Following a lackluster start to 2009 which saw 1st quarter sales decline 47% from the first quarter of 2008, low interest rates, strong consumer confidence and an abundance of properties listed for sale all contributed to fuel increased sales activity during the balance of 2009. As a result, total sales revenue for the year exceeded 2008 by 10% totaling $484.7 million while unit sales rose 8% to 1,857 individual properties sold.
Single family MLS® home sales across the area increased a respectable 4.6% during 2009 with 1,195 homes changing hands. Surprising strength was shown in the condominium market which saw unit sales increase by 22% from 266 units in 2008 to 324 sales in 2009. Neither of the aforementioned results include the sales of new homes and condos made by developers that were not listed on the MLS® system of the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board.
Of particular note during the latter half of 2009 was the renewed strength shown in the upper-end of the market. Sales above $500,000 for the year increased by 12% to 125 properties compared to 107 in 2008. More significantly, sales from $800,000 to $1 million totaled 15, an increase of 36% while sales over $1 million totaled 15 as well, also reflecting a 36% increase.
Unit sales for 2009 of 1,857 properties reflected an 8% gain over the 1,720 properties sold in 2008. The number of new listings that came on the market in 2009 totaled 5,875 down slightly (2%) from the 6,000 new listing that were recorded in 2008. Conversely, the number of expired listings increased by 6% to 3,112. This was the 5th consecutive year where the number of expired listings exceeded the number sold. Many sellers and/or their respective agents are not listing properties commensurate with current market values. The reduction in new listings relative to sales reflected more balanced market condtions which in turn helped to stabilize prices. Prices throughout the area have remained relatively constant with the average residential price actually increasing in 2009 by 2.4% to $285,785.
For a complete summary of market activity 2009 vs 2008, see my 4th Quarter Georgian Triangle Real Estate News.