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Over the past few months, the number of markets experiencing year-over-year price declines has steadily increased, while the number experiencing list price increases has steadily declined. Compared to one year ago, a higher number of markets are ending the year with a year-over-year price decline (44 in 2012 vs. 36 in 2011) and a lower number of markets have a year-over-year price increase (71 in 2012 vs.84 in 2011).

Recovery Softens as More Markets End Year with Annual Price Decline

Over the past few months, the number of markets experiencing year-over-year price declines has steadily increased, while the number experiencing list price increases has steadily declined. Compared to one year ago, a higher number of markets are ending the year with a year-over-year price decline (44 in 2012 vs. 36 in 2011) and a lower number of markets have a year-over-year price increase (71 in 2012 vs.84 in 2011).

Realtor.com’s October Trend report shows that, on a year-over-year basis, October median list prices were up by 1 percent or more in 71 of 146 MSAs, and up by 5 percent or more in 36 MSAs. Median list prices were down by 1% or more in 44 markets, while 13 experienced a decline of more than 5 percent. The remaining 31 markets have not experienced significant changes in median list prices compared to a year ago. The nationwide median list price decreased from $191,500 in September to $189,900 in October, exactly the same level as it was a year ago, effectively erasing all of the gains that accompanied the onset of the 2012 spring home buying season.

California markets continue to dominate the list of areas experiencing the largest year-over-year increases in their median list prices. In addition, Phoenix, AZ, Atlanta GA, Seattle, WA, and Las Vegas, NV in the list of top performers. While Florida markets have been performing relatively well for more than a year, many of these other markets were registering large year-over-year price declines in October 2011. The 10 markets with the largest year-over-year list price increase are shown below.

The total US for-sale inventory of single family homes, condos, townhomes and co-ops dropped to its lowest point since 2007, with 1.76 million units for sale in October, down -17.00 percent compared to a year ago and more than 40 percent below its peak of 3.1 million units in September 2007. The median age of the inventory was down by 11.81 percent.

For sale inventories in October declined on an annual basis in all but five of the 146 MSAs monitored by Realtor.com, with for-sale inventory dropping by 20 percent or more in 44 of the 146 markets covered. Although the rate of decline has moderated somewhat in recent months, many areas continue to see dramatic declines in their for-sale inventories compared to one year ago.

The median age of inventory of for sale listings was 97 days in October, up by 2.11 percent from September, but 11.81 percent below the median age one year ago (October 2011). While the median age of the inventory is highly seasonal, the year-over-year decline is consistent with other data showing that market conditions are tightening.

4 comments

  1. I thought the NAR said that housing prices were recovering? I am betting a very down 2013 and beyond. I have serious doubts about any of the housing figures put out by the NAR and other real estate groups. I think they are being manipulated by sales like the following:

    I received this Broker Price Opinion (BPO) order yesterday and again today (11/20/2012). I normally ignore these, but I read the email anyway. BPO’s are typically ordered when a mortgage loan goes into default. I sold this Murfreesboro Tennessee house as a short sale (I was the listing broker) for $70,000 with a closing date of 5/14/2012. The buyer is a REALTOR whose husband is a contractor/builder. They did some renovations (paint, carpet, light fixtures, appliances, etc.) and resold it to a home buyer for $109,900 (they financed $112,142 somehow) with a closing date of 8/29/2012. Given I received this BPO order, it must mean that the home buyers have already defaulted. I am sure this re-sale showing a 57% “gain” in the house value will be heralded by the media. Unfortunately, the truth is that this transaction is nothing more than putting an unqualified buyer into a house in order to puff up housing prices. As can be seen by the result, this strategy will fail (again). Today’s home buyers are truly the least financially qualified that I have ever seen. Poor job security, too much debt, etc. When will the madness end?

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