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Total dollar sales declined 4.7% to $225,116,134 in December from $236,267,507 in November. Normally December is an up month. This is a 23%, deterioration from last December 2006 ($292,143,193), against 10% more active listings. (Chart section A page 4).
Total unit sales deteriorated to 1,182 in December from 1,213 in November a deterioration of 31 units. New sales improved to 397 homes this month from 372 in November, an improvement of 25 units. Used sales decreased to 765 homes in December from 851 last month, a deterioration of 86 (sect E page 3).
Absorption rates for new homes improved slightly to 7.5 months from 8.6 of inventory last month. This is an increase of .8 months over last year at this time, (Section E page 3). Absorption for used homes improved to 8.4 months of inventory in December from 9.5 in November. This is a 1.2 month increase from last year’s level at this time. Against reduced sales, the reduction in month of inventory is due to reduced new listing activity, an important component to improving the oversupply situation, but keep in mind that reduced listing activity is normal at year-end, but keep an eye on the next few months.
There were 12,379 active listings in December* down from 14,247 in November, a decrease of 1,868 units. There has now been four months of declining active listings (page E-3). There were 324 new house new listings (a decrease from 485 last month), while sales of new houses improved to 397 for the month from 372 in November. New houses new listings ran well under the rate of sales, better than last month (section B page 1).
Active New listings decreased to 3,276 in December from 3,884 in November, a decrease of 608 units (E-3). Active Used listings decreased to 9,103 this month from 10,363 last month, a decrease of 1,260 (page E-3). One of our clients recently asked about the new listings and the net change in listings and new house construction as tracked by permits, and why the numbers don’t track well… Keep in mind that new listings may be due to a ”fail”, i.e. cancellation or withdrawal, and relisting by a new agent, that is , seller frustration. At year end particularly we ma see a lot of listings expire only to be relisted with the same or another agent.
Average Days on Market for new houses deteriorated to 127 days as compared to 120 days last month. Used houses improved to 70 days compared to 97 days in November. (sec A page 18). Average sales prices for sold new homes decreased to $248,447 from $249,059. (Chart sect A p2) Average sales prices for sold used homes decreased to $164,797 from $169,774. We are seeing an upward slope of the 12 month moving average prices for new, houses. The twelve month moving average slope of used house prices continues to slump. (Chart sect A p2)
*All references to last month numbers are revised, to pick up late entries (made after our prior publication date) to the MLS system.