March home sales figures are in and they are disappointing. Only 62 homes were sold in Oneida and Vilas Counties in the month of March. This compares with 87 homes in February and 56 homes in January. 69 homes were sold in March of 2012 so that is 10% drop from last year. However, sales dropped 40% from February to March.
Only 47 homes were sold in March 2011, 44 in March of 2010 and 40 units of March of 2009. So, the disappointing March figures may not be a cause for panic. We had a very strong February and I really believed the momentum would keep rolling. Showing activity appears to be above average despite of the poor weather.
Why the disappointing sales in March? I can only guess that the poor weather played a factor. March of 2012 was exceptionally warm and most lakes were open by March 22 and all of the snow was gone. It is a vastly different story this year with over 18” of snow still on the ground and over 15” of ice on the lakes. Ice-out will be very late this year with most lakes not opening up until the last week of April.
Inventory is also an issue as lake homes below $350K are in demand and supply is short.
I am hoping for a break in the weather to help us back to the nice positive trend we were building.