Weekly Scorecard 4-11-11

By George Thurtle

Finally a SMALL uptick in inventory however the sales continue to march along. Both the closed sales and the pending sales. There is one very important trend developing in the numbers. The average per sq. ft. price of the pending sales is significantly higher than sales of the closed prices. This trend is now clearly established. The reason this is significant is that it indicates a market that has bottomed and actually is starting some mild appreciation. In some cases the spreads are pretty big. South Bellevue which has a lot homes and can have more reliable averages, shows this week an average pending for sale per sq. ft. price of $227.33 per sq. ft. and an average sold per sq. ft. price of $210.98. The week before it was $257.12 and $197.19 respectively. as an example this time of year two years ago in 2009 the numbers would have been reversed with the pending per sq. ft. sale prices lower than the closed home sale prices. That trend was a reliable indicator of the market’s downward trend then. The question now is how much of a bounce or is this a blip in the downward trend. I don’t think so. The local economy is doing too good. Buyers are flowing in from the major tech players Microsoft, Google and Amazon and formed the floor for our local market.¬† Many of the new buyers are VERY frustrated seeing the overall poor selection of inventory and are really surprised when they see a home come that is a half decent come on the market and then have three or four offers on it. That is not what the national perception is when they enter the market locally.¬† The question though is no matter how good our local economy is there is some very heavy anchors to drag that any market needs to carry with it to make a climb and that is the overwhelming excess debt both public and private that really keeps a lid on things and also the lack of overall job formation. Looks like locally this year will be the tug of war between a glowing local economy and a miserable national economy.

The spreadsheet is here: Weekly scorecard 4-11-11

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