United States home prices increased from November 2011 to November 2012 by 5.6 % according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Home prices have continued to grow 0.6% since October 2012 feeding the economy. Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts said, “Rising prices are good news at this point and they are making the difference, it brings in more buyers and sellers and lubricates the housing market. It’s going to stimulate sales.” More here
Home sales dropped last month, but not because demand was lacking. There are fewer homes for sale than at any time in the last 11 years.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, Existing Home Sales for December 2012 fell to a seasonally-adjusted, annualized rate of 4.94 million homes from November’s tally of 4.99 million existing homes.
The Existing Home Sales report is based on the number of closings for previously-owned, single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. It’s estimated that existing homes account for 85 to 90 percent of all home sales nationwide.
2012 was a good year for housing. Sales of existing homes climbed 12.8 percent as compared to the December 2011 tally, which may be a strong indicator of future mortgage originations and short-term demand for home-related goods.
Based on preliminary sales figures, the number of home resales in 2012 grew 9.2 percent to 4.65 million homes as compared to 4.26 million homes sold during 2011. This marks the highest number of home resales sold in 5 years — a time which predates the recession of last decade.
In addition, the median price of a homes resale read $180,800 in December, which is a 11.5 percent increase as compared to December 2011, and the tenth consecutive month of year-over-year median price growth.
Not since November 2005 has the median home resale price climbed this quickly
Furthermore, the supply of existing homes fell to 4.4 months in December, down 0.4 months from November. At the current pace of sales, the national home resale inventory will be sold by June. This is an important statistic because home supply of less than 6.0-months is thought to represent a “seller’s market”.
There are also just 1.82 million existing homes for sale nationwide — the fewest since January 2001, and a 22 percent reduction from one year ago. With buyer demand high and home inventory down, home prices are likely to rise in Minneapolis and nationwide throughout 2013.
The housing market ended last week on a positive note according to Zacks, a leading investment research firm. Housing starts reached their highest point since June 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The U.S Department of Labor reported that initial claims have decreased to their lowest percentage in five years, and the NASDAQ surged 0.3% during the week. More here