10 weeks into 2009 and we have some interesting data to start the year. The sales market has changed dramatically and is continuing to do so. The first time home buyer credit is having an impact on the market, but only for the actual first time home buyer, and not for the move up market.
Here's a look at the data for 2009 through early March for the entire 13 county metro Indianapolis area:
- nearly 50% of all homes sold were under $100,000
- 93% of all homes sold were under $300,000
- 95% of all homes sold were under $500,000
- 99% of all homes sold were under $1,000,000
- less than .06% of all homes sold were over $1,000,000
A major issue in this data starts with the low end of the market, or the first time home buyer. Of those homes under $100,000, over 50% of those were foreclosures. That tells us that of the owners of those homes under $100K, only half potentially went on to actually buy another property. That's why the sales numbers above $300K are so weak. What's selling is simply foreclosure inventory. While that's good and needs to happen, it tells us we are very VERY early in the recovery process if at all. Until the foreclosure inventory is absorbed and the foreclosure rate slows, we not recognize any value increase in the higher price points above 300K. At the moment we are simply absorbing unsold inventory. That inventory is the active inventory, not the secondary inventory which I would define as the complete set of homes that are waiting for any type of sign the market is recovering before coming back for sale. In other words we have several years of overall inventory to absorb before values begin to grow. If you're any type of buyer, this is good news because it means you are going to have opportunity to make a great buy for some time to come. Selling, will remain a big challenge for at least the next 24 months in our market.