The January numbers are out and they are a little suprising. 339 net unconditional sales for 2011 versus 418 for 2010. These numbers are beow 2010, better than 2009, and below 2008 and 2007.
the 2009 January market was very slow, but was the first tentative step in what turned out to be the busiest year ever in the Victoria housing market. If you remember this was just after our market had stalled for a few months in the fall as everyone wondered which way the market was going to go after the global meltdown.
This past fall we saw a similar pause. It started more in late summer and went through the fall but we seemed to be coming out of it in mid November and through a reasonably busy December. Expectations were that January would see a normal level of activity, and I'd have to say we were off a bit. That's where the suprise comes from.
So what does this mean for Victoria going forward? I think our spring market will be a little subdued, though the latest round of mortgage changes will hurry some buyers into the market. Though on a side note I'd say that those buyers should have hurried themsleves into the market in the fall as prices were softer than they are going to be now - why so many people decide the time to buy is when others are buying is beyond me.
While subdued I beleive prices will hold, if not rise a little - the real issue is going to be inventory. Yes there are certain types of inventory that we have an excess of, but generally thats the crap inventory. There is tight inventory on the sorts of things most buyers are looking for, and a paucity of value purchases. So if sellers are realistic and buyers are looking for more than just the steals then we'll see a reasonable level of activity, if not - well, we'll find out,