Summit County real estate off to strong start in 2015

Summit County real estate got off to a strong start in January showing double digit gains in both transaction and dollar volumes. Dollar sales increased 28 percent to $66.5 million, the strongest January dollar volume since 2008. Transaction volume increased 25% to 127 sales, a January high that has not been surpassed since 2007.
As strong as these sales were on a year over year basis, they did reflect a continuation of the typical seasonal slide we see at this time of the year. Dollar sales have been down each month since they peaked in September last year. January was down 16 percent from December and 47 percent from the September high of $126.3 million.
Average selling prices were up substantially in all property categories versus both a year ago and the full12months of 2013. The average selling price (ASP) of single family homes rose to $891,931 versus $784,779 for all of last year. That number was heavily influenced by 2 sales in the $2.5-$3.0 million range. There were only 7 such sales in all of 2013. Multi-family ASPs rose to $419,224 versus $357,612 for 2013 and the average lot price increased to $434,482 up from $318,230 last year. These prices are likely to fall in the coming months as the sample size gets larger and the mix normalizes but there is little doubt that the pricing trend is on the rise.
What is pushing up the pricing? Certainly the improving economy and soaring stock market are contributors. Another important factor is the shrinking inventory. Last year at this time, there were approximately 554 single family homes listed in the Summit Multilist system.. Currently there are 486. Multifamily units have dropped even more dramatically from 660 units to 423. No doubt inventories will rise as we move into the spring and summer but so will sales activity. In 2013 the average days on the market for sold properties was 258. In 2014 that number fell to 230 and for the last six months of that year was only 206. Six months of sales is normally considered the break point between a buyers and sellers market. We expect to be near that by mid year.

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