Black Friday wasn’t just felt on the retail side. Apparently, everyone went shopping for homes as well as December Smyrna Vinings home sales spiked to levels we haven’t seen since 2008. Strong sales are great, but it is getting harder to find those great deals for our clients as inventory continues to shrink. So let’s get to it and see what’s going on in the only market that matters most to you, your local Smyrna Vinings home market.
This chart shows you the past 12 months of home sales at any given point. As you’ll notice, the green bar is 2007 and we were selling a fair amount more homes in 2007. Sales dropped significantly in 2008, with the drop becoming more pronounced toward the last quarter of 2008. That would be the beginning of the financial meltdown. 2009 home sales started off about 32% off the level just two years previously in January 2007. We saw Smyrna Vinings home sales continue to drop in 2009, but then leveling off in late summer and actually seeing sales pick up toward the end of the year. Typically, you expect sales to be higher in the late Spring and early Summer, but that hasn’t been the case in 2007-2010.
We’ve seen overall sales trending lower for the past three years, but strong improvement since April of this year. We’ve been expecting home sales to level off coming into this Fall, which would be typical cyclical activity. However, that has not been the case, particularly with strong December sales. Pending contracts remain strong, so expect to see a strong start to home sales in 2013.
The Active Listings chart depicts Smyrna Vinings homes currently for sale. The general shape of the annual graphs are pretty consistent until we get to this year. What is different is that we’re just seeing a lot fewer homes on the market than in years. As a general rule, we’ve seen inventory increase in the April to June range and then see the amount of Smyrna Vinings homes for sale reduce towards the end of the year. This year, we haven’t seen much of an increase in inventory as home buyers seem to be jumping on homes very quickly and we’ve seen a significant drop in July through December. Whereas in past years homes may have taken 90 days to sell causing inventory levels to increase, we’re now seeing a lot of homes sell within two weeks. As the inventory shrinks, you will expect to see homes sell quicker as there are fewer homes for buyers to choose from and when the right home pops up, the patient buyers will be ready to jump. At the close of 2012, we had fewer than 200 homes on the market.
Some homeowners may feel like it’s time to stay put and some may feel like they just can’t sell in this market. 2012 inventory levels are at an all time-low in December compared to the last five years. If you’ve thought about selling and just aren’t sure, be sure to contact us or find out how much your home is worth. Less competition is a good thing if you’re ready to sell.
One other important statistic that we like to track is how the overall health of the Smyrna Vinings home market. Months of inventory is a calculation that takes the current amount of homes for sale and divides that by the number of homes that have sold in the last 12 months. What the result means is if no more homes were listed, how many months would it take, based upon the past 12 months activity, to sell all the homes currently for sale.
A result of 6 months is considered a healthy market, less than 6 months a seller’s market and more than 6 months, a buyer’s market. What we can see from the chart above is that since February we have had lower inventory levels than at any point in the past five years. Compare that with the highest amount of bloat and most severe buyer’s market in July of 2009 with significant improvement in 2010 on into 2011 and 2012.
In December, inventory levels dropped quite a bit more and we’re now at 3.5 months worth of inventory in December versus 7.25 months just a year ago. Unlike 2011, we’re starting with very thin levels of inventory. Our inventory levels were tracking with 2007, which was the very beginning of when the market dropped off and inventory soared. The difference between now and then is that the trend line for 2012 has not continued to follow the 2007 trend line. As expected, months of inventory have remained low as buyers are scooping up deals as quickly as they hit the market. For the last eight months, we’ve seen a surge in pending contracts at the end of each month. Technically, we are now in a seller’s market based on current inventory levels. What this means as you will continue to see prices slowly rise from here as demand outpaces supply. And expect to see very tight inventory of homes throughout 2013 if interest rates remain low.
That is your Smyrna Vinings homes sales activity recap for December 2012. Hope that was helpful and don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help you sell your Smyrna Vinings home or find your new Smyrna Vinings home.
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