Sellers, keep up the good work!! Buyers, adjust your expectations accordingly!!
The fourth quarter saw the average listing discount, measured from the
last list price change to contract price, drop from 4% in the third quarter to 2.8%. The drop in the listing discount seems to show that sellers are pricing closer to market levels rather than being tougher to negotiate with. This idea seems to be supported by the drop in the listing discount from the original list price to contract date. This indicator fell from 9.3% in the third quarter to 5.5% in the fourth quarter.
Of course, it's just one quarter and the prior two fourth quarters also saw large declines. But the difference this time is inventory fell, too, and the number of sales increased (not shown), which seems to support the idea that there may be less friction between buyers and sellers going forward.
[J. Miller - Jan. 25, 2007]