According to the latest statistical data collected by the Missouri Association of REALTORS®, Missouri’s real estate market saw home sales drop from December through January, as they have done in recent years. However, year over year figures show promising marks as January 2012 home sales out number January home sales from the previous three years. The following are a few highlights from this January report.

--Home sales in Missouri dropped 24.5% in January, from 4,190 in December to 3,165 in January. January Home sales exceeded those from a year ago by 18.5% and were 14.7% higher than January 2010 sales.
-- Year over year sales volume is up by 17.4% for the month of January and up 12.2% from January 2010.
--Both the monthly median and the average price of a home dropped from December to January but are unchanged from where they stood a year ago.
--Since last September, home listings here in Missouri have been staying on the market an average of 145. A year ago, homes were moving off the market in 142 days on average and an average of 132 days two years ago.
Current home prices continue to be in favor of the buyer here in Missouri and mortgage interest rates remain at an all-time low. According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year conventional fixed rate mortgage fell to a record low of 4.11% back in September of last year. Now in 2012, that record low has dropped even further, down to 3.92%. According to NAR’s housing affordability index, a median-income family can easily afford a median priced home. However, due to stiffened mortgage requirements, many homebuyers are finding it difficult to obtain a home loan. Homebuyers should check their credit and look at loan availability as soon as they decide they want to buy. It is also important to learn up front what a lender might be willing to offer. REALTORS® can help the buyer learn about specific programs that may be available in their area.

Contract failures continue to be a hindrance and are taking some of the blame in the home sales recovery. Contract failures reported by NAR members jumped to 33% last October and have remained at 33% since then. A year ago, contract failures were reported by only 9% of NAR members. Contract failures consist of declined mortgage applications, failures in loan underwriting from appraised values coming in below the negotiated price, or other problems, such as home inspections or employment loss
In typical fashion, real estate statistics have fallen from December to January. The promising picture painted for our January statistics is the year over year comparisons for the past three years. Year over year home sales and dollar volume for January 2012 are more than 10% higher than the previous three years while the value of a home has remained fairly consistent.

published by Mark Cooper,RE/MAX

RE/MAX Mark Cooper