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When last I joined you, I took a look at Island City's single-family home pricing trends. In this segment, we will see what’s been happening with overall sales and inventory levels over time. 

Take a look at Chart One, where I have shown the changes in overall Wilton Manors sales going back to the fourth quarter of 2013. When I look at sales, I look at them on a rolling 12-month or four-quarter basis. Because sales here have a pronounced seasonality (sales from March through mid-summer are usually higher than in the rest of the year), it can be misleading to do otherwise.

Chart 1

For the 12 months (four quarters) ended June 30, there were 173 single-family home sales in Wilton Manors. That’s a decrease of four percent from the same period last year. You can see from the chart that sales have been gradually slowing from a peak of 201 sales in the 12 months ended March 31, 2018. 

Now, you may ask, are sales abnormally low? I would have to say, no – not at this point. Over the six-plus year period covered here, aggregate sales have fluctuated and were as low as 168 in the third quarter of 2014. 

Still, the average over the period has been 187 sales per 12 months. In other words, sales have softened a bit, but are still within normal expectations through the second quarter of 2020. 

Finally, a word on inventory. The seasonality in sales plays havoc with the traditional inventory calculation. Sales are not constant throughout the year (at least not in WilMa), but the traditional inventory calculation used in Official Realtor World implicitly assumes that they are. As a result, the traditional measure is usually too high at the beginning of the high season, and too low toward the end. 

For years I’ve been experimenting to find a statistic that treats the level of inventory at each interval as a leading indicator of expected sales. I still don’t have a measure with which I’m totally comfortable. The best I have come up with so far is shown in the second chart. Even this method generally shows inventory peaks in the first quarter and troughs in the third quarter. 

Chart 2

(Consider the scale as an index, not precisely “months.” I would consider a reading between 6 and 9 as meaning “inventory is balanced.”) 

In my opinion, the long term trendline is most important. That shows inventory in Wilton Manors to be relatively balanced over the study period, perhaps trending up in the most recent timeframe. 

James Oaksun, Florida's Real Estate Geek(SM), is Broker-Owner of New Realty Concepts in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to having degrees from Dartmouth and Cornell, he is a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI).