Market Trends June 2012
Signs of recovery continue in the housing market, demonstrated by improvements in the number of homes sold and national home prices. For the first time since June 2011, the median home price has exceeded $175,000. Continued strength in economic indicators, employment, and consumer confidence could help to bring full recovery to the housing market. Relaxation in financial institution’s tight lending standards will also significantly help the recovery.
“With the tight lending environment it’s a good idea to consult with a Realtor about mortgages and program options in the area, and tips for boosting credit scores well in advance of making an offer on a home,” National Association of Realtors President Moe Veissi advises. “It helps to go into the process knowing what it takes to succeed.”
Home sales increased 10% from a year ago to 4.62 million units, which is also up 3.4% from the previous month. A strengthening economy is improving consumer confidence and drawing an increasing number of people into the market. Some local markets are experiencing a shift back into a seller’s market, leading to a shortage of homes available for sale, multiple offers, and higher prices. As more markets follow suit, national home sales could continue to increase.
Thanks to a decline in distressed properties (which includes short sales and foreclosures that traditionally sell for 15%–20% less on average compared to non-distressed homes), the median home price rose 10% year-over-year to $177,400. This is the first consecutive month-to-month increase in home prices since June and July of 2010. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said “For the year, we’re looking at a modest overall price gain of 1%–2%, with stronger improvements in 2013.”
With rents on the rise, buying has become an increasingly attractive option due to home affordability, or the percentage income it takes to pay the mortgage, is the most favorable in market history. Current record interest rates, which factor into affordability, will not last forever, so buyers wanting to take advantage of this unique time in history will want to act before rates rise.
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