Last month’s sales were slightly up from last January, changing the trend for the previous 3 months in a row where Oct, Nov and Dec 2013 were slightly down from those same months in 2012. In addition, inventory rose to its highest level in nearly 2 years.
January is usually the slowest month for sales and one of the biggest month for new listings (actually many are listings where people took them off the market during the holidays and put them back on after). January is typically the month each year with the highest # months inventory and even with this rise, in comparison to previous years this is not a big increase from last year. Hopefully this means that when we get into the strong sales months of Spring and Summer that we won’t be experiencing nearly as bad an inventory shortage like we had last year.
What I’m personally seeing is that buyer activity is picking up quite noticeably and especially with the harsh winter it looks like Spring will again be very strong and I think that over the next couple of months we’ll start to see the sales graph improve and the inventory graph drop down. However, I don’t think we will see the same market like last year when the inventory was at its lowest and sales at their highest. I think that it will be a strong Spring but that we won’t have the extent bidding wars and price increases like we did last year although if sales match last year and inventory is only slightly down, we can still have some bidding wars and near double digit price increases.
Buyers should be prepared with their financing lined up so that they can act quickly and sellers who have been waiting to list should do so in the next month or two to take advantage of this time period.