The National Association of Realtors’ chief economist Lawrence Yun says the housing market has regained stability and expects further gains in 2011. Pointing to positive trends in the overall economy, as well as housing prices, sales, and affordability, Yun predicted existing-home sales will reach 5.5 million units next year, home prices will rise 1.0 percent, and GDP will be up 2.5 percent. Consumer confidence, business spending, and job growth are the keys to continued economic growth and recovery according to Yun. Also, NAR’s U.S. Economic Outlook for October forecasts a significant increase in sales in 2011 and continued improvements for residential construction. More here and here.
Paul Nolte, Managing Director at Dearborn Partners, says, despite excess inventory in the housing market, the overall economy will continue healing at very slow pace.
From July 2009 to June 2010, first-time buyers accounted for 50 percent of all home sales, up from 47 percent in 2009. The 2010 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows a record number of entry-level buyers, largely due to the success of the home buyer tax credit. The survey also found that the typical seller who purchased a home eight years ago experienced a median equity gain of $33,000, a 24 percent increase. Sellers who were in their homes for 11-to-15 years saw a median gain of 40 percent. Vicki Cox Golder, NAR’s president, said despite turmoil in the housing market, most long-term owners saw an increase in the value of their property. 85 percent of buyers said buying a home is a good investment. More here.
Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac, says uncertainty in the foreclosure market will lead to slower sales this quarter, followed by an accelerated rate of activity in the first quarter of 2011.
Robert Shiller, Yale University economics professor and co-founder of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, expects home prices to continue to grow over the next four years, but at a slow pace.
Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors’ chief economist, says job creation numbers are headed in the right direction and that, along with low mortgage rates, will be the key to bringing buyers back to the housing market.
After a slow summer for home sales, the housing market is attempting to return to traditional seasonal trends, according to RE/MAX’s National Housing Report for September. The spring rush to qualify for the homebuyer tax credit caused a summer sales slump but, despite the lull in activity, the month of September saw an increase in signed contracts, stabilizing prices, and a drop in inventory. Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, said slow summer sales were anticipated and increases in signed contracts should translate into sales gains in the months ahead. Also in the report, home prices were up 0.9 percent from 2009 and 33 of the 54 metro areas surveyed showed year-over-year price increases. Inventory of homes on the market fell 2.8 percent in September. More here.
Mark Zandi, co-founder of Moody’s Economy, says growing issues in the foreclosure market may put the housing recovery on hold, but he believes the delay will be weeks rather than years.
Recent home price data shows that, despite the housing crisis, some markets have appreciated over the last seven years. According to the FNC Residential Price Index, which ranks each major metropolitan market according to long-term price appreciation prospects, the 10 cities with the greatest annual appreciation in home prices since 2003 are: Baltimore (up 7 percent), Seattle (up 5.7 percent), Washington D.C. (up 4.5 percent), Los Angeles (up 3.8 percent), Portland (up 3.8 percent), San Antonio (up 3.2 percent), New York (up 3.1 percent), Nashville (up 2.8 percent), St. Louis (up 2.4 percent), and Columbus, OH (up 1.3 percent). The Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report shows the U.S. average for surveyed listings was approximately $353,000. According to the report, the most expensive real-estate market was Newport Beach, Calif.and the most affordable was Detroit, Mich. Jim Gillespie, chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, said homeownership is generally affordable and home buyers have a unique opportunity to take advantage of low mortgage rates and comparatively lower prices. Coldwell data here. More here and here.
According to a recent national housing survey conducted by Fannie Mae, 70 percent of Americans believe it’s a good time to buy a house, up from 64 percent in January. Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist for Fannie Mae, said consumers have mixed views on the housing market. While most Americans believe home prices have bottomed, they’ve adopted a more cautious approach to entering the housing market. The survey, conducted between June 12 and July 14, is meant to assess Americans’ confidence in homeownership as an investment, the current state of their household finances, views of the housing finance system, and overall confidence in the economy. The survey found that 78 percent of Americans believe home prices will either remain flat or go up over the next year and 64 percent believe buying a home is a safe investment. More here, here, and here.