I was reading this letter to West Side Residents from a local real estate agent that said existing home purchases are up, inventory is declining and foreclosures are down so I thought I’d better check the data.

SALES: In our MLS from 1.1.08 to 9.17.08 we had 91 closed sales in Area 1 (Alexandria, MN City limits).  From 1.1.09 to 9.17.09 we had 69 closed sales in the same area.  That’s about a 25% drop in sales.

I communicated with the city assessor and here’s the Assessor’s data.  For 1.1.09 to 9.4.09, he shows 117 sales; compared to 151 sales for 1.1.08 to 9.4.08, which is a drop of 23%.

The sales for Douglas County in the residential section of our mls showed 161 sales since the first of the year to today.  Same period last year showed 196 sales which represents a 17.9% decrease in sales this year over last year.

INVENTORY we had on April 20th of this year showed 267 homes for sale in Douglas County.  As of this morning we had 305 homes for sale in Douglas County.  The overall MLS inventory is down about 8% from it’s high of last year, but it doesn’t seem to be showing much sign of letting up as the inventory has steadily risen in Douglas County this year.

FORECLOSURES:  I haven’t reported on this topic yet for the 2009 year.  I have kept a pretty close eye on this, but I thought that we would probably peak out this year with a new all-time high.  If you “search” foreclosures on my blog site, you will see what I wrote about the statistics.  On August 1, 2008 we had recorded 62 foreclosures for the year.  As of today (9.17.09) we have recorded 99 foreclosure sales (per Sara from the Douglas County Sherrif’s Office) and they have served 186 notices.  You will see in my past articles on foreclosures that it does not appear that they will subside in 2009, but probably peak.

City Foreclosures:  from the city assessor’s office, “Foreclosures for the same period (10.1.08 to 9.4.09) are 21 compare to 17(same dates only one year earlier), so that number is up, but most of those occurred early in the period, i.e.,  Fall-early Winter 2008-09.  That number has definitely leveled off.  So while the total is still high compared to our historic average, it’s not spiking anymore and for the last six months the rate has been almost back to our historic average.”  So it appears that the city may see a leveling of the foreclosures, but the number will stand as being up over last year for the moment.

Again, as I have said before, that 2009 would probably be the trough of the housing market, but only time will tell.  I have no data to show that sales are up or that foreclosures are down as was reported.  But, we all know that there is always a bottom…I think that we will all see sales rebound next year or possibly the following (if this market goes further down).  But at some point, it will turn around.  It is hard to determine if the $8,000 Tax Credit had any benefit or impact to the sales in this market.   We will never know the answer to that as the Tax Credit was given to us by the Federal Government (You get to pay it back later with interest) in hopes that it would move the housing market.  Would the market have moved positively without it?  Maybe.  We’ll never know.

This country has always shown great resilience towards catastrophy and strife.  Let’s hope that in these economic times, that they don’t tax the American people beyond the point that it deters their spirit to want to work.  Our capitalistic nature has always propelled us out of any black spot we entered. 

Statistical information provided by the Greater Alexandria Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.