Reading the housing stats

There has been lots of speculation about the economy and the housing market.  Reading the housing stats, there are a few similarities in today’s housing market compared to that of 2006-2007.  However, there are also many differences. 

Reading the housing stats
Home sale inventory is increasing

Of course, many of you reading the housing stats and bring up that this is as an indication of impending implosion. For example, the National Association of Realtors August 24th press release report on pending home sales indicated that pending home sales “…dropped slightly by 1.0% from June. It was the second straight monthly decline and the eighth in the last nine months.” There are however, regional differences, “Pending sales fell in three of four major regions, with the West posting a small increase. Compared to the prior year, contract signings declined by double digits in each region, with pending sales in the West down 30%.” Pending home sales is a measure of how many homes went under contract during a specified period of time.

Existing-home sales (resale homes) also declined according to the National Association of Realtors.  The NAR August 18th press release reported that existing-home sales “…fell for the sixth consecutive month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million. Sales were down 5.9% from June and 20.2% from one year ago.

Although the contracts and sales are evening out, home prices continue to climb. As reported by the NAR, the median home sale price increased 10.8 percent from the same time last year.  According to National Association of Realtors Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, “Home prices are still rising by double-digit percentages year-over-year, but annual price appreciation should moderate to the typical rate of 5% by the end of this year and into 2023. With mortgage rates expected to stabilize near 6% alongside steady job creation, home sales should start to rise by early next yearThe ongoing sales decline reflects the impact of the mortgage rate peak of 6% in early June. Home sales may soon stabilize since mortgage rates have fallen to near 5%, thereby giving an additional boost of purchasing power to home buyers.

And for those of you who are interested in distressed sales, distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have been essentially unchanged over the last year. July sales comprised about 1% of distressed sales. 

By Dan Krell
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Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

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