On Thursday L graciously checked sales for the Phoenix metro for the first half of March for us. As most homes close at the end of the month, we can’t really multiply sales times two in order to forecast the month’s sales. Year-over-year is useful though to compare trends. Here’s how the first half the month stacked up:
ALL MLS (as of 10:06 PM on 3/15)
March 1-15 (2007): 2106
March 1-15 (2006): 3120
So far this month, it looks like sales are running about 33% below last year. According to data from ARMLS, March 2006 was off about 25% from March 2005, so sales are continuing their downward trend.
While Phoenix may be experiencing declining sales, inventory has been rising rapidly. Yesterday M told us that Phoenix inventory had surpassed last September’s record of 48,443 listings at about 5:18 p.m. Poster Phxrealtor updated us at 7:49, stating that inventory had reached 49,432. While inventory does fluctuate constantly as agents update listings, it would be expected that Phoenix will exceed 50,000 listings shortly.
According to Bloomberg, on March 15:
Toll Brothers Inc. Chief Executive Officer Robert Toll said the spring selling season has been “pretty much a bust” and he can’t predict when the housing recovery will begin.
“When will the market rebound?” Toll said at a conference in Las Vegas today. “Who knows? The Shadow knows. I have no idea. I would’ve thought that it would’ve rebounded by now and I would’ve been dead wrong, and I was.”
Is there any chance that when the March numbers come out that David Lereah, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, will join Robert Toll in a nice dish of "humble pie?"