Existing-Home Sales Reach Decade High

Existing-home sales in January reached their fastest pace in nearly a decade, with all major regions except the Midwest posting gains last month, the National Association of REALTORS® reports.

Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—rose 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million in January. That’s 3.8 percent higher than a year ago and marks the strongest month since February 2007, according to the NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

The REALTORS® Affordability Distribution Curve and Score, a new measurement of homebuying activity created by NAR and realtor.com®, revealed that the combination of higher mortgage rates and home prices made active listings less affordable for households in more than half of all states last month.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

 

Boomers’ Demand Shifts ‘Could Change Real Estate’

The aging of the nation’s Baby Boomer population could reshape the United States’ residential real estate market and economy in the coming years. As members of this demographic get older, many will move out of the houses where they raised families and downsize into smaller, cozier apartments, condominiums, and townhouses.

This is a normal transition for people of such age, but it represents a potentially massive shift in the nation’s housing demand. Based on demographic trends, the nation should see a stronger rebound in multifamily construction than in single-family construction in the years to come.

Kansas City Fed senior economist Jordan Rappaport writes: “By the end of the decade, multifamily construction is likely to peak at a level nearly two-thirds higher than its highest annual level during the 1990s and 2000s.”

At the same time, the shift from single-family dwellings to multifamily housing will almost certainly have implications for fiscal policy, monetary-policy analysis, and possibly even local zoning codes. Rappaport comments, “Suburbs seeking to retain aging households may need to re-create a range of these urban amenities and enact some rezoning to encourage multifamily construction.” He adds that the projected shift from single-family homes to apartment, condo, and townhome living will likely put downward pressure on single-family prices.

Source: “Aging Boomers to Boost Demand for Apartments, Condos and Townhouses,” Wall Street Journal (Jan. 7, 2014)

Housing Moves Toward ‘Healthy Equilibrium’

The housing market is finding its center again, showing signs of greater balance, according to realtor.com’s latest National Housing Trend Report. The analysis finds year-over-year trends revealing strong gains in median list prices and declines in days on the market.

The report highlights some of the following progress on four main indicators for the housing market:

  • List prices: The median list price for homes in September dropped slightly but remained 6.4 percent higher than a year ago. More than 20 percent of the 146 markets that the realtor.com report covers posted year-over-year gains in listing prices of 12 percent or more.
  • Home sales: Sales of single-family homes, condos, and townhomes fell 1.68 percent in September, after six consecutive months of gradual rises.
  • Inventory levels: Inventories were 2.04 percent less in September than year ago levels—“signaling a greater balance between supply and demand,” realtor.com’s report notes.
  • Days on market: The  median age of inventory increased from 92 days to 93 days in September. However, it has fallen by 10.58 percent in the past year, which indicates that homes are selling more quickly, according to the report.

Source: “Housing Market Pushing Further Toward Healthy Equilibrium,” realtor.com (Oct. 16, 2013)

Generational “Home Buying Trends”

At 31 percent, Gen X comprises the largest group of recent home buyers, according to NAR’s Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report released today. Gen Xers were followed in numbers by Gen Y buyers (28 percent), and then younger Baby Boomers (18 percent), older Baby Boomers (14 percent), and the Silent Generation (10 percent). The Greatest Generation, also known as the G.I. Generation, represented less than 1 percent of recent buyers.

The report — a compilation of survey data from 8,501 recent home buyers — also shows that 80 percent of buyers who are aged 57 and younger bought a detached single-family home in 2012. Buyers over 57 are increasingly purchasing townhouses and condos.

The report also found that among all generations of home buyers, the first step in the home buying process is looking online for properties for sale.

Older buyers are less likely to finance their home purchase in comparison to younger buyers; when they do finance, the share of the home they financed is typically smaller.

Survey respondents cited benefits from working with a real estate professional. Among age groups, younger buyers are more likely to want their agent to help them understand the process as they are more likely to have never purchased a home before. Additionally, younger sellers are more likely to use the same real estate agent or broker for their future home purchases than older sellers.

When it comes to selling, Gen X is the largest group who are recent home sellers followed by both younger Baby Boomers and older Baby Boomers, the Silent Generation, and Gen Y. The G.I. Generation represented less than 1 percent of recent sellers.

Source: National Association of Realtors (NAR)

Sacramento Inventory of For Sale Homes Drop 35.92%

The number of homes on the market continues to become a shrinking pool. Inventory of for-sale single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops dropped 20 percent in May compared to year-ago levels, according to data from REALTOR.com of 146 markets.

While inventories were on the decline, the median national list price was on the rise, inching up 3.17 percent in May compared to May 2011.

“These key indicators continue to suggest that the housing market is steadily moving along a path of stabilization and gradual recovery,” Realtor.com notes. Please provide comments about your market area.

Source: Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine, REALTOR.com

Home Inventories Fall? Market Stabilizing?

Our regional real estate market update! Home inventories of for-sale listings continue to fall, which may help raise overall housing prices as demand picks up.

Inventory of for-sale single-family homes dropped by about 18 percent in April . National housing data of 146 metro markets by REALTOR.com also reflects this trend.

“These key indicators continue to suggest the housing market may be at a turning point and headed towards a broad-based recovery,” REALTOR.com notes in a release on its April housing data. “Lower inventories, combined with faster moving markets and relatively stable median listing prices are indicative of the kind of balanced housing market that has not been seen in many years.”

Source: Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Daily News