Tag Archive | "Housing Market"

Sales of Preowned Houses Drop, Prices Go Up Due to Lack of Inventory

Lack of Housing Inventory

Sales of previously owned homes dropped in December from November, but the national median home prices rose to it’s highest best price in seven years.

With all that said, 4.65 million homes were sold for all of 2012, up from 9.2% in 2011, the most in five years and a sign that the housing market is slowly taking steps toward recovery.

“This isn’t worrisome at all,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, who projected a drop to a 4.95 million annual rate. “For the first time in a while, it looks like it’s a sellers’ market as much as it’s a buyers’ market. I suspect prices and sales will go up again in 2013.”

“We remain convinced that the housing recovery is well under way and should continue through 2013,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG, an institutional brokerage.

Meanwhile, only 1.82 million homes were listed for sale in December, according to the National Association of Realtors. That is a 22 percent drop from a year ago and the lowest supply since May of 2005.

“The greatest concern in the market is the inventory situation,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR. “Even if we see an increase in the Spring and Summer, if home sales hold at the current level or even a 5 to 6-month supply, price increases are guaranteed. We don’t want to see rapid appreciation in prices faster than income.”

First-time home buyers, who are the crucial to the housing recovery, made up only 30 percent of sales in December. Banks have started to make tighter credit standards and also requiring larger down payments since the housing bust, six years ago. That means the buyers that are “would-be buyers” aren’t able to qualify for even the lowest mortgage rates.

The rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage averaged 3.66 percent in 2012, the lowest annual average in 65 years, according to Freddie Mac.

“Record low mortgage interest rates clearly are helping many home buyers, but tight inventory and restrictive mortgage underwriting standards are limiting sales,” the Realtors group’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said in a news release.

Sales for expensive houses priced at $1 million or more rose 62 percent in 2012. While the sales of homes below $100,000 fell 17 percent.

The median price of an existing home rose to $180,800 in December 2012, up 11.5 percent from $162,200 in December 2011. It was the biggest year-over-year gain since November 2005.

“The only concern going into 2013 is the inventory situation,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a news conference as the figures were released. “Price increases are almost guaranteed going into 2013,” Yun said, adding that the group’s projection of a 4 percent to 5 percent increase this year may be exceeded.

How to play the 2013 housing market

2013 could bring on more home price appreciation and changes in the popular mortgage interest tax deduction.

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Has the Housing Market Hit Rock Bottom? Your Answer Depends on Where You Live

As one can expect, the topic of housing market recovery has dominated conversations about the economy for the last few years. The housing market’s health has a tremendous influence on a variety of industries, making it a major determining factor for the health of the economy as a whole.

There has been quite a bit of debate over the last few months as to whether or not the residential real estate market has already bottomed out. The debate is largely due to the fact that the claim that the market has hit its bottom has been made so many times, only to have prices and sales fall even further.

The truth is that there are more signs than ever before that the market has, in fact, hit its true bottom. Many experts believe that, nationwide, the market has already reached its bottom, and is now in the middle of a very long and gradual recovery. Recovery will most certainly not take place overnight at the national level, and many predict that a noticeable increase won’t take place for another year.

Some markets, however, are still facing declining sales and prices, which has led some experts to question whether it can be said that the market has officially bottomed out. At the same time, there are some areas that are already seeing major gains in pricing and sales. The reality is that the overall state of the housing market truly depends on the city or state being analyzed.

While the market at the national level has shown signs of having already bottomed out, its health at local levels truly varies from city to city and state to state.

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United States Housing Market Enjoys a Fruitful Spring

The spring season has been a positive one for the residential real estate market. With record-low mortgage rates, and bargain prices on most properties, buying a home is starting to look like a more attractive, and incredibly affordable option for investors, couples, and families.

In fact, many economists believe that the current spring season will likely be the strongest that the market has seen since crashing five to six years ago. An improving housing market is very good news for the economy as a whole. As home sales increase, sales and profits in other industries will as well. With the residential property market in its most affordable state ever, it should come as no surprise that first-time homebuyers have been making a serious push to enter the market.

Home sales are up by more than ten percent in many areas of the country, and are expected to significantly outpace expectations for the remainder of the year. Many realtors are reporting that each home listed for sale is receiving multiple bids, which are driving the prices upward. For the first time in years, demand is exceeding supply.

While the market is certainly showing promising signs of health, the market is still far off where it was during the peak of the housing bubble. Home prices are still less than half of what they were during those peak months.

Even though the market still hasn’t reached its peak state, there is much to be excited about regarding its health. The fact that inventory levels are recovering across the nation is a good indication that the improvement will continue for months to come.

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Housing Market Struggles Globally

The housing market worldwide has struggled as a whole throughout 2012. While residential real estate markets in some nations have flourished, the majority of markets have tumbled either due to adverse market conditions or government regulations.

Only a third of all reporting countries reported an increase in home values throughout the year. The remaining two thirds either saw prices remain flat, or decline. The declines varied in severity, with some nations posting absolutely horrific numbers, while others remained relatively flat with a decline of less than three percent.

The markets posting increases were led by Brazil and India. Prices in major Indian cities rose by nearly twenty-five percent. In major cities in Brazil, prices jumped by approximately twenty percent. Austria and Estonia led European countries with increases near ten percent. Norway and Switzerland were not far off, as each posted increases that were greater than five percent.

The United States posted its first increase in a few years, rising by approximately a half of a percentage point. The United States market has varied tremendously from city to city. Some cities like Miami have posted incredible gains. Others continue to see declines in pricing and sales. Economists believe the market in the United States will start to see greater increases in the next year and a half.

Of the markets experiencing declines, Ireland has exhibited the worst performance. Prices fell by almost twenty percent in the last year. Oversupply and severely tightened credit has been a major factor in causing the decline. Greece and Spain also posted declines that were greater than ten percent.

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Housing Double-Dip Possible in the United States?

Despite the recent positive outlook given to the United States, the latest data indicates that home prices once again decreased nationwide. The most recent decrease brought housing prices to levels that hadn’t been seen in the last decade.

Despite the disheartening news of yet another decline, some economists are still relatively upbeat about the market. These economists are citing the fact that the most recent decline was not nearly as significant as those that most recently came before it.

Those economists believe that the market is, indeed, likely to hit rock bottom in the coming months, and that recovery will begin soon after that moment. Despite that optimism, many have become disenchanted with the idea of recovery, as it has lost any momentum it had gained in the last month or two. Europe’s unstable situation also has made investors worried enough to keep a cautious eye on the potential impact of the situation.

Cities such as Atlanta, Chicago and New York all hit new lows during the latest quarterly report. Only three cities in total posted declines in home values from one year ago: Atlanta, Detroit, and Chicago. On the other hand, the following cities posted gains over last year’s numbers: Phoenix, Miami, Detroit, Dallas, Charlotte, and Denver.

With some cities experiencing strong gains, it is becoming evident that the market is recovering in patches. In certain areas, the market is rapidly regaining strength. On the other hand, it is still struggling to stay afloat in other areas. The areas that are performing well in the current market are those that were hit the hardest during the housing crisis.

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Housing Market Showing Signs of Growth in Spring Months

Economists believe that this year’s Spring season in the residential real estate market may be the strongest it has been since the housing crash six years ago. With depressed prices all around the country, record-low mortgage rates, and the strong possibility that the market is finally on the path to recovery, many potential homeowners are starting to take advantages.

The number of total housing sales is up by more than ten percent from one year ago. Many believe that the market may finish the year up by more than fifteen percent. Many areas are finally starting to see bidding wars take place on homes. Sales inventory levels are down, as homes are selling at a far more rapid rate than they have in the past.

For the first time in six years, there are more buyers than sellers. It is for that reason that residential real estate prices are starting to increase. Despite the bidding wars, prices are still only a fraction of what they were at the peak of the housing bubble seven years ago.

Even areas that were hit particularly hard by the recession are reporting positive, albeit small, growth in their real estate market.

While increasing housing prices are a good sign of recovery, one of the most significant signs is the dwindling supply. The number of homes in inventory nationwide has dropped by a nine-month supply to a six-month supply in the last year. As the number of available homes decreases, sales prices will increase and the market will show positive growth.

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United States Housing Market Slowly Becoming Favorable for Sellers

For the better part of the last five years, sellers were fortunate to have received one serious bid on their home. That trend, however, is starting to change, and the market is gradually moving back to favoring the seller. Residential real estate properties in many cities in the United States are seeing homes receive multiple offers. In some areas, bidding wars are starting to take place as the total amount of sales inventory dwindles.

There are a number of factors contributing to the declining inventories. In many areas, sellers are still opting to wait on selling their property. Home values are still down relative to where they were when many homeowners made their initial purchase. In fact, there are still a significant number of homeowners that are facing underwater mortgages. Additionally, the number of foreclosure resales has dropped significantly, as banks look for alternative means of offloading delinquent and repossessed homes.

Investors have predominantly made up the majority of the buyers in the last two months. They are looking to take advantage of the low prices and record low mortgage rates. In fact, economists have been calling the current market one of the most affordable in history. Many of these investors plan to first rent out the homes with the intentions of selling them when the market truly begins to get hot.

Some residential real estate markets in the United States are reporting that their total inventory has fallen below the six-month supply norm. Nearly half of the leading markets in the United States have an inventory supply of less than three months.

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United States Housing Market Experiences Slow Growth

The residential real estate market in the United States continues to experience growth, albeit very slow growth. The potential for strong growth in the country took a strong hit over the last week, as the stock market took a very big hit. In fact, the market has dropped more than eight hundred points in the last three weeks.

The rapidly declining European economy is one of the main causes of the Wall Street decline. Economists believe that the possibility of greater decline in Europe is actually the biggest threat faced by the United States residential real estate market.

Despite the troubled stock market and fears that a European crisis could drastically impact the United States economy, the housing market has slowly snuck by and continued its snail-like growth. Economists believe that positive numbers within the residential real estate market will be announced over the next week.

As of right now, residential real estate sales are roughly five percent higher than they were last year. While the numbers continue to improve over last year, they are still well behind where they were prior to the recession. That, however, should not come as a surprise.

The majority of buyers in the market are currently looking for investment homes that can be used as rentals, and then eventually flipped when the market is far stronger than it is currently.

There are some economists that are not as optimistic about the state of the housing market despite its consistent improvement throughout the year. They believe the global economic situation may have a greater impact than some would like to admit

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Australian Real Estate and US Housing Markets May Weaken

While most economists believe that the United States residential real estate market will continue to post slight gains throughout the year, some well-respected experts are not exactly confident that such an increase will be seen. In fact, one top economist believes that the United States housing market will see growth prevented by such conditions as the tightening of credit, poor inventory levels, and overall uncertainty with respect to housing values.

The United States housing market is the not the only one expected to stagnate in the coming year, according to some key economists. Some believe that Australia will also face a relatively stagnant performance over the next twelve months. Construction in Australia has declined, and will likely continue to do so despite actions being taken by the government to boost the market.

There are a number of different factors influencing the residential real estate markets in both countries. In the United States, the biggest threat currently resides in the potential European economic crisis. Many are watching to see if Greece separates itself from the rest of the continent by rejecting use of the Euro. If that does happen, many fear that the stock market will take a massive hit.

Any kind of negative impact on Wall Street as a result of the European issue could negatively impact the housing market, as investors will have lost out on a great deal of discretionary income.

After years of growth, Australia’s market is finally leveling off causing prices to come back down to realistic levels. There has been no clear sign yet as to whether the country will face a housing crisis, or if the current decline is simply a correction in pricing.

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US Housing Market Growth Is Strongest It’s Been in Four Years

US Housing Market Growth Is Strongest It’s Been in Four Years

Signs continue to point to recovery for the United States housing market. As construction on new homes increased in April, the overall residential real estate market continued to grow in strength.

Builder confidence is the highest its been since mid-2007. The number of housing starts jumped up nearly three percent in April after increasing again in March. The figures for both March and April easily exceeded the original expectations. Economists and builders both expect the trend of growth to continue into future months.

While multi-family homes are dominating the pre-existing residential real estate market, single-family homes are doing exceptionally well on the new construction market. Total new construction for single-family homes was up more than two percent in April when compared to March. The numbers are up nineteen percent from where they were a year ago.

Although confidence is growing, and the market has shown great signs of improvement, economists do warn that it is still in a slump. The residential real estate market hit its bottom this year. While it is expected to see some growth in 2012, it will likely be minimal at best.

Should the residential real estate market continue to gradually improve as expected, other industries will benefit immensely. Not only will housing construction see an increase, but retailers selling raw materials will also reap excellent benefits. Most experts believe that the residential property market will be a contributor to the growth of the economy in the United States for the first time in a few years.

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