Last week’s publication of year end confirmed that 2012 was the year of recovery in the nation’s housing market. Here are the key data:
Existing home sales reached 4.65 million, up 9.2% from 2011, and the highest volume since 2007
Total inventory, or houses for sale, fell to 1.82 million, or 4.4 months of supply, the lowest since May 2005. Inventory is down 21.6% from a year ago, when the supply was 6.4 months.
The median price was $180,800 in December, up 11.5% from a year ago: 10.9% for SFHs and 16% for condos. For the year overall the median price increased 6.3%.
Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 24% of sales in December, down from 32% a year ago. Foreclosures sold at an average discount of 17% and short sales 16%, according to NAR.
New homes sales: 367,000, up 19.9% from 2011.
The median new home price was $243,600, up 7.2% from 2011.
30 year mortgage rate: 3.35% in December, down from 3.96% a year ago.
Sources: National Association of Realtors; Commerce Department; Freddie Mac
The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong’s leading daily) has just published an article on Boston’s real estate market.
The founder of IP Global, a HK based international property investment company, is quoted: “Boston benefits from a strong local economy supported by growth industries such as technology, education, healthcare and bio-tech. Buoyed by strong demand and low inventory levels, the city is likely to see continued price and rental growth over the long term.”
Luna Management Group, a real estate services firm catering to Asian investors, also lists Boston as one of the three key US cities for Chinese buyers to consider, given its stable economy, advanced technology, and “advantageous polices, regulation and incentives on taxes”.
North Shore cities and towns should benefit from the ripple effect as the Boston market continues its expected recovery.
Read the full article: Boston regains Favour
The answer is 26, up from 24 in 2011. The highest price MLS sale was $4.1 million. At the start of 2013 a house listed at $4.75 million went under agreement.
If the past is any guide, then 2013 should see increased demand at the top end.
Here are the numbers:
In my November 27 article Refinancing – don’t make just the minimum payment I wrote: “Don’t assume that rates will either go lower still or that they will necessarily stay this low for as long as the Federal Reserve is currently saying. If the economy does strengthen from here, interest rates my move up sooner than expected.”
The Mortgage Bankers Association has just issued a forecast that mortgage rates will increase gradually as the economy improves and finish around 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.
More reason to consider buying NOW!
Another indication of the recovery in the housing market in 2012 comes with the release of pending sales for Massachusetts. For the year pending sales of single family homes rose 25% and of condos 26%.
December was the 20th consecutive month of year over year increases.
Massachusetts Association of Realtors January 8, 2013
Consumer confidence in the housing sector grew last month, marked by continued positive attitudes toward home price, rental price, and mortgage rate expectations, according to Fannie Mae’s December National Housing Survey results. The growing belief held by Americans that these housing indicators will climb in 2013 may inspire a boost in home purchase activity during the coming months.
Listen to a podcast:Fannie Mae housing-survey-podcast-010713
or read the surveyFannie Mae December 2012 national housing survey
SFH sales in MHD in 2012 reached 229, the highest level since 2004, which was an exceptional year.
Condo sales remain well below the levels of earlier in the century for the reasons outlined in my December 8 post: