At this time last year the housing market was heating up as the first time home buyer tax credit was nearing its expiration. Just as soon as that tax credit expired, the Twin Cities housing market went into the meat locker for the rest of the year. Now that we’re finally past both the tax credit’s boost and its bust, what does 2011 hold for us?
One of the key housing metrics we look at is new Pending Home Sales. These are homes for sale that have accepted offers and are on their way to closing. Here are the last four years of pending sales activity:
It is easy to see how much of an outlier 2010 was! We typically have a very bell-shaped activity curve with our strongest sales activity occurring in the late spring and summer months.
While weekly data is interesting, it is sometimes hard to get a good picture of the overall trend of the market and so below is a chart of the cumulative pending sales from the first of each year:
So far this year, pending home sales units are down only about 1% versus 2009 – not a bad showing!
While units are pretty close to 2009′s numbers, the dollar volume of those sales is down about 5% from 2009 because our sales prices are a little lower than they were that year:
While we are only through the first three months of the year, I believe we are far enough into it to get a feel for what we should expect this year. Barring any dramatic changes in the economy or world politics, I believe 2011 is setting up to be fairly comparable to 2009 – not a bad showing for a housing market still burdened by so many issues.