RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Home Sales

Existing-Home Sales Constrained by Tight Supply in May, Prices Continue to Gain

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012) – Limited supplies of housing inventory held back existing-home sales in May, but sales maintained a strong lead over year-ago levels and home prices are on a sustained uptrend in all regions, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million in May from 4.62 million in April, but are 9.6 percent above the 4.15 million-unit pace in May 2011.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said inventory shortages in certain areas have been building all year. “The slight pullback in monthly home sales is more likely due to supply constraints rather than softening demand. The normal seasonal upturn in inventory did not occur this spring,” he said. “Even with the monthly decline, home sales have moved markedly higher with 11 consecutive months of gains over the same month a year earlier.”

There are broad-based shortages of inventory in the lower price ranges in much of the country except the Northeast, and in the West supply is extremely tight in all price ranges except for the upper end. “Realtors® in Western states have been calling for an expedited process to get additional foreclosed properties onto the market because they have more buyers than available property,” Yun added. Widespread inventory shortages also are found in much of Florida.

Total housing inventory at the end of May slipped 0.4 percent to 2.49 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.6-month supply2 at the current sales pace; there was a 6.5-month supply in April. Listed inventory is 20.4 percent below a year ago when there was a 9.1-month supply. Unsold inventory has trended down from a record 4.04 million in July 2007; supplies reached a cyclical peak of 12.1 months in July 2010.

“The recovery is occurring despite excessively tight credit conditions and higher downpayment requirements, which are negating the impact of record high affordability conditions,” Yun said.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage declined to a record low 3.80 percent in May from 3.91 percent in April; the rate was 4.64 percent in May 2011; recordkeeping began in 1971.

The national median existing-home price3 for all housing types rose 7.9 percent to $182,600 in May from a year ago, the third consecutive month of year over year price gains. The last time there were three back-to-back price increases from the same month a year earlier was from March to May of 2006. “Some of the price gain results from a shrinking share distressed homes in the sales mix,” Yun explained.

Distressed homes4 – foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts – accounted for 25 percent of May sales (15 percent were foreclosures and 10 percent were short sales), down from 28 percent in April and 31 percent in May 2011. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 19 percent below market value in May, while short sales were discounted 14 percent.

NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, offers advice to buyers in markets with limited supply. “We are hearing a lot about multiple bidding and quick sales in areas with tight supply, with competition between first-time buyers and cash investors, who have a significant advantage,” he said.
“It’s extremely important to listen to the advice of your agent and perform all the due diligence that you would normally do in a more balanced market, such as making offers contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection,” Veissi said.

First-time buyers accounted for 34 percent of purchasers in May, compared with 35 percent in April and 36 percent in May 2011.

All-cash sales slipped to 28 percent of transactions in May from 29 percent in April; they were 30 percent in May 2011. Investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in May, down from 20 percent in April and 19 percent in May 2011. “These figures reflect a modest increase in traditional repeat home buyers in May,” Yun said.

Single-family home sales slipped 1.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.05 million in May from 4.09 million in April, but are 10.4 percent above the 3.67 million-unit level in May 2011. The median existing single-family home price was $182,900 in May, up 7.7 percent from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 500,000 in May from 530,000 in April, but are 4.2 percent higher than the 480,000-unit pace one year ago. The median existing condo price was $180,000 in May, which is 8.8 percent above May 2011.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 4.8 percent to an annual level of 590,000 in May but are 7.3 percent higher than May 2011. The median price in the Northeast was $250,700, up 3.8 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 1.0 percent in May to a pace of 1.04 million and are 19.5 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $147,700, up 6.4 percent from May 2011.

In the South, existing-home sales slipped 0.6 percent to an annual level of 1.78 million in May but are 9.2 percent higher May 2011. The median price in the South was $159,700, up 7.8 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 3.4 percent to an annual pace of 1.14 million in May but are 3.6 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $233,900, up 13.4 percent from May 2011. “The sharp price increase in the West results largely from more sales at the upper end of the market,” Yun explained.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Advertisements

April Existing Homes Sales Up, Prices Rise Again

Posted on

April Existing-Home Sales Up, Prices Rise Again

 

WASHINGTON (May 22, 2012) – Existing-home sales rose in April and remain above a year ago, while home prices continued to rise, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The improvements in sales and prices were broad based across all regions.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million in April from a downwardly revised 4.47 million in March, and are 10.0 percent higher than the 4.20 million-unit level in April 2011.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing recovery is underway.  “It is no longer just the investors who are taking advantage of high affordability conditions.  A return of normal home buying for occupancy is helping home sales across all price points, and now the recovery appears to be extending to home prices,” he said.  “The general downtrend in both listed and shadow inventory has shifted from a buyers’ market to one that is much more balanced, but in some areas it has become a seller’s market.”

Total housing inventory at the end of April rose 9.5 percent to 2.54 million existing homes available for sale, a seasonal increase which represents a 6.6-month supply2 at the current sales pace, up from a 6.2-month supply in March.  Listed inventory is 20.6 percent below a year ago when there was a 9.1-month supply; the record for unsold inventory was 4.04 million in July 2007.

“A diminishing share of foreclosed property sales is helping home values.  Moreover, an acute shortage of inventory in certain markets is leading to multiple biddings and escalating price conditions,” Yun said. He notes some areas with tight supply include the Washington, D.C., area; Miami; Naples, Fla.; North Dakota; Phoenix; Orange County, Calif.; and Seattle.  “We expect stronger price increases in most of these areas.”

The national median existing-home price3 for all housing types jumped 10.1 percent to $177,400 in April from a year ago; the March price showed an upwardly revised 3.1 percent annual improvement.  “This is the first time we’ve had back-to-back price increases from a year earlier since June and July of 2010 when the gains were less than one percent,” Yun said.  “For the year we’re looking for a modest overall price gain of 1.0 to 2.0 percent, with stronger improvement in 2013.”

Distressed homes4 – foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts – accounted for 28 percent of April sales (17 percent were foreclosures and 11 percent were short sales), down from 29 percent in March and 37 percent in April 2011.  Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 21 percent below market value in April, while short sales were discounted 14 percent.

NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, said home buyers should look into financing in the early stages of their search process.  “With the tight lending environment it’s a good idea to consult with a Realtor® about mortgages and program options in your area, and tips for boosting your credit score well in advance of making an offer on a home,” he said.  “It helps to go into the process knowing what it takes to succeed.”

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.91 percent in April from 3.95 percent in March; the rate was 4.84 percent in April 2011.  Last week the 30-year fixed rate dropped to a record weekly low of 3.79 percent; recordkeeping began in 1971.

First-time buyers rose to 35 percent of purchasers in April from 33 percent in March; they were 36 percent in April 2011.

All-cash sales fell to 29 percent of transactions in April from 32 percent in March; they were 31 percent in April 2011.  Investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 20 percent of homes in April, compared with 21 percent in March and 20 percent in April 2011.

Single-family home sales rose 3.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.09 million in April from 3.97 million in March, and are 9.9 percent higher than the 3.72 million-unit pace a year ago.  The median existing single-family home price was $178,000 in April, up 10.4 percent from April 2011.

Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 6.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000 in April from 500,000 in March, and are 10.4 percent above the 480,000-unit level in April 2011.  The median existing condo price was $172,900 in April, which is 8.1 percent above a year ago.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 5.1 percent to an annual level of 620,000 in April and are 19.2 percent higher than a year ago.  The median price in the Northeast was $256,600, up 8.8 percent from April 2011.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 1.0 percent in April to a pace of 1.03 million and are 14.4 percent above April 2011.  The median price in the Midwest was $141,400, up 7.4 percent from a year ago.

In the South, existing-home sales rose 3.5 percent to an annual level of 1.79 million in April and are 6.5 percent higher than a year ago.  The median price in the South was $153,400, up 8.0 percent from April 2011.

Existing-home sales in the West increased 4.4 percent to an annual pace of 1.18 million in April and are 7.3 percent above April 2011.  The median price in the West was $221,700, a surge of 15.9 percent from a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

NOTE:  For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services.  Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodolo

Home Sales Show Upward Trend

Existing-home sales continued on an uptrend in December, rising for three consecutive months and remaining above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The latest monthly data shows total existing-home sales1 rose 5.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million in December from a downwardly revised 4.39 million in November, and are 3.6 percent higher than the 4.45 million-unit level in December 2010. The estimates are based on completed transactions from multiple listing services that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said these are early signs of what may be a sustained recovery. “The pattern of home sales in recent months demonstrates a market in recovery,” he said. “Record low mortgage interest rates, job growth and bargain home prices are giving more consumers the confidence they need to enter the market.”

%d bloggers like this: