Good news is that Southwest Washington saw an increase in closed sales in December, compared with November by 17%. Our home inventory is 9 months, which is how long it would take for all the homes to sell that are currently on the market at the current rate of activity. This is a good improvement from November, which was 11.5 months. Our volume of total sales for 2010 vs. 2009 was down around 4.5%. While values were down for the year around .7%.
What’s ahead? The latest prediction is that foreclosures will peak this year. Currently about 5 million borrowers are at least tow months behind on their mortgages. RealtyTrac Inc., Rick Sharga, Senior V.P, predicts 1.2mm homes will be repossessed this year. Because of this, foreclosures are expected to push home prices down another 5 percent before bottoming out.
On a positive note, mortgage rates fell for the week ending January 14th. Average rates for 30 year mortgage dropped to 4.71 percent. Refinancing activity is up because of this, however, many buyers are still on the fence on purchasing a home. Experts say it will take more than good rates to jump-start the housing market, such as, improved unemployment and more realistic credit standards.
The number of foreclosures that hit our market and improvement in our economy will be a major factor in how our economy fairs in 2011!