Monthly Archives: May 2015

Existing-Home Sales on the Rebound despite Some Affordability Concerns

Source: RISMedia

Existing-home sales are expected to finish the year at their highest pace
since 2006, but accelerating price growth and rising mortgage rates have the
potential to slow sales, according to an economic forecast forum here at the
2015 Realtors® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, says
existing home sales are measurably higher than a year ago, and strengthened
in March as more buyyers entered the market as the spring buying season got
underway.

After falling slightly below a pace of 5 million in 2014 Yun expects home
sales to reboud and steadily improve, ending up at a pace around 5.3
million (the highest since 2006) this year, and 5.5 millions in 2016.
Yun expects the national median existing home price to rise around 6 percent
this year before moderating to 4 percent in 2016.

Home Prices Rise 5.9 Percent Year-Over-Year

Source: RISMedia

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased by 5.9 percent in
March 2015 compared with March 2014 according to a recently released CoreLogic®
Home Price Index (HPI®). This change represents 37 months of consecutive year-over
year increases in home prices nationally. On a month-over-month basis,
hoe prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased by 2 percent in March 2015
compared with February 2015.

Including distressed sales in March, 27 states plus the District of Columbia were
at or within 10 percent of their peak prices. Seven states, including Colorado,
Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, reached new home price
highs since January 1976 when the Corelogic HPI started.

Excluding distressed sales, home prices increased by 6.1 percent in March 2015
compared with March 2014 and increased by 2 percent month over month compared with
February 2015. Excluding distressed sales, only New Mexico (0.4 percent) showed year-
over-year depreciation in March. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate-owned transactions.

Pent-up Demand Triggering Record Pace of Home Sales Around Western Washington

Source: NWMLS

KIRKLAND, Washington (May 5, 2015) – Northwest Multiple Listing Service members notched a record high level of pending sales during April, surpassing the year-ago volume by nearly 1,800 transactions. Both closed sales and prices also surged last month as the spring market kicked into high gear.

Buyer confidence and buyer ability to purchase are fueling activity, suggested Ken Anderson, the managing broker and owner of Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympia Realty. “Long building pent-up demand is being unleashed,” he commented.

MLS members reported an 18.7 percent year-over-year increase in pending sales, with the volume of mutually accepted offers rising from 9,590 transactions to 11,384. For the four-county Puget Sound region members logged 8,671 pending sales to top the 8,000 mark for only the second time in the past 16 years.

Closed sales and prices also accelerated, according to Northwest MLS statistics. Across the 23 counties covered by the report there were 7,696 closed sales. That total represents a 24.3 percent increase from the year-ago volume of 6,190 closings. Within the four-county region, Pierce County experienced a jump of nearly 38 percent in closed sales compared to a year ago, followed by Snohomish County with a 35 percent increase, prompting one MLS director to comment, “That is super amazing.”

“We are still very clearly in the midst of a seller’s market and unless we see a significant increase in listings, it will remain that way for the foreseeable future,” remarked OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. Jacobi and other brokers reiterated the dire need for listings.
Members added 11,495 new listings to inventory during April, but brisk sales kept supply tight and well below the level of a year ago. At the end of April, the MLS reported 18,132 listings of single family homes and condominiums in its database, a drop of more than 15 percent from the year-ago total of 21,390.

Compared to March, inventory at the end of April improved by 6.6 percent, but pending sales jumped 13.7 percent from the previous month.

“We’re in desperate need of inventory so I hope to see an increase in listings as we move further into the late spring/early summer,” stated Jacobi.

J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, noted the record sales activity is lowering the months of supply of inventory and continuing the upward movement of pricing.
Northwest MLS figures show less than 2.4 months of supply at the end of April, down from the March figure of 2.5 months and down from a year ago when there was about 3.5 months of supply. Inventory is especially tight in King County, with 1.3 months of supply, and Snohomish County, with about 1.5 months. Many industry analysts use a range of four-to-six months as an indicator of a balanced market.