Marion Filley's Closing Comments: May 15

After two months with sales below the levels of the same periods in 2013, the rebound (23%) in April was reassuring, especially since most of these sales were transacted 60 to 90 days prior, right in the middle of the winter. These were accompanied by almost aberrant increases in median and average prices. The median was up by 35.6% as was the average. This was caused by a total of nine sales transacting over $1,000,000 and four of those over $1,500,000. Inventory rose to 157, just behind last year’s count, but with the same number of higher-end listings. The average price is back up to $1,426,100.

The effect of the winter has not been completely reversed with total number of sales down slightly under 4%. However, the strength of April has raised the median for the year to 7.4% ahead of 2013. The average is up 17%. Total single-family revenue, as recorded by the MLS, has risen over $5,000,000 or 12.5% as compared with April of last year.

Sale prices now reflect 96% of the last list price (not to be confused with original list), a healthy situation particularly with a number of lingering listings (days on market in excess of six months). The absorption rate is particularly interesting with the under-$700,000 houses selling in less than three months. Going to $700,000-$1,000,000, the rate is eight months. The $1,000,000-$1,500,000 range is slightly over 13.5 months, but $1,500,000-$2,000,000 is 11 months. Rates continue to be attractive and over the next couple of months people moving for the beginning of the school year will be a significant factor in determining the strength of the 2014 market.