March 2013 now holds the record for the strongest month of sales in our local market since 2006 and, despite having the most new listings in several years, reached a new low in inventory since nearly 2005.
March has been a very strong month for sales the past few years and I thought that we’d probably be higher again this year, based on the trends we’ve been seeing, but I was surprised once again at how strong March actually was.
Another interesting circumstance the past 3 months is that the number of listings come on the market in the months of Jan-Mar are even less than the numbers for those 3 months last year. Those were the strongest 3 months last year for new listings and the fact that we had lower numbers this year during those 3 months with increased sales in all of those 3 months means that we are in a continuing inventory shortage. In fact, at the beginning of this month we were at the lowest level of inventory so far since the beginning of 2007.
Information for charts above was taken from PRO/Suncoast MLS from Jan 2007 thru May 2011 & from the MFRMLS for May 2011 thru Mar 2013. This information may or may not include all listed expired, withdrawn, pending or sold properties of one or more members of the My Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service.
This all bodes well for our local market and is continuation of the recovery trend and also shows that we are in a seller’s market. Another indication of this being a seller’s market is the frequency with which we now see competition between buyers for well-priced, good homes or condos. I’ll go into an example of that below.
Despite it being a seller’s market right now, buyers may compete for properties and even pay above the listed price, but buyers are not agreeing to prices that are too far out of line with market value. This means that houses, condos and townhouses that are priced too high will stay on the market longer than the average. But buyers do need to be aware of the fact that if they find something they like and it is well-priced that it can go under contract very quickly.