July is over, and time to take a quick look at how July closed out. Keep in mind that these figures are preliminary, because it will take a few days for the last end of month closings to be reported in the Multiple Listing Service. I’ll be out with a full report in 7 to 10 days.
For the 3 months ending July 31, 2008, there are currently 101 single family closed sales reported in the Sullivan MLS, down from 165 a year earlier (a 39% drop). Based on experience, another 8 or 10 sales will likely dribble in over the next week or so, the likely year over year sales drop will probably settle into the 30-35% range.
Price wise, the average sales price for the 3 month period was $190,312, down 4.7% from last month’s $199,677, and off 21% from the $242,376 average for the same period a year ago. The median sales price, on the other hand, actually showed some improvement, climbing to $170,000 from last month’s $162,675, although still down 13% from last year’s $195,000 median. The culprit pulling down the average is a dearth of upper end sales. For the 3 month period ending July 31st, the highest closed sale was $495,000. For the same 3 month period in 2007, in comparison, there were 9 sales above $500,000, including two above $1 million. (I am aware of one sale that closed yesterday — July 31st — in the low $500’s that has been posted to the MLS yet.)
On the new activity front, I thought last month was relatively slow for July — although a number of friends in the business reported being quite busy. The proof will be in the pudding, though, to see how much of that showing activity and initial offers will translate into closed sales. One thing I found striking about my July activity — phone, email and appointments — was how little follow through there’s been on the part of potential buyers. I’ve gotten quite a few emails and phone calls asking about property, and have sent out lots of listing emails, but only a fraction have led to appointments. And of the folks I went out on appointments with in July, very few have led to follow-up activity (requesting additional property information or scheduling another appointment.) I think its reflective of buyers being very tentative right now, and July was certainly a tumultuous time in the wider economy, with oil prices skyrocketing in early July and the equities markets tanking, and then oil prices dropping and equity markets showing some improvement towards the end of the month.
One interesting characteristic of the summer here is that its actually more of a home shopping rather than a home buying season. Traditionally, September and October are the strongest months for offers and purchases. It will be interesting to see if that holds this year.