Year Over Year Home Sales Surprise

I just received the data from Leon County to compute the year over year home sales report for April, and it was a bit of a surprise.

Though we already reported a decline in home sales in the Tallahassee MLS when comparing April 2014 to April 2013, it is the home sales recorded in Leon County that provides a complete view of what is going on in Tallahassee.

And that is where we find the surprise.

What is going on in Tallahassee?

Year Over Year Home Sales Post Gains (Again)

Home sales in April were up 1.6% over April 2013, the 21st consecutive month of gains recorded in Leon County, Florida (the Tallahassee real estate market).

This is wonderful news, and there is still a long way to go before our housing statistics are "back to normal," as the number of closed home sales is still well below what we would expect based upon our population size and historical home sales records.

Year Over Year Home Sales

In the real estate graph above, the blue bars record the year over year home sales change (percentage) for each month compared to the same month the year prior. Bars above the "0%" line are gains, while those below the line are losses. Note how there were 39 consecutive year over year declines when the market crashed starting in 2006.

The Streak Ends In May

OK, I'm going out on a limb, but I am forecasting the streak will end this month. When we get the home sales statistics from Leon County for May 2014, we will see a decline when compared to May 2013.

And the same will be true for June.

And for July.

Why will we see year over year home sales decline?

New Contracts Have Slowed Considerably

The number of new contracts being posted each day in the Tallahassee MLS continues to decline. While there might be some administrative and technical reasons not related to home sales that could cause this for a while, the fact is we have seen declines in February, March, April, and now May appears to be far below the levels we saw last year.

How can we have real estate closings if there are not real estate contracts being written?

We have been pondering this question for the past few months, and I suspect all of the positive answers that we were seeking must simply be replaced with "the market is slowing down."

Is it a significant reduction in buyer activity, or just a breather after the explosive recovery of 2013?

Time will tell.

If you would like to see how your home specifically has been impacted with the change of demand revealed in the recent year over year home sales reports, just drop me a note and we can schedule a time to review your situation with you.

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