Recent economic data have pointed to a rising level of sales volume nationally for residential real estate. For example, a recent Wall Street Journal article cited three straight months of growing sales volume nationally driven by low rates, investor activity and increasing consumer confidence.
Data in the Tri-Cities both reflect and defy those national trends. In the nearby slide, data from the Tri-Cities compares closed sales in the most previous six months (August 2011 to January 2012) compared to a year earlier (August 2010 to January 2011).
St. Charles has bucked the national trend with a decreased number of closed sales in November 2011 thru January 2012 compared to the same period a year earlier. Despite the most recent three months, St. Charles has increased its overall sales volume in the six month period due to a strong fall season in August through October 2011, closing up 3% versus the previous year.
Batavia has seen the most growth in the Tri-Cities year over year in sales volume. Closed sales increased 40 percent in Batavia versus the same six-month period in the previous year. Perhaps a great football season drew people into town!
Geneva residential sales volume grew 17 percent versus the same period in the earlier year with strong increases in the most recent three months.
Importantly, closed sales also reflect a lag in activity. Our office feels like summer it’s so busy right now and we’re not alone. Pending sales in each of the three Tri-Cities markets, which are agreements that have yet to close, point to a strong uptick in February closings.
The sales volume increases are set against a backdrop of a decreasing number of homes for sale in the Tri-Cities. Geneva had 2 percent fewer homes for sale in December 2011 than in December 2010, St. Charles inventory was down 10 percent and Batavia had a drop of 18 percent in available homes.
In previous posts I have referenced the declining sales prices in the St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia and I will update those again soon. That said these data point to decreasing supply and increasing demand which may finally begin to stabilize values and ultimately reverse the downward trend in prices as we roll into the prime residential selling season.
For the actual number of closed sales in each market, please visit www.scottnowling.com.