Re/max reports strong start to home sales season
In February, both home sales and prices rose higher than a year ago, according to a Re/Max National Housing Report issued recently.
After a decisive housing turnaround in 2012, this year looks to improve on recovering market trends, it states. With data representing 52 metropolitan areas, the February Re/Max National Housing Report shows home sales 2.3 percent greater than February 2012 and a median price 7 percent higher.
Still a concern is the number of available homes for sale, which continues to shrink, turning the market more favorable to sellers. Home inventory fell 29.2 percent from last year, resulting in a 4.8-month supply. In only the second month of the year, real estate agents are already seeing renewed consumer interest and are HxSHFWLnJ LnFrHDVHG WrDIfiF Ln the next few months.
As home prices recover in 2013, more homeowners will achieve positive equity and the number of foreclosures should be reduced. The current recovery has not yet brought housing back to pre-crisis levels, but appears on its way to a more stable and sustainable environment.
“It’s clear that the housing recovery is real and is moving full-speed ahead into 2013,” said Margaret helly, CEl of Re/Max LLC. “Consumers recognize that we’ve hit the bottom, and real estate is offering some great opportunities with low prices and low interest rates. This is an attractive combination that most of us will never see again in our lifetimes.” Median Sales Price The median price in February was A160,500, which was 3.5 percent above the price in January, and 7 percent higher than the median price in February 2012. For 13 months in a row, the median price has been higher than in the same month of the previous year. Prices are FOHDrOy EHnHfiWLnJ IrRP WKH reduced number of homes listed for sale. lnly four metro areas recorded a drop in sales price: Los Angeles, Calif. -8.7 percent, Hartford, Conn. -7.2 percent, Trenton, N.J. -3 percent and Anchorage, Alaska -2.1 percent. However, a total of 48 met- ros saw year-over-year price increases, with 21 reporting double-digit increases, including: Atlanta, da. +50 percent, Detroit, Mich. +40.2 percent, San Francisco, Calif. +35.9 percent, Las Vegas, Nev. +32.4 percent, Phoenix, Ariz. +30.1 percent, and Miami, Fla. +23.1 percent. Transactions Closed transactions for the 52 metro areas included in the February report showed a 0.9percent increase over January sales and a 2.3percent rise over home sales in February 2012. February is the 20th month in a row with sales higher than the same month in the previous year. “Move-up” buyers now appear to be outnumberLnJ LnvHVWRrV DnG firVW-WLPH buyers, marking a return to a more traditional market makeup. lf the 52 metro areas surveyed in the February Re/Max National Housing Report, 29 reported higher sales than February 2012, and 10 reported double-digit gains over last February’s sales, including: Boise, Idaho +21.6 percent, Burlington, Vt. +15.4 percent, Las Vegas, Nev. +14.1 percent, Phoenix, Ariz. +14 percent, Houston, Texas +11.4 percent, and Raleigh and Durham, N.C. +11.2percent. Inventory Compared to January, February saw a 2.7percent reduction in the number of homes listed for sale. A month-to-month loss of inventory has now occurred for 14 straight months. February’s inventory also fell 29.1 percent from one year ago. To a large extent, rising prices can be attributed to a shrinking inventory, but fewer homes on the market can limit buyers’ choices and slow the recovery.
With the February rate of home sales, the average Months Supply was 4.8, nearly unchanged from the 5-month supply in January, but much lower than the 6.6-month supply in February 2012. Extremely low supply levels continue to be seen in cities like: San Francisco, Calif. 1.1, Denver, Colo. 1.6, Washington, D.C. 2.0, San Diego, Calif. 2.1, lrlando, Fla. 2.1, Seattle, Wash. 2.1, Boise, Idaho 2.5, Detroit, Mich. 2.5, and Los Angeles, Calif. 3.0.