The Housing Recovery: For Better or For Worse

By Wendy Papasan | Seller Tools

Oct 05

Housing recovery across the nation is now on the rise thanks to several factors such as the expanding inventory of homes on the market and more reasonable listing prices. Recent reports have shown that the housing market is now entering into the third phase of recovery after the disastrous fall that occurred in 2007 and 2008. Currently the housing market is now 64% back to its normal range, which is a major improvement over where it stood last year at this time at 36%.

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The Amount of Construction Starts Are On the Rise

While home prices and sales for existing homes are close to going back to normal, construction and sales for newly built homes still have a long way to go. In July of 2013, construction on brand new homes began to slowly increase. New building projects were at an 896,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate. That is up 6% from the month before; however, it is just below the average rate for the first six months of 2013. The percentage of single family homes being built have rose 20% since the start of the year, while multi-family building have gone up 33% more than where they were at last year. Overall these results mean that construction starts are 41% of the way back to the normal range.

Existing Home Sales Reach 2nd Highest Level in the past Six Years

As far as existing home sales go, the numbers have jumped up to a seasonal adjusted rate of 5.39 million. That is up 31% from last year when you exclude short sales and foreclosures. For the sixth straight month this year, inventory has grown for existing homes and currently these home sales are back to 94% normal. This is very good news for buyers and sellers alike because it means that there is a good selection of single family homes available for eager buyers to choose from, and home values are doing much better.

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Delinquency and Foreclosure Rates Continue to Go Down

While home sales are going up, the foreclosure rate in the United States is going down. The amount of mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures combined has dropped to 9.23% this past July. This is the second lowest level this rate has been at throughout the past five years. The combined delinquency and foreclosure rate is currently at 56% back to normal.

What This All Means

When you average out all of these three percentages, you come up with the housing market being at 64% back to normal. Just last year, the market was only at 36% at this time. So it is very encouraging for those in the real estate industry to see the numbers climb up so quickly. It is also an encouraging fact for homeowners who are interested in selling their property or those that are hoping to relocate their family. The market has finally stabilized to a point where buying and selling your home comes with a return investment.

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