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Crofton Real Estate Update – DECEMBER 2008

Crofton Graph Image

Crofton real estate sales statistics for December offered more good news than bad. 

The inventory was lower than it was in November AND lower than it was in December of last year; more homes sold in December than in November, in spite of the holiday season; the average number of days on market was down for December, compared to November. The most important improvement, however, was this:

You may remember my saying for months that the best sign of a turn-around will be when the number of new listings and newly ratified contracts are somewhat on balance. 

ScaleFor the first time in many months we finally had some of that elusive balance in December:  There were nine new listings and nine new non-contingent contracts of sale in the 21114 zipcode.  Now THAT is balance!

Here’s the reason this balance was so important:  it stopped the ongoing growth of inventory that we’ve seen for many months, with 2 and 3 times more new listings than new sales.  This has been the primary cause of falling prices and longer time on the market in Crofton, because buyers had many alternatives. 

And that’s the definition of a “buyers’ market”  – When economic conditions favor buyers over sellers. 

If the balance of new listings and new contracts we enjoyed last month occurs again for 2 or 3 consecutive months, that will be really good news for Crofton homeowners and we should see the other numbers in the following chart start to reflect the change:

21114 Overview

By laying out this four-year chart of real estate activity, you can compare every aspect of the real estate market for a period of time.  I think these statistics are pretty self-explanatory, so I won’t over-analyze.

But I will refer you to Crofton Real Estate Update – November 2008 so you can see that active listings (the inventory) is down since last month and the number of units sold & settled increased almost 30% from 15 to 31 between November and December.  The average and median sold prices dropped, as they have many times in recent months – but fortunately, it was not the huge amount we have seen some other months.

I would like to make one clarification, in anticipation of possible confusion about “9 new non-contingent contracts” in my narrative and “21 units sold” in the chart.  “Units sold” refers to properties sold/settled during December, whereas “new non-contingent contracts” refers to accepted non-contingent offers on properties. 

If you have any questions about these numbers or the real estate sales statistics for your own neighborhood. please let me know.  I will probably have the year-end report for Anne Arundel County in mid-February.

Overall, I think you’ll agree with me that Crofton’s real estate statistics provided us with more good news than bad for December.  Now, cross your fingers or say some prayers (or both) that good news follows us into 2009.

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