Wednesday, February 23, 2011

January Home Sales Down 28% From December, Up 4% from January 2010

It’s seasonally traditional that January home sales show a big drop from December. January sales of 363 single family detached homes were down 28% from the 505 homes sold during December. My speculation is that since the business world around Albuquerque essentially closes after the first week in December, fewer deals are made in time to close in January.
The big surprise was the 4% increase over the 349 homes sold during January 2010. This was the first January year-over-year increase since January 2008, says the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors (GAAR), which posted the sales figures today. For the past year or so, GAAR has posted the figures around the tenth of the month.
January showed 693 sales pending, a 28% increase from December, suggesting that closed sales might increase this month. Pending sales are a leading indicator of closed sales. January pending sales were down 6.4% from 740 in January 2010. The early 2010 sales were artificially pushed up by the Obama first-time homebuyer tax credit.
Both median and average prices slipped during January. Median prices spent 2010 in the vicinity of $180,000, peaking at $186,000 in July. Average prices spent the past year north of $210,000 with a July peak of $230,213.
The January median price, $172,000, was the lowest since the $170,000 median in October 2009. The $201,239 average was down about $16,000, or seven percent, from December 2010. Early 2005 was the last time Albuquerque average prices were below $201,000.
Maybe sellers are getting realistic about asking prices.

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