Memphis Real Estate Sales Report for September, 2008

Memphis Real Estate market statistics for September and 2008 year-to-date have been released by the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS®.

The report shows only a 3.1% decline from September, 2007 sales, but total sales for the year are off 18.4% (2007: 13,152; 2008: 10,733). Median price is off 12.9% from 2007, and average sales price is off 13.2%. Inventory showed a significant drop from prior months, which, to me says that fewer homes are going on the market, or homes are being pulled off the market, or expired listings are not being relisted. Whatever the reason, based on the Law of Supply and demand, this is a positive sign.

Remember, I am not one to get up on his soap box and preach that now is the best time in history to buy a home. That is a consumer decision, however, in helping my clients weigh their options, the market seems favorable. The only way we will know we have hit bottom is when we have passed it, and prices are on the up-trend. Homes in certain price points and parts of the area seem to be doing pretty well. There are more important factors than getting a “good deal” on a house. Stay on top of what’s happening in the mortgage market as banks continue to tighten up on their requirements. For home sellers, the 3 timeless rules apply: Excellent condition, great price, super marketing.

A market I have continued to look at, even though it probably has very little bearing on the overall market is the $1 Million+ range. Based on 2008 sales and the amount of inventory, there is 56 months of inventory of over $1M properties. I am, hereby, dubbing that number the Spake Index – yet another index for pundits to track. The Spake Index for September=56.

Review the full report at http://www.spake.com/downloads/September2008stats.pdf

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Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.