surprised now when I see a new listing come on that’s priced higher (instead of lower) than what it sold for in 2005 – 2010, or even 2011. And while there’ve been just a few of them, it seems like there are a few more every day or two.
But I’m betting that even with brisk sales and low inventory, that this real estate recovery, if it is a recovery and not a mirage, which is barely in its infancy and still very fragile, is much too fragile to handle rising prices. And I’m also pretty sure that buyers, who are still extremely price sensitive (as they should be), will once again reject higher prices.
But still it doesn’t surprise me that they’re going for it.
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