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Shrinking Inventory Affecting Prices

It’s a seller’s market out there.  With less houses on the market, prices are starting to inch up.  In particular this is visible in the increase in the listing prices of houses which are on the market.  In some neighborhoods, list prices are 10 to 20 percent higher than the most recent closed sales.  It will take some cash sales to create new comparables which will support this increase.  It remains unclear if buyers are prepared to pay these higher prices.

Average or median prices have gone up due to the increase in sales in the $200,000 to $400,000 price range.  This area of the market has been very slow for the last couple of years; it is now much more active.  Last year there were a total of 2532 houses sold in in this price range.  Since the first of this year, there have been 3312 sales.

Another significant change is in  the number of traditional sales, which are not bank owned or short sales.   The MLS reports more traditional sales in May and June than either short sales or bank owned properties.  In the last 30 days there have been 1226 traditional sales, 1171 short sales and 727 bank owned sales.

Will this trend continue?  An earlier blog reported the big banks claim they do not have a shadow inventory.  Nevertheless, with most home owners having negative equity in their houses and over 50,000 homeowners delinquent on their mortgage payments, prices should continue to be appealing to buyers.

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