From the Cromford Report:
There are those who will look at the sales count for November and assume the month was dreadful. Sales were down more than 20% compared with October. However we think this was a pretty good performance. November contained only 17 full working days because of Veterans Day and Thanksgiving plus weekends at both the start and the end of the month. This is the lowest number of days we ever get in a calendar month. In contrast October had 23 working days, the highest we ever see. With 26% fewer days in which to close them, 20% fewer sales is not bad at all. It is disappointing that November 2014 was down 2.4% compared with November last year, but November last year had 18 working days, which is a 6% advantage over 17, so again November looks more reasonable in that context.
There are a few other good news straws to grasp.
The annual sales count has stabilized and if the number of listings under contract is an indicator, December should be quite a reasonable month for closings.
It is not time to celebrate but it is time to start feeling a little hopeful that the worst is behind us.
Here are the basic ARMLS numbers for December 1, 2014 relative to December 1, 2013 for all areas & types:
Compared with a month ago, supply has been growing most in the luxury sectors and in the areas focused on active adults and the retired. Examples include Gold Canyon, Arizona City, Sun City, Sun City West, Sun Lakes and Paradise Valley. Many of the low and mid-range areas have experienced a significant drop in supply, especially Gilbert, Glendale, Avondale, Tolleson, Laveen, Chandler and Phoenix.
Despite the slight improvement in a few indicators, we would still describe the market as subdued, awaiting an economic recovery that improves the earnings potential of those who depend primarily on a job rather than capital gains.
The for-sale housing market is unlikely to drive the economy forward at this stage; it is more likely to be the other way round.