March Housing Stats for Washtenaw County

Well, this could be an interesting year for real estate in Washtenaw County.  What initially looked like a split personality in the market, finally resolved itself in March.  The first quarter of 2007 is behind us and it is safe to say that the market is getting tougher on sellers.

Average List Price

Average List Price 

Average Sales Price

Average Sales Price

 I don’t think much needs to be said about these two charts in conjunction with each other.  From the Big House Data Executive Summary:

The split personality has also resolved itself in the average list prices and sales prices. While list prices jumped in February, March realized a nearly 14.5% decrease in average list price and a nearly 11.5% decrease in average purchase price.

Across the market in Washtenaw County, the word is out.  Price fishing will not work.  Price the property aggressively up front and it will not sit long on the market.   Anecdotally, Big House Data has heard of homes being on the market only a few days, have multiple showings and multiple offers.  The common thread in these properties is that they were priced below their nearest competition, and not just a few thousand.  In some cases, seventy-five thousand below the nearest competing home!

As first debuted last month, I have a custom chart being generated by Big House Data that showsw the monthly gap between the Average Sales Price and the Average List Price.  Here it is again, and after one month, I kinda like this chart!

Average List Price v Average Sales Price

LP v SP

While initially hard to discern, the moving trend line for average list price has dropped more quickly than the average sales price in Washtenaw County for the month of March. 

Why the excitement?  Look back to the 2005 data and you will see that the average trend lines were tracking closer together than now.  With the trend lines working towards each other, we can see that stability is creeping into the market.  Right?

For a complete copy of the March 2007 statistics, please drop me a note at todd-at-toddwaller[dot]com.

6 Responses to March Housing Stats for Washtenaw County

  1. The raw data may be on the site and I haven’t found it, but could it be that March had such a small data set that the numbers are skewed by a handful of low-priced homes and lack of one or two large sales? The term outlier comes to mind.

  2. Anon,

    If you would like a full package of stats, please email me directly. As for “outliers,” they could exist (or not), I suppose, but there were 1,402 listings in March and 274 closings for the month. Listings were down nearly 3% from March 2006 and closings were down over 12% from the same month.

    My thought on the condo aspect in listing price is that the two month condo listing glut by a couple of developers is over. And they weren’t “cheap” condos either.

    But our thoughts don’t cover why the List Price dropped so precipitously. Any ideas?

  3. Maureen M.,

    Thanks for stopping by! I hope the ride was smooth.

    ‘Outlier’ would be a descriptive term for data points that are way outside the ‘normal’ distribution of the collected data. If you think of a bell curve for the distribution of data collected, outliers would be the data that fall in the long tails on either side of the curve.

    It’s been a long time since my stats class, so my description is probably clear as mud……

  4. Wow Todd, those are some charts. If my eyes are not deceiving me, I’d say home prices are definitely down. Are the Buyers taking advantage of such a wonderful market, there?

  5. Gena,

    Thanks for stopping by!

    To answer your question directly: sorta. The buyers have shaken this market down. While they are still buying, they are snapping up well-priced, quality laden homes. It is estimated that there may be as many as 20% fewer buyers in our market, but I am having a hard time determining if that is 20% less than last year or when. If it is, in fact, 20% less than last year, well, last year wasn’t too bad as far as transactions went. In Washtenaw County we had over 4,000 residential and condo sales….Great, on a sheer transaction basis.

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