I’m going to begin this stats report with a quote from First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming. “Monthly data that looks back 3-4 weeks is old news. We know from the faster moving data – mortgage applications, showings, bidding wars – that April really was the trough, I think, for the housing market. The existing-home sales numbers reflect that now, but we do expect the rebound to be quite strong in the May numbers that will come out at the end of June.”
The end of June time frame he mentions is for his national numbers. It’s the beginning of June and we have results from our little slice of heaven called Longmont. In looking at this month’s report, it is very clear that Mr. Fleming is correct. New listings dropped off the planet in April. No surprise here, we were on total lockdown. While in total lockdown it was hard to show a house and put it under contract in April, which led to the very low closed volume in May. None of that should be a surprise to anyone.
What is surprising though are median and average prices for the area. Generally speaking, they were up in May, with the exception of the attached home prices in Longmont, which are negative on the report, but are considered to be flat. Rising prices, in the midst of a global pandemic, in the midst of a nationwide lock down, are amazing results that can only be produced by high demand and absolute confidence in both the market and the future. There are so many things going on the world right now that should crater the market, but they aren’t.
The homes that were put under contract in March were the closings for April. Those were down 27% and at the time, it was my opinion that closings in May were going tobe down much more than that. My guess was a 50% drop compared to May of 2019. I’m happy that didn’t happen, but I am surprised, just like several of my fellow stats geeks are, that we were only down 38%. With interest rates still low, summer here, lockdowns being lifted, showings are happening, listings are coming back and contracts are being written once again. Closings are happening and the real estate world is beginning to return to normal. I’d be surprised if our closed volume was down any more than 10% for June. We’ll know in about 30 days.
I didn’t do a chart this month because I wanted to show you what new listings and closed sales look like for the past three months compared to the same time frame as last year. Total listings are down 20%, which doesn’t seem possible. Closed volume is down 19%, most of that was offset by our huge month of closings in March, which closed out our biggest 1st quarter in six years, so that one kind of makes sense. It’s now my view that if we have a somewhat normal June in terms of closed sales, our year end stats are going to look normal, like the pandemic never happened.
Just for the heck of it, I’m going to award the Carbon Valley with the Market of the Month Award for the 5th straight month. They are still up over last year on their year to date closed volume. A shocking feat. To be down just 10% (6 total units!) on May closings is impossible, but it happened. And to top it all off, they have the SAME number of active listings now as they did last year. Sprinkle in a couple percentage points of price growth and you have what appears to be a miracle.
There is a lot good news out there folks. Be a part of it. Spread love and joy among your family, neighbors and strangers. Work hard and enjoy the fruits of your labor. And let me know when you want to grab coffee or a beer. I miss my friends and clients.