Negotiated contracts on single-family homes in March 2011 were down about 24% from the year-previous monthly tally. Wait a minute … that sounds awfully familiar. For the second month in a row the market was only three-quarters as active as last year. Does this establish a trend? Is it cause for concern?
Although we may be seeing the beginning of a trend, we don’t think it’s cause for concern. In fact, this looks like a normal year! Last year was different, special really; buyers were out early. This year we got off to a more typical slow start. The following chart shows that we’re tracking 2009 very closely, and actually seeing more traditional real estate seasonality.
The next couple of data points will be very interesting. Will we continue to follow 2009? Will the peak of the spring market even come close to the tax-credit-driven 2010 peak in April?
Below is the data for the individual towns. We don’t think that the comparisons to last year are very meaningful, so we’ll skip the usual commentary about the individual towns. However, we will print the chart so that there is a continuous record of the data, and just in case it’s needed as a reference if others report on year-over-year results for the month.
Just so you’re prepared … the real estate markets will look fantastically vibrant and active compared to last year once we get into May for contracts written, and July for deals closed.