Unit sales up
The Memphis real estate community is crowing about the sales increases thus far this year. February’s sales report furnished by the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, and based on recorded sales in Shelby, Fayette, and Tipton Counties, showed a significant increase in units sold vs. 2011 sales.
February sales were up 31.6% over last year, and year-to-date 22.2% higher. Great news, as far as units go. I expect this trend to hold up for a while as buyers are feeling better about the world in general. But there is more to the real estate market than the number of houses sold. February saw declines in median and average sale prices. This has been a trend for a while, average prices are down more than 10% YTD.
We got a reprieve from foreclosures during much of 2011, as the banks tried to clean up the foreclosure scandals, and to control the amount bank-owned inventory hitting the market. Things have changed this year.
That’s right. YTD foreclosures up 53.9% from 2011.
Memphis real estate sales report – other features
Download the full report for information on neighborhood sales and changes in sale prices.
Note that the inventory continues to drop. This is due to a number of factors: seasonal slowdown, sellers keeping their houses off the market until prices trend upward, REO inventory being bought up by investors, etc. Based on supply and demand, one would think inventories this low would trigger some sort of seller’s market resulting in higher sales prices; but that doesn’t seem to be happening.
It should be interesting to see how the “busy season” (May-August) shakes out this year. Remember, all real estate is micro-local. If you read about national trends, and then about local trends, things can get confusing, even for real estate professionals. So remember to concentrate on the micro-local: neighborhoods.
Please feel free to contact me if have questions about local real estate, or if you are interested in purchasing or selling a home or condo.