The new year is starting with slowing sales and rising inventory. Don’t panic, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Summit County has a very tight real estate market. We don’t have a lot of properties on the market, especially in the lower price ranges so rising inventory is a good thing. Slow sales are also common this time of year. January typically has the fewest closings for the year. So, seriously, how’s the Summit County real estate market?
January had 84 residential closings. That’s the fewest number of January closings since 2014. That sounds a little scary; the last four years had higher January sales. To put it in better perspective, both 2015 and 2016 had 87 sales. 2019 sales are not a significant decrease from those years. However, 2017 did have 113 sales and 2018 had 107. The significant decrease in sales from the last two years is less concerning to me than the possibility of a downward trend. It’s possible we may be at the beginning of a pattern of lower January sales. Unfortunately, that’s impossible to know without future January’s to compare with.
We have about 75 more residential properties for sale this year than we did last year at the same time. We currently only have 378 residential properties on the market in the entire county, that’s just under a four month supply of homes to sell. I’d love to see the inventory climb to about 500-600 this time of year.
Even though our inventory is growing, it may not be the type of properties we need most. We are seeing a lot of deed restricted communities being developed. I’m not saying housing for locals isn’t needed, we definitely don’t have enough, but it currently makes up 7% of our listings. In 2018, deed restricted properties made up just 4.6% of our residential sales. Now that more housing is available, perhaps those sales will grow in 2019. Or, it could just be padding that makes our inventory look better than it really is.
To try and answer the burning question, how’s the Summit County real estate market, I have to say it’s still in good shape. Yes, we are seeing slowing sales. Yes, we are seeing rising inventory. But, yes, it is still strong.