Trendy Thursdays – A Look at March

Trendy Thursdays – A Look at March

Each week, HSH Market Trends surveys mortgage lenders across the country and generates reports, analysis and statistics for consumers and industry leaders. Their April 1st report begins with these words: “The economy is starting to show some additional signs of an expanding recovery, and one more resilient to external shocks. That said, many challenges to overcome still remain before we get to a full recovery.”

The data that follows pertains specifically to residential properties in Lamoille County and to all Real Estate establishments with listings in this county that also appear in the Multiple Listings Service system (MLS). It does not include any activity not listed within the MLS. To keep this simple, I have rounded some numbers and percentages.

Between March 1 and March 31 of this year, there were about 23% fewer new listings on the market in Lamoille County than during the same period last year, but 40% more than in February 2011.

19 properties sold in March 2011, compared to 17 in March 2010 and 13 in February 2011.

In March, the list-to-sell ratio was 94.81%, a noticeable increase compared to February of this year (92.44 %) and March of 2010 (92.90 %).

The average sale price in March was $421,000. At the same time last year, the average sale price was $291,200. It was $360,600 in February of this year.

Properties that sold in March 2011 had been on the market on average 292 days. The average time on the market for properties that sold in March 2010 was 158 days, a difference of about 4 ½ months.

The average snowfall for Vermont is estimated at 11.9 inches. Now, consider these numbers from the National Weather Service Forecast Office:

  • The average for February 2010 was 24 inches.
  • The average for March 2010 was a mere 0.9 inch.
  • Still with me?
  • The average for February 2011 was 43.1 inches.
  • The average for March 2011 was a mere 29.3 inches.

Analysts ponder the numbers and we raise eyebrows at the information we acquire from the media. However, consumer behavior is not dictated strictly by trends and knowledge. Sometimes, the reason markets fluctuate so much may also be found right at our doorstep.