2011 year to date sales have increased over 2010 year to date sales in Ada County. This is great news. According to the MLS, 2010 sales through September were 4163 compared to this year sales of 4385. July, August and September were especially good months for sales.

What is driving sales? Low interest rates on loans have helped a lot. First time home buyers can often purchase a larger home than they are renting and have a lower monthly payment. Many people are purchasing investment property because they are cash flowing. We also are seeing a lot of regular (not short sale or bank owned) who want to purchase a move up home and have similar payments that they currently have on a smaller home.

Have sales increased because of an increase of distressed properties on the market? There are still a lot of distressed sales on the market. We are currently seeing distressed property in Ada County accounting for approximately half of all sales. That number has not changed much from 2010. It’s important to note though, that half of the sales in Ada County are regular listings. In analyzing the regular listings, they almost always get a higher dollar per square foot than distressed listings. Furthermore, in certain neighborhoods and price points distressed sales account for a much lower percentage of sales.

If you are curious about the market in a specific area and/or a specific price point, it’s important to have someone help you analyze the sales data for that area. Make sure you work with a real estate professional that can help educate you on the true numbers.