Number of Homes for Sale per Buyer in Decline

By Greg Sax on Friday, July 11th, 2008

Changes in SDR The MAAR Supply-Demand Ratio (SDR)—which we like to believe is a key Twin Cities housing benchmark—shows that the market is no longer charging headlong in the buyer’s favor. The SDR posts a July figure of 8.11, which means there will be 8.11 homes for sale for each buyer in the month of July. This is down 1.6 percent from one year ago, and means we are moving very slowly back towards a balanced market.

Since the metric takes both supply and demand into consideration, the downward movement is highly significant. This is the first negative year-over-year change in SDR since MAAR began tracking the figures.

Despite the changing supply/demand picture, buyers are still definitely driving the housing market. The June median sales price held steady from last month at $205,000, even though the market typically experiences a seasonal upswing in June. This is down 11.8 percent from June 2007, a downward trend exacerbated by the increased prevalence of bargain-priced foreclosures and short sales.

Are you catching that so far? I count at least four uses of "down." Let’s look at some more June 2008 vs. June 2007 figures.

  • Lender-mediated homes: median sales price of $150,500, down 11.2 percent.
  • Traditional properties: median sales price of $229,900, down 3.6 percent.
  • 8,858 new listings, down 13.3 percent.
  • 4,346 pending sales, down 3.5 percent.
  • Total inventory in the region of 33,425, down 3.5 percent.

We hear the criticisms of REALTOR® "spin" on today’s housing market. We read newspapers, blogs, and story comments. We understand the criticism. The housing market sometimes looks tougher than our words. However, we can assure you that it is more important to us at MAAR to present the facts than to carry around lipstick and blusher. Our members deserve to hear the truth, and the truth is that some of this "down" isn’t all clouds and gloom. Some of it is not so fun, but we’re not trying to shy away from it.

Final tally: 10 instances of "down." Whoops, one more. 11.

Read the full press release here

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