July Home Sales: Tri-Cities vs. The Nation

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The headline for this article — New-home sales drop to record low 276,000 yearly rate — freaked out a lot of people, “record low” being the phrase that caused most hearts to skip a beat.

Remember June of this year?  When I posted about the dramatic turn the local market made in May?  As I said then, it doesn’t matter what the results of one month tell us, what matters is what the results of many months in conjunction tell us.

In addition, just one piece of information can seriously mislead.  If you only read that article and nothing else written about July sales, you can come away with a false impression of July’s nationwide real estate market. Quotes like this forecast a gloomy outlook for the rest of the year:

“With shadow inventory, rising foreclosures, little job growth and more stringent access to credit, weak sales will persist and the industry’s headache will linger…”

However, if you read this article, too, we see that sales were up in July.


There’s a magic word in there – pending.  A pending sale is a sale currently in escrow.  It is in the process of closing, becoming final.  Escrow can take anywhere from 30-60 or more days to close.  What the July figure in the second article reflects is that people made offers and they were accepted in July.  The July figure from the first article shows CLOSED sales.  So, the total number of final sales were down, but the number of sales in process rose.  Also, that final sales numbers quoted was for new construction, which is a separate section of the market all its own.

So, now that we’ve taken a look at the nationwide market, let’s focus on some local, Tri-Cities real estate numbers.

Our pending sales are down compared to last year, quite significantly, as a matter of fact: July 2010 pending sales are at 69% of July 2009’s stats!


However, our new construction final sales are up significantly as well.  In July 2010, 605 new homes were sold, which was 33% of the entire sale pie.  In July 2009, only 378 new homes were sold, which was less than a quarter of the total sale pie.



These numbers on their own sound scary and encouraging, respectively.  However, combined in the larger picture of the market, both are actually encouraging.  As I wrote in June –

…we are coming off of a banner January through April. Sales were at, on average, 146% of the same month the year before.

We had great months earlier in the year, and July of 2009 (which July of 2010 as compared to) sported pending sales far higher than any July of the several years preceding.

Read the numbers.  Read ALL the numbers, and then make your decision. If you’re having trouble deciphering any of the numbers in the context of the big picture of Tri-Cities real estate, please give me a call at 509-430-5342.

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About The Author
Cari McGee

My husband and I came to the Tri-Cities in 1994, and we thought it would be a temporary stop on our way to larger cities. He was a television sports anchor at the time, and we planned to go wherever the "next step up" took us. Twenty-plus years later, we're still here and we've loved every minute of it! We have two children now, and we've found the Tri-Cities area is a wonderful place to raise a family. It's a great place to do outdoorsy things -- I like to hike Badger Mountain or run along the river path. I also love reading ... by a cozy fire in the winter or a beautiful picture window in the summer (with the A/C on!). I've been a licensed Realtor since 2004. I earned my managing broker's license in 2016, which means I can run my own brokerage, or create a team of real estate agents and supervise them, which is exactly what I did when I formed the Cari McGee Real Estate Team in 2018! We have administrative and marketing personnel, as well as additional agents to serve you. I became a director of the Tri-Cities Association of Realtors Board of Directors in 2016, became Secretary/Treasurer of the organization, and was elected to Vice President in 2019. Want to talk about real estate? Click here to schedule a meeting with me!

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