Well May has ended, yes I know I’m slow getting this data out, and it is time to look at the local market for Salem. If you talk to most agents you will hear that the market has improved this year. It’s partially true as home sales have gone up this year. Home prices are still declining, mildly though. The median shifted downward 4.7% from May of 2011, while home sales surged up 8.8%. Real estate agents all over Salem have been very happy this spring.
This dynamic has shifted things locally. Inventory has dropped to 8.7 months. While we still aren’t at the normal market inventory of 5-6 months, this is a huge improvement over the 15 month inventories that we have been carrying. What does this mean? It means that buyers can’t be as demanding as they have been in the past several years. There are some properties getting multiple offers, even ones that have been on the market for a while. There has been some distrust on the part of buyers about this since they are continually hearing about the glut of inventory out there.
If we look at the year to date (January-May) numbers, home sales are up 2.8% for the year so far, and home prices have declined 5.9%. With interest rates at insane lows, the ongoing mild price declines aren’t a huge deterrent to buyers right now.
So sellers, this has been one of the best times in the past 5 years to be a seller in terms of actually getting your home sold. Home prices have declined though. Buyers, you are still in charge out there, but make no mistake, not by much.