Finally some very encouraging news from the Board of Realtors about our real estate market. The numbers are in for February and it looks like the market has started to turn around. The number of contracts written for February topped the last three months as well as the same time last year in February. The housing activity started when the mortgage interest rates were dropped in January this year. The Columbus Board of Realtors and many Realtors felt many buyers were waiting for this drop. Many buyers were able to qualify for their first home with this drop in interest while some others jumped at the chance to move to a larger home. While contracts increased, actual sales decreased by 5.8% from last year same time and same months. This is probably a carry over from the lack of activity during the holiday season and the first of the year.
The average price of a home last year in 2007 was $164,397. Then average price last month was $154,497. The very important issue is that there was fewer homes listed for sale in February 2008 (3538) compared to January (3812) and February 2007 (3417). The total number of homes listed for sale is now lower than the inventory level one year ago.
As inventory levels have been roughly 30% higher than normal for the last year or so, any leveling off in new listing is a welcome sign for the market as a whole. Quoting Greg Hrabcak, President of the Columbus Board of Realtors,” the fact that the supply has been significantly greater than the demand has resulted in lower sale prices, lengthier sales listing periods and a general concern about housing.” But housing, like most economics sectors, is cyclical. This buyers market won’t last forever.” Looks like he was exactly right as I see this buyers market ending very soon.
So, to all you’ve read in the newspaper, television and on the internet, that’s always bad, I would like for you to read about all the positives that are happening right now. Real Estate is alive and well. But, if you still want to read about the doom and gloom, I’m sure our news media will be happy to report this. They are part of this problem as they feel we only want to hear BAD news. Well I think they are wrong, we want to hear the truth.