Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Opinions on the stock market are bound only by the number of people you ask. Same with housing.

Last month, the number of homes on the market fell 19.4% from January of 2008.

The "absorption rate", or the number of months it would take to sell all homes on the market at the current pace of sales if no new homes were to come on the market, fell by over two months, to just over a six-month supply of homes.

The absorption rate for homes priced between $250,000 and $400,000 fell from 12.6 months to 7.0 months. Inventory for homes from $0-$250,000 fell from 4.22 months to 3.25 months.

Among all homes on the market priced between $0-$250,000, one in three is under contract.

So, of course, the Rocky Mountain News headline writer gleefully proclaims: "Worst January Ever for Home Sales"

Say what?????

The Rocky based its story on the fact that sales volume was down 15% in January versus one year earlier (but remember, the inventory of homes is down 20%). The paper also said the median price fell 16.3%, to $181,500. While that's accurate, remember that median is simply that price where half of the homes sell for more, and half sell for less.

What's selling right now? Homes below $200,000. In fact, nearly 70% of all pending contracts at the moment are on homes priced below $250,000. Homes below $250,000 account for 34% of the active inventory but two-thirds of all sales.

Of course the median price is going to drop!!!

I can't change how news is reported, but I can educate my clients about the state of our market. I have very strong beliefs about what lies ahead for our market, and some of those beliefs aren't necessarily great for folks trying to sell higher-end homes.

But I can tell you where the value is. I can tell you where the activity is. And I can tell you why it's happening.

The quality of your outcomes (and your life, for that matter) is based on the quality of your information. I would be happy to consult with anyone looking to buy or sell a home in this market, and give you a much clearer picture of what is really happening underneath the headlines.