Archive for the ‘Housing Analysis’ Category

Existing Home Sales (Feb 2010 - Feb 2011)Existing Home Sales fell 10 percent last month, according to a report from the National Association of REALTORS®.

On an annual basis, 4.88 million homes were sold in February — the first time annualized home resales dropped below 5,000,000 since November 2010.

An “existing home” is one that’s not considered new construction.

And it’s not just sales volume that’s down. Home inventory is higher, too. At the current pace of sales, the number of months needed to sell the complete home resale inventory rose by 1.1 months, to 8.6 months nationally.

It’s the biggest one-month jump in supply since July 2010 — the month after last year’s federal home buyer tax credit program expired.

The data is somewhat unexpected, too. NAR’s Pending Home Sales report is a reliable predictor for the housing market and, based on recent findings, home sales were projected to climb in February. It’s unclear why they didn’t.

Regardless, the February sales data reveals an interesting breakdown by buyer-type. Notably, the percentage of first-time home buyers in the market grew by more than any other segment.

  • First-time home buyers : 34% of all sales, +5% from January
  • Repeat buyers : 47% of all sales, -1% from January
  • Real estate investors : 19% of all sales, -4% from January

Cash buyers represented 33 percent of all sales, up 1 tick from the month prior.

For Peoria home buyers, February’s Existing Home Sales data suggests more home supply and lower home prices this spring. However, rising mortgage rates could eliminate the monthly savings attributed to falling home values.

To get the most from your mortgage-buying dollar, lock while rates are low.

Advertisements

Housing Starts (March 2009 - Feb 2011)Single-family housing starts plunged unexpectedly last month. Nationwide, starts fell 12 percent from the month prior; and 29 percent from February of last year.

February’s figures represents the worst 1-month drop in housing starts since May 2010 — the month that followed the expiration of last year’s federal home buyer tax credit — and puts single-family housing starts at a 24-month low.

In addition, single-family Building Permits plunged last month, too, shedding 9 percent from January. A building permit is a local government’s certification and approval to begin home construction.

Housing permits are an excellent forward-indicator for the housing market. This is because 93 percent of homes start construction within 60 days of permit-issuance. Fewer permits, therefore, directly reduces the number of new homes coming to market in the coming months.

For home buyers in Peoria looking at new construction or existing homes, this news should create a sense of urgency.

Home prices are based on supply and demand and overall home supply looks headed for a fall. Plus, with mortgage rates retreating and homebuilders projecting higher sales this summer, buyers may face rising home prices before long.

Sellers look poised to regain negotiation leverage.

For now, though, home affordability remains high with properties inexpensive and mortgage rates still low, historically. If you plan to buy a home in 2011, the February 2011 Housing Starts data may be reason to move up your time frame.

With home supplies dropping, prices are likely to rise.

NAHB Housing Market Index (April 2009-March 2011)Homebuilders are optimistic about the housing market this spring, relative to recent months.

According to the monthly Housing Market Index as published by the National Association of Homebuilders, after 4 straight months of reading 16, March homebuilder confidence ticked 1 point higher to 17.

It’s the highest confidence reading in 10 months.

A value of 50 or better indicates “favorable conditions” for home builders; with more builders viewing sales conditions as “good” than “poor”.

HMI hasn’t read higher than 50 since April 2006.

Regionally, the Housing Market Index showed mixed results. Confidence fell 1 point in the Northeast, held firm in the Midwest, and rose in the Southeast and West regions by 2 points and 4 points, respectively.

As an index, the monthly survey is actually a composite of three separate homebuilder surveys — a report on single-family sales; a report on current buyer foot traffic; and a projection for single family sales in the next 6 months.

March’s HMI breakdown shows that builders expect sales to be brisk over the next few months. Projected Single-Family Sales is running at its highest level since May 2010 — right as the $8,000 federal homebuyer tax credit was ending.

  • Single-Family Sales : 17 (Unchanged from February)
  • Buyer Foot Traffic : 12 (Unchanged from January)
  • Projected Single-Family Sales : 27 (+2 from February)

For home buyers in Scottsdale and across the country , the March Housing Market Index may signal the end of “builder discounts” and free upgrades. As home sales increase, builders are often less likely to make concessions.

In conjuction with rising mortgage rates and new, mandatory loan costs, buying a newly-built home may never be as inexpensive as it is right now.

If you expect to buy a newly-built home this year, consider moving up your time frame. The longer you wait, the more it may cost you.