Let’s break down the market in chunks. It’s always nice to get a county-wide view of real estate, but today let’s unpack what is happening in specific price ranges in Sacramento County. I hope this will be helpful for you and your clients. When we can explain the market, we become a valuable resource and we earn people’s trust. By the way, be on the lookout for my big monthly post in two days.
1) How many properties are available at different price levels?
Inventory in all of Sacramento County saw a decline from February to March as the Spring market is beginning to unfold. Housing inventory is just under 2.0 months now after being closer to 2.5 months last month. But what does inventory look like in various price ranges? As you can see, inventory is at its lowest between 200-300K, and that makes complete sense since a great bulk of buyers find this range hot and affordable (it had the most sales out of any price range). On the other and, inventory above 400K and upward really shows a dramatic increase, doesn’t it? This helps us see there are different markets within the market.
Here is another way to look at inventory. You can see the number of sales in red and the number of listings in blue. Knowing the sales vs. listings ratio can open our eyes to understanding demand, marketing time, how to price properties or even how aggressive an offer might need to be.
2) How long are listings take to sell?
On average listings are taking about 40 days to sell (or 45 days cumulative). This is about 20% longer than they were taking last year during the same time, but we all know it’s a much different market this year (more on that in two days).
3) What is happening with sales volume?
Sales volume is definitely down from last year by over 20%, but March sales were “normal” since volume increased from February to March by 25%. The market usually sees this type of increase, so in this regard the market behaved normally.
Why is sales volume down? In large part it’s because of cash investors exiting the market. As you can see in the graph above, cash sales in the first quarter of 2014 were about half of what they were in 2013 during the same time period. As investors, particularly institutional investors, have taken their foot off the gas pedal, the market is definitely feeling it. Last year the market was on “steroids” so to speak, but this year the market is in withdrawal mode trying to figure out how to live without the extra layer of cash to drive the market.
Share the Graphs? If you want to share one or two of the graphs above in your newsletter or in a blog post, go for it. Please link back here and see my sharing policy so we are on the same page about what I mean by “share” (thanks).
Questions: What image resonates with you the most? Why? Should I keep breaking the market down by price range? (I’m looking for feedback)