2014 First Quarter Update
2014 First Quarter Update
“The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.”
-- George F. Will (1941 -)
The first quarter of 2014 has now come and gone. Spring will eventually arrive, hopefully with blooming daffodils. Some winters are harder to shake than others. Do the first three months of 2014 prove the pessimist right or do they pleasantly surprise? Let’s take a look.
In real estate analysis, we must look backward to look forward. Looking back over recent years (for comparison to 2014, and how they compare), we see that in the first quarter of 2012 there were a total of 88 total transactions (houses, land, condos, commercial, timeshares, foreclosures, etc), as compared to 69 during the first quarter of 2011 and 70 in 2010. The total dollar amount of real estate changing hands in the first quarter of 2012 was approximately $96 million, while in 2011 it was approximately $74 million and approximately $108 million in 2010.
In the first quarter of 2013, there were a total of 70 transactions (houses, land, condos, commercial, timeshares, foreclosures, etc) with a total dollar volume of approximately $83 million, down about 20% in number of transactions, and down about 13% in total dollar volume from 2012’s first quarter numbers. By comparison, in the first quarter of 2014, there were 112 total transactions, with a total dollar volume of about $176 million, a 60% increase in transactions and a 112% increase in dollar volume over 2013’s first quarter numbers. By the numbers, 2014 has started off significantly better in comparison to any of the first quarters for any of the past 5 years.
Foreclosures and foreclosure related transactions made up approximately 7% of the overall market in 2010, with approximately 35 foreclosures and foreclosure related sales taking place. This unfortunate statistic continued in 2011, showing some signs of slowing, with an estimated 23 foreclosures and foreclosure related transactions taking place, making up about 2% of the market in 2011 (based on dollar volume). For 2012, there were an estimated 35 foreclosures, representing approximately 3% of the market based on dollar volume. In 2013, there were an estimated 12 foreclosures, representing about 1% of the market. As of the end of March 2014, there have been an estimated 3 foreclosures so far in 2014, representing approximately 2% of the market by dollar volume.
The average home sale in 2011 was approximately $1.635 million, down about 26% from 2010, while the median home sale was approximately $1.195 million, down about 2% from 2010 levels. These numbers also reflect the fact that there were only 8 home sales over $5 million, representing 13% of the overall market and 2 home sales over $10 million in 2011. Whereas, in all of 2010 there were 23 home sales over $5 million, with eight home sales over $10 million, and in 2009 there were 12 home sales over $5 million and 6 over $10 million.
In 2012, the average home sale was $1.854 million, up about 13% from the average home sale for all of 2011. Further, there were 42 sales over $3 million, with 19 of those over $5 million, and 5 over $10 million in 2012, compared to only 27 sales over $3 million for all of 2011 and only 8 over $5 million. Helping to boost the average home sale is the upper end of the market. The average sale in the $500,000 to $999,000 range was $749,000, up 6% from 2011’s numbers. At the end of 2013, the average home sale was $1.94 million, up about 5% from the average home sale in 2012. Additionally, in 2013 there were 17 home sales over $5 million, with eight of those over $10 million, representing 24% of the market by dollar volume; as compared to 2012 which saw only 21% of the market comprised of home sales over $5 million. So far in 2014, as of the end of the first quarter, there have been no home sales over $10 million, 3 home sales over $5 million (representing 11% of the market), and 50 sales over $1 million (or about 64% of the market by dollar volume).
Vacant land sales increased modestly in 2010 versus 2009, with a total of 42 vacant lots sold. The average lot sale in 2010 was up 29% over 2009 and the median lot sale was up 41% compared to 2009. For 2011, there were 43 vacant lot sales, only 1 more than in 2010. In 2012, there were 83 vacant lot sales, with an average sale price of $1.375 million, compared to the 43 vacant lot sales for all of 2011 with an average sale price of $1.853 million (2011’s average vacant land sale was skewed by a $12 million lot sale, as well as an $8 million lot sale and another at $6 million). In the first quarter of 2013, there were 17 vacant lot sales, with an average lot sale of $1,005,000. By comparison, so far in 2014, through the first quarter, there have been 15 vacant land sales, with an average lot sale of $1.142, or a 14% increase over the average for the first quarter of 2013.
2009 is the record holder for the year with the fewest number of building permits being issued since 1972 (the first year building permits were required and thus records were kept), with a total of only 44. 2010 ended with a total of 53 new single-family permits being issued, perhaps a glimmer of hope, and 2011 saw 54 single-family permits issued, only 1 more than were issued in 2010. In 2012, 58 single-family permits were issued in 2012, a modest increase over 2011. In 2013, there were 108 single-family permits issued, a significant increase over recent years. In the first quarter of 2014, 26 single-family permits were issued, an annualized rate of 104, at the current pace.
Overall sales volume (number of transactions) and dollar volume of those sales were down in 2013, compared to 2012’s numbers. The numbers for 2013, in comparison to recent years, show a market generally increasing from the lows of 2009, but doing so in much the same way a train starts off from the station, jerking awkwardly at first, but gradually gaining momentum. 2014 has begun on a much stronger note than any other year out of the past five. Will this positive tone carry forward? Cautious optimism abounds. Stay tuned.