Friday, May 11, 2012

Signs of Nationwide Real Estate Recovery in April? Double-Digit Gains in Sales and/or Prices Have Now Been Reported in 33 Metro or State Markets

Real estate sales reports for the month of April are just starting to be released by local realtor associations, and the reports out today are showing some strong signs of recovery with double-digit gains in unit sales and/or home prices for April in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, Des Moines, the D.C. area, Baltimore and Reno. 

1. "Twin Cities home prices bounced up in April with the largest jump since before the housing market meltdown. The median sales price leaped 12.4% from last April to $163,000, the largest jump since January 2004, the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors found in their monthly report, released todayThe number of closed sales was up 7.1 percent in April, to 3,730. Year-to-date, sales are up nearly 15 percent from last year. Pending sales were up strongly compared to last April, 26.4 percent."

2.  "Monthly home sales rose 25 percent in the Nashville area last month compared to a year ago, with the median price of a single-family home up 3.8 percent to $165,120, reflecting a further stabilizing of the market."

3. "Home sales jumped nearly 20% in the Des Moines area in April over a year ago, and climbed 5% over March. Pending home sales were about 23% higher last month over April 2011, and inched 2% higher than March. The average home sale price was $164,847 in April, nearly 6% higher than a year earlier, the report shows.

"This is what recovery looks like in the Des Moines market," said Les Sulgrove, general manager of Re/Max Opportunities in Ankeny."

4.  "D.C. home prices increased by the greatest amount over the past year since 2006, according to a report released Thursday by Real Estate Business Intelligence.  “Pricing in the D.C. metro area continued recent positive trends with a year-over-year median sale price gain of 11.2%, the highest annual gain in more than six years,” the firm reported.  Prices increased in every jurisdiction in the D.C. metro area, with the greatest gains occurring in Arlington, with 27.7% and Falls Church City, with 19.8%."

5. "The Baltimore region saw a double-digit gain in average home sale prices in April, the most in six years — driven by a shrunken supply of cheap foreclosures rather than by homes seeing a rapid resurgence in value.  The average price for a home sold in April was $281,000, a 10 percent increase over the year."

6. "April home sales in the Reno Nevada area saw double-digit gains over the previous year, according to a report released today by the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors. Sales of existing single-family homes rose 17% from April 2011."


7.  "April home sales in the greater Milwaukee area increased 44.2% with 1,541 houses sold, 472 more than in April 2011, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of RealtorsWith the boost in April, home sales for the first four months of 2012 were 29.6% higher than in 2011 and 10.1% higher than in 2010." 

8. "Home sales across the Birmingham area rose 21 percent in April, a positive sign for the market as it heads into the typically busy summer selling season.  The Birmingham Association of Realtors said today that 973 homes were sold last month, compared to 805 in April 2011. The average price of $170,945 represented a 2 percent uptick from a year ago."

9. The median home price for the Phoenix area increased in April to $137,611, up 25% from $110,000 last year.

10. "A rebound in high-end home sales helped propel April home sales in Champaign County IL — and prospects look good for a strong May. April sales were up 19 percent from a year ago in terms of the number of homes sold. They were up 38 percent in terms of sales volume in dollars.

"The high end has finally awoken after a very long hibernation," said Matt Difanis, president of the Champaign County Association of Realtors."

11. "Home sales in the Lehigh Valley increased 33.2% over the same time last year with 445 homes sold in April 2012 compared with 334 sold in April 2011."

12. "Fewer listings and a deep well of buyers helped spark an unusually high number of multiple offers during April, bolstering home prices and the notion that the housing market is on the mend. Throughout the Chicago metro area, the number of closed sales last month rose 7.1 percent compared with last year, while the median price of those deals jumped 12.4 percent to $163,000 -- marking the second consecutive month of year-over-year price increases."

13. April home sales in Tucson were 11% above last year, following a 18.6% gain in March.

14.  The 389 Madison-area (Dane County) home sales recorded in April were 22.7% higher than the 317 home sales in April of 2011, representing the second highest total for any April over the last 5 years. 

15.  Central Indiana home sales in April were up 12 percent over April of last year.

16. "For Long Island realtors, the spring market has sprung. There were 16 percent more homes sold in Nassau and Suffolk counties last month than were sold in April 2011. In fact, last month’s numbers represent the fifth straight month of year-over-year sales gains."

17.  "Metro-Denver home sales climbed in April as the spring home-selling season kicked off. Buyers placed 5,681 homes under contract in April, up 7 percent from March and up 20 percent from April 2011."

18. The median price of sold homes in the Detroit metro area soared 18.6% in April to $70,000 from $59,000 a year ago.

19. The North Dallas area is reporting double-digit sales gains in April vs. last year in five different regions, including a 43% gain in North Dallas and 36% in Far North Dallas. 

20. New London County (Connecticut) home prices rise 16%, sales 18% for the February-April period.

21. "Seattle home prices increased 10.4% in April as compared to the same month in 2011, while King County median home prices were up 3% in the same time period.  King County home sales were 15% higher than in April of 2011, and total sales in the city of Seattle were up 8%."

22.  "For the 10th month in a row, home sales in the Kalamazoo area increased year over year in April. Residential sales numbers increased 13.9% over 2011, jumping to 319 from 280 the year before."

23. Wilmington-area home sales rose for the third straight month in April, and were up by 14% over a year ago.

24. April residential sales in the Shoals Area of Alabama experienced an 34.3% increase when compared to April 2011. April represents the sixth consecutive month that Muscle Shoals home sales have improved when compared to the same month from the prior year.

25. Durham County (NC) saw a 13.5% increase in closed home sales in April compared with the same period last year, with 278 homes sold in the month.

26. California home salesand median price both jumped in April, with sales shooting up to their highest level in more than two years, and the median price rising above $300,000 for the first time in 16 months. Sales in April were 10 percent higher than March's pace and 11 percent higher than in April 2011. 

27.  Home sales in the Louisville area improved in April, as the volume of sales and median price of homes rose from the same month a year earlier. According to a report from local realtors, 1,054 homes were sold in April, up 14.44% from 921 sold in April 2011. The median price of homes rose 8.7 percent in April, to $138,000 from $127,000 a year earlier.

28.  Sale prices for homes sold in the Flint metro area (Genesee County) showed a 51.9% jump in April compared to last year.  The median price for non-foreclosure home sales went up 38.9%.

29. Baton Rouge-area homes sales rose 21 percent in April.

30. Orlando median home prices increased in April by 10% compared to a year ago.  

31. April marked the eleventh straight month of growth in Houston home sales. Total sales and sales of single-family units registered increases of nearly 10% each over April of 2011.
The average price of a single-family home rose by 11% year-over-year to $223,000.

32.  Orange County had the fastest April home-selling pace since 2006. Overall, house shoppers bought 2,920 residences last month, up 17.5% in a year.

33.  April home sales in Tuscaloosa experienced a 25.2% increase when compared to April 2011. The last time Tuscaloosa's real estate market experienced positive sales growth in April when compared to the previous year was in 2010 and that was primarily due the home buying tax credit. April marks represents the eleventh consecutive month that Tuscaloosa home sales have improved when compared to the same month from the prior year."


At 5/10/2012 2:28 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

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If you are going to tap into the real esate recovery, you may as well double dip and move to where the income is.

At 5/10/2012 2:34 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

While it is good to see these year-over-year gains all over the nation, I'd just caution about getting too excited over a month.

Chances are, with so much other good news coming from other economic indicators, the trend will likely continue (although not without a few false-starts!).

At 5/10/2012 2:50 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

perhaps not as common as housing declines.

despite these data points, i have not yet seen a national index that is not still going down. there are some signs of stabilization, but calling double digit price increases common seems s bit of a stretch.

At 5/10/2012 2:57 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

The Case-Shiller Home Price Index is only available now for February, and is based on a 3-month moving average, so that measure of home prices won't capture April prices until a few months from now. And even when they report April sales, it will be mixed in with Feb and March.

I could only find six major metro markets that have released April sales, all were released today I think, and all six reported either double-digit sales or price increases for April, so that is what seemed to indicate something in "common." More reports will be released over the next few weeks, this is just the first group of "early reporters."

At 5/10/2012 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is happening around Seattle, too.

Last weekend I talked with a saleswoman at a new housing development that's been under construction for only 2 months, and she said she's already sold 10 houses just in the past 1 month.

Seeing lots of other long-moribound developments springing back to life too. And many of these are selling houses which haven't even started construction yet.

At 5/10/2012 3:34 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

If we do have a bout of inflation (and I doubt it) then buying real estate now is a once-in-a-liftetime investment opportunity.

If you put 20 percent down, and property values double, your equity will increase by 900 percent (before taxes and transaction costs).

If in that interim general prices doubled, your "real" return would be roughly half of that, for "only" a 450 percent return.

But that's only if you believe we will see prices double in years ahead.....

At 5/10/2012 4:54 PM, Blogger rjs said...

the mortgage fraud settlement was signed off on by a federal judge the first week in april...let's see what prices do when the 690 day pipeline of foreclosure inventory hits the market...

At 5/10/2012 5:12 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


the NAR data is out for march.

sales were down from feb.

"Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 2.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.48 million in March from an upwardly revised 4.60 million in February.

The national median existing-home price3 for all housing types was $163,800 in March, up 2.5 percent from March 2011.

so, there is a small rise for march, but not one that seems to indicate that double digit gains are "common" unless april was a really massive acceleration, and i have not seen any data that suggests it has.

double digit gains may be occurring is selected markets, but i think it's far too early to call it common.

according to trulia, whose data i am not that familiar with but who, it would seem, ought to have a lot of real time info:

"In total, 44 out of the top 100 metros saw home prices go up year-over-year; despite this, overall prices only increased 0.2 percent from the previous year. On a quarter-to-quarter basis, prices rose in 92 out of 100. National prices were up 4.8 percent in the same period (unadjusted for seasonality).

so we see a 4.8% quarterly jump, but that's largely seasonality. prices jump every spring as that's when buyers tend to become active, but only 20bp year on year, which a long way from double digit.

of interest, nationwide rents were up 5.6% from a year ago in april. with double digit gains in many metro areas.

At 5/10/2012 5:14 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

oh, sorry, that trulia data is for april 2012, i forgot to include the date.

At 5/10/2012 5:14 PM, Blogger bart said...

In the last 4 weeks, the Data Quick weekly reports (98% of the top MSAs) have shown an annual increase - but the raw median sales price is within 7% of the record low median price in the last 5 years.

Barring substantially more money printing, I expect housing prices to bounce along for years not unlike what happened from 1992-97.

And there are around 1.3mm addt'l vacant houses that virtually no one is counting in inventory which is a huge overhang.

At 5/10/2012 5:15 PM, Blogger bart said...

ooops, here's the DataQuick chart:

At 5/10/2012 5:18 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Update: Add Milwaukee as metro area #7 with a double-digit sales gain of 44.2% in April.

At 5/10/2012 5:27 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Update: Birmingham is metro area #8 with a double-digit April sales gain of 21%.

At 5/11/2012 8:45 AM, Blogger Seth said...

I wonder if this is in part due to demographics. I believe there's a large chunk of people getting into the 'first time home buyer' age range.

At 5/11/2012 8:55 AM, Blogger Pulverized Concepts said...

The home buyers are government employees that have seen their income increase relative to that of their neighbors and are moving up on the housing scale, having no fear of ever losing their jobs.

At 5/11/2012 10:44 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Apparently real estate recovery won't be happening in California soon if this guy knows what he's talking about ...

At 5/11/2012 5:12 PM, Blogger Paul said...

A realtor friend of mine in Phx just posted on Facebook they put a new property up for sale on Tues and have over 75 offers already.

At 5/14/2012 6:35 PM, Blogger james said...

Are we really seeing a recovery in housing or is it like what they say when theirs a bear market rally in stocks a dead cat bounce?


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