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Cromford Report April Observations


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Blog by Doug Ingersoll | April 4th, 2017


Market Summary for the Beginning of April from Micheal Orr at The Cromford Report

Starting with the basic ARMLS numbers for April 1, 2017 and comparing them with April 1, 2016 for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB): 19,810 versus 22,493 last year - down 11.9% - but up 0.8% from 19,648 last month
  • Active Listings (including UCB): 24,794 versus 27,398 last year - down 9.5% - but up 2.2% compared with 24,269 last month
  • Pending Listings: 7,572 versus 7,522 last year - up 0.7% - and up 5.3% from 7,194 last month
  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending, CCBS & UCB): 12,556 versus 12,427 last year - up 1.0% - and up 6.3% from 11,815 last month
  • Monthly Sales: 9,259 versus 8,363 last year - up 10.7% - and up 41.8% from 6,530 last month
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $148.41 versus $140.88 last year - up 6.1% - and up 0.5% from $147.64 last month
  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $230,000 versus $217,000 last year - up 6.0% - and unchanged from $230,000 last month

Supply is significantly down from last year, especially in terms of active listings that are not in UCB or CCBS status. A drop of 12% is not to be sneezed at and makes life hard for most buyers.

The monthly sales rate is very strong, up almost 11% from last year, though this year over year growth is a little less than we saw last month. Surprisingly, we are not seeing the same growth in pending listings or in listings under contract. These are running close to last year's numbers.

Pricing continues to advance, though not at any alarming rate. In fact the median sales price is unchanged from last month. This just shows one of the disadvantages of medians - they tend to cluster at round numbers, like $230,000, and resist moving by small amounts. Our more reliable indicator, average $/SF indicates an appreciation rate of 6.1%, better than last month's 4.8%.

When we examine the monthly sales rate by price range, things get more interesting. Sales are way down under $175,000, dropping by 29%. Above $175,000, sales have grown 20%. The best performing price ranges are:

  1. $500,000 to $600,000 - up 40%
  2. $350,000 to $400,000 - up 39%
  3. Over $3 million - up 38%
  4. $1 million to $1.5 million - up 35%
  5. $400,000 to $500,000 - up 29%
  6. $800,000 to $1 million - up 29%
  7. $1.5 million to $2 million - up 29%

We note signs of recovery in the higher end of the luxury market, at least in terms of sales volumes.

The weakest price range was $300,000 to $350,000 which only managed to grow 5%.

There is little sign of relief for the supply shortage and buyers must be grateful that prices are rising by only 6.1% per year. It could be a lot worse.