INVENTORY DOWN SLIGHTLY FROM 2012, BUT UP FROM WAY DOWN
You can look at inventory two ways. Month over month we are down slightly from May of 2012 and we are also down slightly from June 2012. What this comparison doesn’t tell is the real inventory shortage that we had suffered through earlier in the year as sellers were slow to put their houses on the market and record sales in December 2012 depleted our inventory. More new listings are coming on the market and below $2 million they are going off pretty quickly.
Below $1.5 million the market continues to be combat buying as purchasers rush to buy before they get hit by the double whammy of increasing interest rates and increasing prices in this price range. (If you are a buyer in this price range this is not the time to be waiting for a buyer’s market to come back.) Under $1.5 million buyers should be pre-approved, have a good broker, a team of other professionals and have discussed how they are going to handle multiple bid situations.
The under $1 million market is by far the most competitive. In Greenwich, listings below $1 million constitute only 10% of the market, but they represent 25% of the 292 single family home sales in the first half of the year. Sales have continued strong in the first part of July and will do so in the third quarter. We only have 56 house under $1 million on the market and we have 30 pending offers and contracts.
Contracts drop but still ahead of 2012
For the overall market July is traditionally the month with second most sales. As of the end of June we had 162 pending contracts down from 180 contracts and accepted offer earlier this year. The 162 contracts is still up from 35 contracts from this time last year. Sales should continue to be ahead of 2012.
Price adjustments needed in the over $3 million range to balance market
The over $3 million market continues to be a tough sell with sales down from 16 in the houses in June 2012 to only 10 houses in June 2013, while inventory in this price range is up 8% to 296 listings. For the year we have had 48 sales over $3 MM down only 2 sales from the first half of 2012.
The good news is that this end of the market is looking a little better in so far in July with 8 sales in July, 7 of which are over $5MM. The problem is that we still have almost 300 houses on the market over $3 million dollars and only 48 sales in the first half of the year. The 33 pending high-end contracts and accepted offers show that this end of the market will improve in the third quarter, but in the upper end of the Greenwich real estate market supply will continue to be measured in years, not months or even days as it is at the lower end of the market.
We do have people looking at the upper end of the price range, and houses that are priced right do sell, but there are just a lot of great houses out there in the higher end and not enough buyers at today’s prices. Most of the owners at these price ranges can afford to hang on to their homes and wait to see if the market continues to improve. For those sellers that need to sell this year in this price range they need to price aggressively and get a broker that will undertake an integrated marketing campaign. You have to take the message to the buyers. In most cases just listing is not going to get these houses sold.