I just pulled the latest residential sales data (through Nov. 30, 2015) for Sullivan County, and was blown away by the numbers. For the latest three month period (from 9/1 through 11/30), the number of single family sales closed in Sullivan County (229 sales) was up 45% from the same period a year earlier (158 sales)!
Year over year volume has been sharply up since June, with every month since then posting sales volume increases in the 25-30% range. I was expecting the November numbers to be similar. I was so shocked by these latest numbers, that I just spent an hour double checking the data to make sure I somehow didn’t ‘double import’ data from the two MLSs I pull sales from, or didn’t delete duplicates of sales that are reported in both systems. But the numbers appear to be right.
If you follow my monthly market reports (which lately have been more like every two months, because the fall was so busy), you know I report three month running averages, rather than single month figures. The reason is that the number of monthly sales here is relatively small compared to larger markets, and statistics based on small sample sizes can be wildly erratic (particularly for average and median sales prices.) Using three month data samples smooths that out and is more accurate for illustrating trends. But I did look just at the November data, and in November alone there were 82 closed sales compared to 48 in November 2014 — that’s a 71% single month increase!
This explains a lot about the challenges in getting sales closed over the past couple of months. Everything’s been backed up, from arranging home inspections to getting appraisals, title reports and surveys completed. The usual speedy underwriting approval for mortgages from local banks slowed to a crawl. Most of the real estate attorneys I work with here have been pulling their hair out for the last couple of months trying to get deals closed. Now it makes sense. With 45% more volume moving through the system with no significant increase in capacity to process it, there’s a traffic jam. It’s not unlike the thruway on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Over the next week I’ll be writing up a full market report, with sales price figures along with a look at what’s been selling. But for now, I wanted to pass this striking statistic along.