For the 3rd month in a row we are seeing positive trending in our Pierce County Housing Report. The three major benchmarks that we are watching (level of inventory, months of inventory, and the number of closings) have all moved in the right direction.
As of December 2011 active inventory was 4,280, a 16% decrease form December 2010. There were 791 closings in December 2011, 13% better than December 2010. Months of Inventory was 5.4, down from 7.3 in December 2010.
“These numbers signal to us the inventory continues to clear,” says Michael Robinson, Owner and Realtor at Windermere Professional Partners. “Which is what we need to see to reach market stability.
One number in January’s report that was a little disappointing was the Median Price which slipped yet again to a level we last visited in June of 2003 (the median price of sold homes was $175,199 for the month of December 2011, down 18.7% form December 2010).
Pierce County had 923 properties under contract in December 2011, up 21% from December 2010. This can probably be explained by the fact that in the last 6 months 47% of Pierce County Solds are distressed, meaning they are either Short Sales or Bank Owned properties. “More investor purchases skews the median price,” says Jim Swanson, also of Windermere Professional Partners. “Especially when cash sales are up this year over last. I did a one mile radius search on a home and bank owned homes sold for $97 per foot. The same area was at $128 per foot for non bank owned. When you dissect the market, it looks less negative.”