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.
Thirty-eight real estate markets have been tagged as “dangerous” for investors looking to make money on buying homes as rental properties in new quarterly data compiled by HomeVestors of America (known as the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” company) and Local Market Monitor.
The list categorizes markets according to different investor risk preferences and assigns a numerical score from minus-ten to plus-ten based on population, job growth, unemployment, home price changes, the market’s equilibrium home price (a proprietary measure of how much a market is over-priced or under-priced relative to local income) and the 12-month home price forecast.
“Despite the fact that home sales and home prices are increasing on average across the country, we are still seeing weaknesses in some markets,” said Ingo Winzer, president and founder of Local Market Monitor. “Sometimes weaknesses can signal opportunity for real estate investors, but not in the markets we ranked as ‘dangerous.’ In those markets, the risk far outweighs any opportunity.”
Leading the “dangerous” list is Battle Creek, Michigan, which drew a minus-four score because of its continuing job losses and weak home prices. Battle Creek is one of three Michigan cities-the others being Muskegon and Saginaw-that were ranked as “dangerous.” Only Florida had as many cities ranked as “dangerous” as Michigan. They are Port St. Lucie, Daytona Beach and Tallahassee.
The top ten “dangerous cities were, in order, Battle Creek, Salisbury (MD), Norwich (CT), Dalton (GA), Muskegon, Augusta, Decatur, Tuscaloosa, Dover and Port St. Lucie. The largest city to earn a “dangerous” label was Providence, Rhode Island, which ranks as number 26 on the “dangerous” list.
“All of the markets we ranked as dangerous have a combination of factors such as high-unemployment or weak job growth and falling or weak home prices,” said Winzer.
Realtor.com listing data for February suggest buyers are getting an early start to the 2013 home buying season despite the bad weather in many parts of the country and inventories that are still at record lows. Sellers are finally responding to the positive market by replenishing depleted inventories.
On a national basis, the average time homes spend for sale is declining even as inventories of homes listed for sale are growing. The average home now spends less than 100 days on Realtor.com. That’s the fastest average time in for a listing to spend in our inventory since October. The average age of inventory fell nearly ten percent from January to February, a sign that homes are selling faster before the spring season begins in earnest-or that recent listings are a greater share of listings inventories.
While the median age of the inventory is highly seasonal, the year-over-year age of inventory fell to 11.71% below the median age one year ago (February 2011). This decline is consistent with a gradual, but persistent downward trend that has been occurring for the past two years.
The decline in the median time listings are on Realtor.com is widespread. Age of inventory fell in all but one of the 146 markets Realtor.com tracks, even in Midwestern and Northeastern markets that experienced heavy snowstorms and cold temperatures in February.
The Realtor.com data showing an early surge of demand confirms reports from Realtors that foot traffic was higher than normal in January. Both signs suggest that sales this spring are likely to be even stronger than they were last year, when early spring sales were atypically strong.
The national median list price also reversed its recent downward trend, rising by 1.55 percent over the month and 1.01 percent 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.
Chappaqua, Bedford Corners See Inventory Drop | RobReportBlog
92 homes for sale
40 homes sold last six months 13.8 months of inventory
53 homes sold, pending, in contract 10.35 months of inventory
103 homes for sale
33 homes sold last six months 18.72 months of inventory
75 homes sold, pending, in contract 8.24 months of inventory
29 homes for sale
9 homes sold last six months 19.33 months of inventory
16 homes sold, pending, in contract 10.87 months of inventory