Between February 2012 and February 2013, Texas saw double-digit declines in the number of foreclosure filings, starts and completions, according to the latest analysis by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.
Over the 28 days ended Feb. 28, 2013, a total of 5,411 foreclosure notices were filed in the state of Texas — down 43.36 percent from the number of filings posted in February 2012.
Redfin revealed its list of the nation’s fastest real estate markets and, not surprisingly, Dallas was fourth on the list.
To establish what is considered a ‘fast real estate market,’ Redfin defined it as having the most homes going under contract in 24 hours or less.
All I can think when I read this is, ‘thank goodness I don’t live in Phoenix.’
Being in the ‘Dallas market,’ I can attest to the rapid-fire approach buyers are being forced to take when showing serious interest in a home.
Last night at 8 p.m., my husband and I got an alert from our Redfin mobile app letting us know a home went on the market in our price range. Within 30 minutes, my husband and I had driven by the house, approved of the neighborhood and texted our Realtor to see if we could take a look today.
Since the home had everything on our checklist, we all decided it would be smart to move quickly and see the home during our lunch break.
By the time we got there at noon, three other interested potential buyers had toured the home (which didn’t even have a for sale sign up yet, by the way).
As I suspected, we loved the home. Being first-time homebuyers, my husband and I want to be sure we are giving enough attention to detail and would love to have our parents come take a look and give us some honest advice.
However, as we left the property at 1 p.m., our Realtor strongly advised we get an offer in before 5 p.m. or risk having another offer accepted before we even have a chance to put one in.
So that’s where I am right now. I am putting in an offer shortly on this property and hoping for the best. That is the market we are in. There is no time to stop and breathe, let alone get to take a second look at a property before putting an offer in.
As our Realtor said today, the shift has happened. This is a sellers’ market. The buyer no longer has the upper hand in this fast paced, high demand market.
Realtor.com listing data for February suggest buyers are getting an early start to the 2013 home buying season amid signs that sellers are finally responding to the positive market by increasing depleted inventories.
While inventories remain at record lows, the average age of the inventory was down by 9.26 percent over the month and by 11.71 percent on a year-over- year basis, suggesting that many reluctant home sellers may finally be coming off the fence to take advantage of recent improvements in housing prices. From January to February, the median age of the inventory fell in 145 of the 146 markets tracked by Realtor.com. The national median list price also reversed its recent downward trend, rising by 1.55% over the month and 1.01% on an annual basis. And while list prices continue to decline in many smaller industrialized markets in the Midwest and North East, the number of markets experiencing a decline is beginning to turn around, spelling more good news for the housing market and the US economy at large.
The nationwide median list price f rose to $189,900 in February. While list prices remain about 2.6 percent below their peak during the 2012 home buying season ($195,000)–and 24 percent below their level in January 2007 ($249,900)–if list prices continue to pick up speed as they did last year in the spring, 2013 could prove to be another good year for the housing market.
The total U.S. for-sale inventory of remained at near-record lows in February, with 1,494,218 units for sale. While the inventory was slightly up on a monthly basis, reflecting the beginning of the home buying season, it was down by 15.97 percent compared to a year ago and is less than half its peak of 3.1 million units in September 2007. Record low inventories, combined with list prices that are once again on the rise, are likely to set the stage for continued gains in housing values in the upcoming year.
The median age of inventory of for-sale listings fell to 98 days in February, 11.71% below the median age one year ago (February 2011). While the median age of the inventory is highly seasonal, the year-over-year decline is consistent with a gradual, but persistent downward trend that has been occurring for the past two years.
The strength of housing markets varied greatly by region, with markets in California registering the highest increases in listing prices coupled with the largest inventory declines. Phoenix, Seattle and Denver were also among the top performers. However, although their numbers have begun to decline, many smaller industrialized markets in the Midwest and the Northeast continue to register year-over-year list price declines, as did Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City.
Property values in January are 5.7 percent higher than they were a year ago, but they still have a long way to go to regain the equity that has been lost in the past six years.
Although home prices have improved significantly in the last 12 months, a six-year price comparison shows that current prices remain well below their near-peak levels. On average, today’s home prices are about 27.5% below January 2007. In hard-hit markets such as Las Vegas, Orlando, Miami, and Riverside, Calif., home prices are only half of what they were six years ago, according to the latest FNC Residential Price Index® (RPI)
Four markets that FNC tracks, Denver, San Antonio, Houston and Columbus, have regained all value lost in the past six years and now are registering gains higher than they did at the peak of the housing boom. However, values in Miami, Orlando, Riverside and Las Vegas are more than 50 percent below the levels of 2007.
FNC also reported that the recovery of underlying property values is driving sale prices closer to list prices, a sign that markets are transitioning from buyer’s to seller’s markets . The average list-to-sale price ratio increased to 93.5 in January, compared to 90.3 during the same period a year ago; in other words, the average asking price discount dropped to 6.5% from 9.7%. Foreclosures, as a percentage of total home sales, were 20.2% in January, down from 26.9% a year ago.