First quarter off to bang-up start

The real estate market in Summit County is getting off to a far stronger start than in 2012. Last years first quarter saw an 8% decline in transactions and 5% decline in dollar volumes. In contrast, this year’s first quarter has seen a 24% increase in transactions to 318 and a 17% increase in dollar sales to $140.8 million. March was a very strong contributor to those gains with transaction volume increasing 46% to 118 sales, the highest March number since 2008. As can be seen in the chart below, this was the sixth month in a row of rising sales volumes and the 11th month out of the last twelve that showed a gain. Interestingly, those gains were made without a single sale over the $1 million mark in March. The prior two months had seen 16 sales over the million dollar mark. Nevertheless, dollar volume was still able to post a 25% increase over the prior year and showed the highest dollar volume for a March month since 2008. With the dearth of million dollar sales, year to date average selling prices for single family homes dropped sharply from the $878,488 of the prior two months to $758,718 or just below the average for all of last year. Average selling prices for multi-family units fell slightly to $306,006 but are running about 13% below all of last year. Average lot prices did again show some improvement and year to date the average price now stands at $322,956 versus an average of $309,512 for all of 2012. Lot volumes were up from March 2012 at 13 versus 8 but volumes are still running at less than a third of those seen at the peak of the market. Foreclosure activity showed an improving picture. While actual foreclosure volume rose from 7 to 12. Notices of Elections & Demand (the start of the foreclosure process) dropped dramatically from 59 to 10.

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