Re/max re­ports strong start to home sales sea­son

North Penn Life - - Real Estate -

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.

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