The number of new listings hitting the Washington County Board of Realtors MLS has been below 900 for two months running.....and for the first time since July of 2006 (see yellow below). Note below that we "threw out" the month of December (see blue below) for the past two years. As many fewer people tend to list their homes at the onset of the Holidays, December represents an anomaly to normal market trends.

  New Listings Active Listings Sold Listings Months Inventory
Jun/2008 837 6,247 219 28.53
May/2008 895 6,367 269 23.67
Apr/2008 991 6,431 229 28.08
Mar/2008 935 6,418 236 27.19
Feb/2008 998 6,472 189 34.24
Jan/2008 1,164 6,248 159 39.30
Dec/2007 762 6,301 190 33.16
Nov/2007 976 6,379 238 26.80
Oct/2007 1,244 6,186 221 27.99
Sep/2007 901 5,899 221 26.69
Aug/2007 1,061 5,937 334 17.78
Jul/2007 1,070 5,840 302 19.34
Jun/2007 1,001 5,726 389 14.72
May/2007 1,113 5,611 397 14.13
Apr/2007 1,095 5,467 385 14.20
Mar/2007 1,187 5,413 407 13.30
Feb/2007 1,137 5,358 292 18.35
Jan/2007 1,313 4,943 324 15.26
Dec/2006 706 5,196 319 16.29
Nov/2006 903 5,345 295 18.12
Oct/2006 994 5,398 340 15.88
Sep/2006 1,227 5,343 312 17.12
Aug/2006 1,059 5,101 379 13.46
Jul/2006 771 4,918 378 13.01

I wouldn't be booking tickets to Hawaii  (one of my favorite places on earth by the way) in celebration of a market "turnaround" just yet, however. Many of my clients will tell you that for at least 6 months now I've said that one of the major factors in a housing turnaround won't just be an increase in sales. It will be the moment at which 1/3 of the unmotivated, unrealistic sellers determine to stop listing their properties in an effort to "test out" the market, the decreasing the currently cluttered inventories facing our market.

What this does show us, however, is that many of those very sellers may finally be "getting the picture" about market realities. This, coupled with increased affordability (due to falling prices) will help Southern Utah at least stabilize in the short term, while real housing appreciation may be several years away.