The definition of ‘recovery’ from my handy dandy Iphone app: “restoration or return to any former and better state or condition”.  The results are in, and despite some starts and fits to what might be deemed improvement, we have not yet reached what might be deemed a recovery.

After posting gains in the number of sales during October, November and December, sales during January were again down, although ever so slightly.  This means that the number of sales in January 2010 were at the lowest levels for any month that can be searched using IRES’s historical online data.  Not quite the classical definition of recovery.

Statistics are by nature backward looking and sometimes the past is too negative for an optimistic person like me.  So, before I move on, and talk about the present, I’d like to give an ever so brief report on the major trends in the local real estate market.  Through January, sales continue to struggle and prices are trending downward (although slightly) for the first time in decades.

Now to what I am seeing happening right now in the market.  Just after the New Year, buyers started breaking hibernation early and decided that looking at houses would be a good thing to do.  Since January showings have been robust and starting late January buyers started making offers. Right now 15% of the 2,600 residential listings in Boulder County are under contract.  398 units, not too bad.

Last year we had a late start to our selling market.  Not much happened during the first quarter.  This year, because of the tax credit, the opposite is true.  I expect the number of sales for the next few months to exceed 2009.  We are off to a quick start, but the lingering question on my mind is how strong the market will be after April 30th.  With the scheduled expiration of the tax credit possibly coinciding with the end of the Fed buying of mortgage back securities (see interest rates – rising); we will have a stern test as to the strength of our short lived recovery.  I will keep you posted.

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