I won’t have the March sales figures for Gwinnett County for a few more days, but I do have a few thoughts on what I have seen from the Listing numbers I pulled down on the 1st of April.
Listings are down. And that is weird. VERY weird. Not just down year over year… that isn’t weird at all. But they are actually down from month to month. And in this market, that doesn’t happen (although I can’t really say that now… because it just happened). Looking back over the last few years, listings tended to bottom out in January… March would be up over February, April over March. We’ve been going down for the last two months instead.
Of course, I still hear the media and a LOT of other real estate agents telling me about the “coming wave of foreclosures” just waiting for the banks to decide that they should release them. If they had the “shadow inventory” everyone is talking about, they would be releasing it. For this market, there wouldn’t be a better time. Listings are down and this is when sales are generally moving up.
Looking back at the last year only confirms this. We’ve seen Absorption Rates under 6 months in most of the segments with the dropping inventories. (Translation: This isn’t a shocker…).
What does all of this mean?
I think we are seeing a bottom for some segments… specifically homes priced under $200,000 to $400,000 (I don’t know exactly where the line is… but homes under $200k are solid right now… homes over $400k are looking pretty shaky still). Could prices erode further? Absolutely. But I think that without a change for the worse in the economy, we are probably at the bottom of those properties here in Gwinnett County. The higher price ranges might be bottoming or might not… but I have a lot less certainty over $400k.
There is actual competition for properties at the entry level. Multiple offers and homes selling over list price. The homes that are priced “right” are getting snapped up. Over-priced houses are still languishing on the market, though. But a couple of years ago, there was hardly a “priced right”.
Now we just need to get the higher priced segments moving again…
- Duluth, GA, Market Report, February 2012 (lanebailey.com)
- Norcross, GA, Market Report, February 2012 (lanebailey.com)
- Lawrenceville, GA Market Report, February 2012 (lanebailey.com)
- Buford, GA, Market Report, February 2012 (lanebailey.com)
- Sugar Hill, GA, Market Report, February 2012 (lanebailey.com)
- Lilburn, GA Market Report, February 2012 (lanebailey.com)
- Foreclosures v. the Rest of the Market (lanebailey.com)
- Suwanee, GA, Market Report, February 2012 (lanebailey.com)