December Market Update

From The REAL Trends Housing Market Report for November 2013 shows that the rate of housing sales decreased on a year over year basis for the first time since August 2011.  Sales of new and existing homes in November 2013 fell 0.1 percent from the rate of sales in November 2012. The annual rate of new and existing home sales for November 2013 was 5.665 million units down slightly from 5.669 million units sold in November 2012.  The average price of homes sold increased by 2.6 percent in November 2013 compared to November 2012.

Housing unit sales for November 2013 increased 3.6 percent in the Midwest, the strongest showing in the country. The next highest region was in the Northeast region with an increase of 3.0 percent, the South region was up 2.8 percent and the West decreased by -9.1 percent.

The average price of homes sold in November 2013 increased 2.6 percent across the country, down from the increase in October.  The South had the best results with the average price of homes sold increasing 7.0 percent followed by the Midwest region at 5.4 percent and the West at 3.9 percent.  The Northeast region saw prices move downward by -0.7 percent.

“November 2013 sales of new and existing homes confirmed anecdotal evidence of a slowing in year over year housing sales. Rising interest rates, sluggishness in employment growth and household incomes are having an impact.  Also investor sales have backed off as prices are no longer at bottom basement levels”, said Steve Murray, editor of the REAL Trends Housing Market Report. “As we stated last month we believe that unit sales are nearing a normal level given employment, the number of households, mortgage rates and household income and that other factors such as the Federal government shutdown or the rise in mortgage rates were not as important in the slowdown in year over year increases in housing sales,” he added. “We expect that year over year increases will continue to be flat as 2013 ends and we move into 2014. We do, however, expect sales prices to continue to recover due mainly to the tightness in inventories.”