Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Continued Rising Home Sales

On Tues the 26th Julie Schmitt of USA Today wrote new home sales surged in January, rising almost 16% from December, and sales of new single-family homes in January came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 437,000 according to the government. Which was considerably better than the estimated number of 381,000 sales transactions.

The pace of sales was almost 29% above the January 2012 estimate of 339,000, and almost 16% above the revised December rate. Pertaining to new home construction, the home building industry has been starved for good news for years, but home builder confidence is up as of late. Last year's new home sales totaled 367,000, making 2012 the third lowest year on record for new home sales. 

Many economists expect new home sales to rise to 464,000 this year. However, the negative is they  don't expect new home sales to return to more normal levels, above 800,000 a year, until 2015. Increased new home sales are a strong indicator of increasing consumer confidence in the overall U.S. housing market, says John Tashjian, principal, Centurion Real Estate Partners.

Locally, in Charleston, South Carolina real estate continues to show the same improvements due to lack of inventory. Nationwide, the supply of existing homes for sale has fallen for seven straight months, hitting an almost eight-year low in January, the National Association of Realtors says. 
See local Charleston, SC real estate market statistics

The nation now has a 4.2-month supply of existing homes for sale. A healthy market, defined as a six-month to seven-month supply, will arrive when home prices rise another 20%, estimates John Burns, CEO of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. In January, homes listed for sale were down almost 17% year-over-year in 146 major markets.