Prospects of Condominiums Comeback Are High

Condo sales have been on a roller coaster ride in recent years, as the recession hit the sector hard. But is the country ready for a condo revival?

“Condo sales moved sideways several years after the recession before picking up steam again in 2013,” CoreLogic Deputy Chief Economist Sam Khater writes on the company’s blog. “This year, it continues to rebound and currently accounts for 12.3 percent of all sales in 2014.”

As of June 2013, 22 of the 25 top condo markets reported rises in sales compared to prior years. But interest-rate rises in the second half of 2013 caused sales to cool off somewhat, similar to what occurred in the overall market. By June 2014, only 14 of those same markets were showing increases year-over-year, CoreLogic reports.

Housing analysts are optimistic the condo market is poised for a big rebound, particularly since the largest cohort in the U.S. is the 20-to-24 age group.

“This specific age cohort might currently be driving today’s rental market, but they will likely be driving the first-time home buyer and condo markets over the next five to 10 years, driving demand for newly built condos,” Khater notes. “That demand is heavily needed in the market now, given that newly built condos were hit harder in the last housing downturn than newly constructed homes overall.”

Source: “The Long-Term Rising of Condo Sales,” CoreLogic (Sept. 30, 2014)

Foreclosure Pipeline Gradually Being Cleared

As the foreclosure crisis continues to recede, some parts of the country remain at elevated levels. Five states now account for nearly half of all the completed foreclosures in the nation —Florida, Michigan, California, Texas, and Georgia, according to CoreLogic’s latest foreclosure report.

Foreclosures made up 10 percent of sales in December, while short sales comprised 4 percent of sales, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ existing-home sales report for December

On average, foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18 percent below market value in December, while short sales were discounted 13 percent, NAR reports.

CoreLogic reported this week that completed foreclosures fell 14 percent in December year-over-year.

Inventories are also falling. About 837,000 homes in the United States in December were in some state of foreclosure or known as foreclosure inventory, compared with 1.2 million in December 2012 – a 31 percent year-over-year decrease, CoreLogic notes.

“Clearly, 2013 was a transitional year for residential property in the United States,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Higher home prices and lower shadow inventory levels, together with a slowly improving economy, are hopeful signals that we are turning a long-awaited corner. The housing market should continue to heal in 2014, but we expect progress to remain very slow.”

By REALTOR® Magazine Daily News