Weekly Market Activity Report 3.3.08

By David Arbit on Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Sydneyjharris_2"The greatest enemy of progress is not stagnation, but false progress."Sydney J. Harris (1917–86), famed columnist

New listings for the week ending February 23 posted 1,832 units, down 10.1 percent from the same week in 2007. Signed purchase agreements (pending sales) declined from last year by 15.9 percent for the same time period comparison, posting 635 units. Despite the general decline in seller activity, the total number of homes for sale is ahead of this time last year by 9.8 percent. Also, this week’s Weekly Market Activity Report features a new March Supply-Demand Ratio of 8.72 houses per buyer, down from last month’s figure of 10.02 but up 38.4% from March 2007.

Looking for a silver lining to the weekly litany of grimacing news? Well, the seemingly endless swell in the growth of homes for sale has steadily declined. The Supply-Demand Ratio is the lowest it’s been since June 2007. Housing affordability is at its highest point since 2004. And we’re receiving anecdotal evidence of increased buyer traffic beyond seasonal norms over the past few weeks.

It ain’t all bad news, folks. The word on the sheet may not yet match the work on the sheet, specifically pending sales, but ample supply, lower interest rates, weakening median prices and healthy affordability are all historical buyer opt-ins.

Buyers are out there. They may not yet be certain the market has hit bottom or that appreciation will return anytime soon, but unless everyone moves away or decides to rent or does absolutely nothing, pent up buyer demand has the inevitable feel of unfurl. Whether it has already begun or starts a year from today is something we have yet to learn, but buyers are out there.

We are currently highlighting MAAR’s two housing market classes for continuing education credit. "Real Estate Math: Statistics" provides instruction on how to find, interpret and utilize statistics on the housing market. "Wake Up, Shift Happens!" is an interactive analysis of where the housing market has been and is going next.

Real Estate Math: Statistics
Date and Time: March 18, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Credits: 3
Instructor: Jeff Allen, MAAR Research Manager
Location: MAAR Office

Wake Up, Shift Happens!
Date and Time: March 19, 9:00 a.m. – noon
Credits: 3
Instructor: Jeff Allen, MAAR Research Manager
Location: MAAR Office

Register online or contact Delores Dahlsten at deloresd@mplsrealtor.com or 952.988.3153.

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report for 3.3.08.

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