Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Bonneville County home sales up dramatically so far this year

In the four years since I started BizMojo Idaho (my first post was Sept. 5, 2011)  I have routinely asked my friends in real estate how the market is. The answer has almost been "good" or "better." And while there has always been a temptation to dismiss this as what one might expect -- a positive attitude is essential for sales, after all -- looking at the numbers tells a compelling story.

As far as homes sales in Bonneville County go, numbers on the Snake River Multiple Listing Service Web page show the first seven months of this year were the best we have seen since 2007, the year before everything went in the tank. The number of homes sold, 993 is the best since '07, when 1,043 homes were sold between Jan. 1 and July 31. Homes were selling as fast this year as they were in 2007, which was, I hasten to remind you, a year in which anyone with a pulse could get a home loan, and probably more than they could afford, since that was the game. The easy credit of eight or nine years ago would be one explanation for the higher median prices we see as we crunch the numbers.

As for the chorus of "It's getting better all the time," it's pretty obvious that in 2011 things couldn't have been much worse. Home sales were down nearly 46 percent, prices were bottoming out and the average sale was taking close to four months. The first half of 2012 wasn't much better more homes sold, albeit at the same slow pace.

In all, if agents were happy last year with the way things were trending, they ought to be ecstatic now. Sales in the first seven months of 2015 were up 37 percent over 2014 and homes were selling on average a month faster.