Thursday, August 23, 2012

Housing Continues to Improve

The housing data I have been reading continues to show an improving housing market.  I have not linked to all the articles I have been reading, but there were a few points this morning worth noting.  First is an article from Calculated Risk on new home sales.  New home sales were at an adjusted annual rate of 372,000, a nearly 25.3% increase from July 2011.   Released with new home sale data was the July monthly supply of new homes, which dropped to 4.6 months, a decrease from June's 4.8 months, and well below the average of 6 months. 

This Bloomberg article reports on a Federal Housing Finance Agency report that states that US housing prices increased 1.8% in the second quarter from the previous quarter, and 3% over the past year.  The second quarter saw the biggest price increase since the fourth quarter of 2005.  The report also noted that the number of homeowners with homes worth less than the value of their mortgages fell by 400,000 over the same second quarter.

Finally, from last weekend, here is an article from the North County Times (via Calculated Risk), which covers northern San Diego County.  The article dissects the myth that a wave of new foreclosures is going to flood the market and drive down home prices.  Fewer new foreclosures, more short sales, declining bank-owned inventory, and rising home prices are preventing widespread distressed sales.  While the article is San Diego County specific, I would imagine the same dynamics are playing out in Phoenix, Las Vegas, California's Inland Empire and other markets hit hard by the housing crisis.

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