NAR just released their Pending Home Sales report for June 2012 so I compare it to Upstate South Carolina and explain what it means for buyers and sellers…
You might notice I am usually a day behind with some of the subjects I write about. Such as the latest Pending Home Sales report from the NAR. I usually like to think about things and look at subjects from several different angles BEFORE writing. I guess I could try to be like everyone else and just repeat the same old scary headline:
Pending Home Sales Down 1.4%
Sounds scary and that is the kind of headline that will get you to click. But I hope my play on words got your attention. While it sounds scary that the number of homes under contract dropped in June 2012 from the May 2012 level, the fact is they are 9.5% higher than the June 2011 level. As always, this is a national number and does not tell you much about real estate market conditions in Upstate South Carolina.
If we look at the numbers for Upstate South Carolina in the June 2012 Market Indicators:
June 2012 Pending Home Sales for Upstate South Carolina are DOWN 6.7% Compared to June 2011
Which is not good. Not good at all. Consider what Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said:
Buyer interest remains strong but fewer home listings mean fewer contract signing opportunities. We’ve been seeing a steady decline in the level of housing inventory, which is most pronounced in the lower price ranges popular with first-time buyers and investors.
Sadly this is not the only reason for fewer home sales. Sure, the number of homes for sale in Upstate South Carolina is 8.8% lower if we compare June 2012 to 2011. But we still have way too many homes for sale since we have a 17.4 month supply of homes on the market.
Of course that big supply of homes is for all price ranges and all areas in the WUAR MLS. If you start looking deeper, such as how many home under $100,000 there are, then you start to see that we have 12% fewer listings in that price range. If you are looking at homes every day like I am, you know that in certain price ranges, competition can be fierce for a nice home at a decent price.
Part of the reason why buyers need to have already talked to a lender and gotten that super important pre-approval letter BEFORE they start looking at homes…
For anyone thinking about selling a home, the lack of inventory can actually be a good thing. Your home may not bring the price it would just a few short years ago but the lack of competition is a good thing. You still have to be realistic with your list price and reasonable when you counter an offer though. Today’s buyers are willing to walk away if they cannot get a home that is priced right and in good shape.