Stay Connected

Twitter Facebook Linked In Follow Me on Pinterest


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Home Sales Shift to Sellers’ Market in Many Areas of U.S.

Home Sales Shift to Sellers’ Market in Many Areas of U.S.

Existing-home sales edged up in January, while a seller’s market is developing and home prices continue to rise steadily above year-ago levels, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Sales rose in every region but the West, which is the region most constrained by limited inventory.

Total sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops increased 0.4% and were 9.1% above the pace set in January 2012.

Tight inventory is a major factor in the housing market, said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady,” he said. “In fact, buyer traffic is 40% above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly. We’ve transitioned into a seller’s market in much of the country.”

There were 1.74 million existing homes for sale at the end of January, down 4.9% from December. At the rate homes are selling, that’s a 4.2-month supply, down from 4.5 months in December. It’s the lowest supply of homes for sale since April 2005.

“We expect a seasonal rise of inventory this spring, but it may be insufficient to avoid more frequent incidences of multiple bidding and faster-than-normal price growth,” Yun explained.

Median Home Price Rises

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $173,600 in January, up 12.3% from January 2012. That’s the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases, something that last occurred from July 2005 to May 2006. The median price is the point at which half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Distressed homes — foreclosures and short sales — accounted for 23% of January sales, down from 24% in December, and 35% in January 2012. Fourteen percent of January sales were foreclosures and 9% were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 20% below market value in January, while short sales were discounted 12%.

NAR President Gary Thomas said the typical home is selling nearly four weeks faster than it did a year ago. He warned buyers to be careful to strike a balance between moving quickly and protecting themselves by making offers contingent on satisfactory home inspections and loan approvals.

The median time on market for all homes was 71 days in January, down from 73 days in December, and is 28.3% below 99 days in January 2012. Short sales were on the market for a median of 94 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 47 days and non-distressed homes took 75 days. About a third (31%) of all homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month.

Who’s Buying Homes

The NAR data also shows who’s buying homes. The survey found:

  • 30% were bought by first-time buyers

  • 28% were sold to all-cash buyers

  • 19% were sold to investors (the ones doing most of the all-cash deals)

Regional Home Sales and Prices

Across the nation, single-family home sales rose 0.2% and the median existing single-family home sold for $174,100 in January, up 12.6% from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 1.8% nationally in January. The median existing condo price was $169,600 in January, up 9.4% from January 2012.

Those national figures are based on these regional results:

Northeast: Home sales increased 4.8% and were 12.1% above January 2012. The median price was $230,500, up 2.4% from a year ago.

Midwest: Home sales up 3.6% and were 17.2% higher than a year ago. The median price was $131,800, which is 8.6% above January 2012.

South: Home sales increased 1.0% and were 14.0% above January 2012. The median price was $152,100, up 13.4% from a year ago.

West: Home sales fell 5.7% and were 5.7% below a year ago, but the median price rose a whopping 26.6% from last January to $239,800.

Source: NAR

No comments:

Post a Comment