Home sales up 36 percent in 2012
Year-end statistics compiled by the Haywood County Board of Realtors shows a 36-percent increase in number of sales in 2012. Sales volume increased as well, jumping from a low in 2010 of about $95 million to $132 million in 2012.
What’s even more exciting for Brian Cagle, who recently took over as president of the real estate organization in the county, is how sales activity is starting out in the new year.
“In December, twice the number of deals were closed and twice the volume was sold compared to the previous December,” he said. “January is strong with showings and pending contracts. All the Realtors are telling me they have appointments through January, which is very unusual.”
Listing inventory dropped from 1,133 in January 2012 to 898 in January 2013. That’s good news because in means the market glut caused by record-level foreclosures is easing. In 2009, there was nearly a 25.7-month inventory. That dropped to 15 months at the end of 2012. The inventory level is a measure of how long it should take to sell the properties listed.
“There’s been a reduction of 20.7 percent in listing inventory,” he said. “It’s remarkable that we’ve shaved 10 months off the inventory. A balanced market is at six months.”
In the real estate industry, a balance between the number of buyers and sellers makes it more likely all sides are satisfied, he explained.
“The happy people now are the buyers,” he said. “It stabilizes the market when both sides of the equation are happy.”
Haywood isn’t alone in the real estate turnaround. Cagle said the inventory level in Buncome dropped to nine months, and urban areas in the region are at the balanced level of six months.
Data from sales in 2012 shows real estate prices have dropped as well.
The average sales price was nearly $202,000 in 2009 — a number that dropped to about $182,000 in 2012. The median price dropped as well — from $160,000 in 2009 to $155,500 in 2012.
More than three-fourths of the sales were for homes valued at less than $200,000. Of that, 41 percent were in the $100,000 to $200,000 category, while 26 percent of the sales were for homes below $100,000. Eighteen percent of the sales were from properties valued between $200,000 and $300,000, while 10 percent of the sales were between $300,000 and $400,000. Less than 5 percent of the sales were for homes valued at more than $400,000.
On the down side, properties are now staying on the market longer, from 180 days in 2009 to 232 days in 2012.
Units sold jumped from 510 in 2009 to 732 in 2012, a 34 percent increase. That drove sales from a 2009 level of $100 million, a nymber that dropped to $95 million in 2010 and 2011 before jumping to about $132,000 in 2012.
“We’ve got a ways to go, but for next year, I’m cautiously optimistic,” he said. “Caution is something we have in our nature at the moment. But with the amount of activity we are continuing to see, things are looking better.”