Charles’ Charts

Here are the recently updated real estate trend charts. The monthly charts are updated through the end of December, 2023. The rest are date stamped with the day they were updated.

  • Active residences (current inventory) – The number of listings continued to decline into the New Year but it is still well above the number from mid-year. This drop is normal and seasonal because of the holidays at the end of the year and beginning of the next. We should see some additional decline until the buying season of 2024 kicks in a bit later this year. It’s when sellers typically begin to list their homes.
  • Median prices. The 3-month median price for December rose slightly to $431,250 from $430,000. The 12-month December price bounced to $435,000 from $431,250. This is statistically insignificant. It means that we are currently staying in a very tight range waiting for some catalyst to move price in one direction or the other. The next chart below (Chart 2c) may shed some light on the subject but no one really knows for sure which way it will break.
  • BONUS CHART 1 – Long Term Median Prices with mean regression line – Since it is the end of the year, I thought I would share with you the chart of Sold prices from May, 1989. to Dec, 2023. 1989 is when digital data began to be collected. You can see the steady climb in prices over the years despite the ups and downs. I added a mean regression line to this chart. There is a principle in statistics that with this type of data, prices will regress (meaning return) to the mean (average) from extremes above or below the average. You can see that since 1989, price has crossed above or below the average line four times. This is entirely expected over time.
  • Price is now at a relative extreme above the average. It could go higher but it is currently stalled. While it is stalled, the average line continues to climb, potentially to meet it. Another and quicker way it could meet it is if prices fell in the months ahead (not a prediction) like what happened from 2006 to 20012. I prefer prices to hold and let the line catch up but either way, at some point in time, the median price and the line will meet. Extreme prices cannot be sustained indefinitely. Maybe we are witnessing the return to the mean?Median DOM (days on market – the time period where 50% of the homes leave the market for homes that sold over the past 30 days.) The Day on Market this month stayed in a range similar to the previous month, 25 to 37 days. This is fairly consistent with previous, normal years as you look back to 2016 through 2020. We could remain in this range or a bit higher for several more weeks but should begin to turn down as the buying season approaches.
  • Number of pendings last 30 days close-up. The number of pending sales continued to decline to 48 into January 7, 2024. This is nearly the same as a year ago (44). I was hoping for a higher number to assure me that more buyers have stepped into the market but it does not yet appear to be the case. I am still hoping that the turn of the New Year and somewhat lower interest rates, bring more buyers to the table and we can see that number rise to a new high. .
  • Homes sold for 12 Consecutive Months. There was a bit of a flurry in sales for the month of December and total sales for the 12 Consecutive months ending in December rose over that of November from 958 to 973. It’s one of the few bright spots on this chart that has seen sales number tumble in a dramatic way since June of 2021
  • BONUS CHART 2 – End of Year Sales Numbers. This chart is similar to the one above but it only includes end-of-year totals for the number of homes sold since 1989. It shows rather vividly the profound decrease in sales numbers. From the 2021 high of 1442 to the low of 2023 at 973, it is a decrease of 469 homes which is a decrease of nearly 33%.
  • List price compared to sold price. Sellers appear to still be holding their higher listing prices on average but are negotiating a lower sales price. Both median list price and median sales price ticked up slightly but the difference between the two remained nearly the same. These numbers are an average of all the price ranges. It is quite possible that there are certain price ranges where the sales price and list price are much closer together because of stiffer competition.
  • BONUS CHART 3 – Percentage of Cash Sales in Single Family Homes. This chart shows the percentage of homes that sold for cash as reported in the MLS for each year back to 2005. 2023 had the largest percentage so far at 33.5%.