Market Summary For The Beginning Of 2017

Market Summary For The Beginning Of 2017

Market Summary for the Beginning of 2017

Let us start with the basic ARMLS numbers for January 1, 2017 and compared with January 1, 2016 for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB): 19,397 versus 20,073 last year - down 3.4% - and down 7.3% from 20,928 last month

  • Active Listings (including UCB): 22,313 versus 22,883 last year - down 2.5% - and down 9.0% compared with 24,514 last month

  • Pending Listings: 4,885 versus 4,865 last year - up 0.4% - but down 15.5% from 5,782 last month

  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending, CCBS & UCB): 7,801 versus 7,675 last year - up 1.6% - but down 16.7% from 9,368 last month

  • Monthly Sales: 7,183 versus 6,770 last year - up 6.1% - and up 4.0% from 6,906 last month

  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $144.77 versus $138.07 last year - up 4.9% - and up 0.2% from $144.55 last month

  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $225,000 versus $217,000 last year - up 3.7% - but unchanged from $225,000 last month

As we suggested they might last month, sales volumes in December are back to a normal comparison with a year earlier. In fact 6.1% annual growth is slightly less than we saw for most of 2016. The increased interest rates may have taken just a little wind out of the sails. However the large increase in loan approval rates more than compensates for the reduced affordability.

The 1.6% increase in under contract listings compared with a year ago suggests that we still have a decent level of demand and the active listing counts above mean that those looking for homes have relatively slim pickings to choose from right now. No doubt buyers are hoping for a deluge of new listings arriving over the next 3 months. We shall have to wait to see if sellers are willing to oblige.

The mid range from $250,000 to $400,000 is where we see the greatest disparity between supply and demand at this point. Supply is not weak in this price range, but demand has grown a lot since this time last year, roughly 25%, and if it continues there should be no difficulty or delays for sellers who price their homes right. At the higher price ranges the market is somewhat stronger than it was last year in January, but demand varies greatly depending on location and the style of the homes. Locations within close reach of downtown facilities are in strong demand and modern contemporary styles are very popular at the moment. Distant spots with mountain and golf course views are suffering from reduced enthusiasm. We can probably blame some of this on Canadian buyers, who have been conspicuous by their absence since mid 2015. The stronger dollar has kept most foreign buyers away and made sellers of many foreign residents who already own property here.

In summary, the market is looking very healthy and favoring sellers over buyers in most segments.


Mid Month Pricing Update and Forecast

Each month about this time we look back at the previous month, analyze how pricing has behaved and report on how well our forecasting techniques performed. We also give a forecast for how pricing will move over the next 30 days.

For the monthly period ending January 15, we are currently recording a sales $/SF of $144.94 averaged for all areas and types across the ARMLS database. This is up a mere 0.1% from the $144.85 we now measure for December 15. Our forecast range midpoint was $145.26, with a 90% confidence range of $142.35 to $148.17, so this month the actual pricing came in just 32 cents below the mid-point.

On January 15 the pending listings for all areas & types shows an average list $/SF of $150.71,up 1.6% from the reading for December 15. Among those pending listings we have 91.2% normal, 3.4% in REOs and 3.2% in short sales and pre-foreclosures. This mix contains more distressed homes than last month.

Our mid-point forecast for the average monthly sales $/SF on February 15 is $146.00,which is 0.7% above the January 15 reading. We have a 90% confidence that it will fall within ± 2% of this mid point, i.e. in the range $143.08 to $148.92.

Last month we suggested that pricing looked likely to barely change until the end of the year. In fact we have seen little change all the way from the start of November to mid-January.

This situation seems more likely to change over the next 3 months with an upward trend re-emerging.


Tom LaMendola Headshot
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Phone: 602-885-4010
Dated: January 29th 2017
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