Home Sales in 2013 Rise to Strongest Level in 7 Years

The housing market has been experiencing a “healthy recovery” over the past two years, with home sales last year rising to the highest level since 2006, according to the National Association of REALTORS®' latest housing report

“Existing-home sales have risen nearly 20 percent since 2011, with job growth, record low mortgage interest rates, and a large pent-up demand driving the market,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “We lost some momentum toward the end of 2013 from disappointing job growth and limited inventory, but we ended with a year that was close to normal given the size of our population.”

Existing-home sales rose 1 percent in December 2013 compared to November and reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.87 million.

Existing-home sales for all of 2013 reached 5.02 million sales, 9.1 percent higher than 2012, and the largest rise since 2006 when sales were at 6.48 million at the close of the housing boom, NAR reports.  

Home prices were also on the rise in 2013, up 11.5 percent over 2012, with a median existing-home price of $197,100 last year compared to $176,800 in 2012. It was the strongest gain in home prices in a year since 2005, when home prices rose 12.4 percent, NAR reports.

NAR President Steve Brown says that with job growth expected this year, home sales should hold despite rising home prices and higher mortgage rates.

“The only factors holding us back from a stronger recovery are the ongoing issues of restrictive mortgage credit and constrained inventory,” Brown says. “With strict new mortgage rules in place, we will be monitoring the lending environment to ensure that financially qualified buyers can access the credit they need to purchase a home.”

Housing Recovery Regional Snapshot

Here’s a look at how existing-home sales fared in December and for the year across the country:

  • Northeast: Existing-home sales fell 1.5 percent in December but remain 3.2 percent higher than December 2012. Median price: $239,300, up 3.6 percent from year ago levels
  • Midwest: Existing-home sales dropped 4.3 percent in December and are 0.9 percent below year ago levels. Median price: $150,700, 7 percent higher than December 2012.
  • South: Existing-home sales rose 3 percent in December and are 4.6 percent higher than December 2012. Median price: $173,200, up 8.9 percent from a year ago.
  • West: Existing-home sales increased 4.8 percent, but are 10.7 percent below a year ago. Median price: $285,000, up 16.0 percent from December 2012.

Market Report

Is now a good time to buy? What trends are affecting the value of my home? What new economic policies will be shaping my real estate decisions in the coming months? 

Market Report

Is now a good time to buy? What trends are affecting the value of my home? What new economic policies will be shaping my real estate

 

 
Is now a good time to buy or sell real estate? It is a question that home owners are constantly asking. It's about timing. Well, while the economy is showing minimal gains, the housing index remains very positive. Rates are still low, in the low to mid 4's and Tulsa's inventory is relatively low. We have about 7 months of inventory, down from 9 months a year ago. So, a good balance for both buyers and sellers. We do know that most economists are predicting mortgage rates to move into the 5's in 2014 which will cut into potential buyers affordability. So, if you are a buyer now is a great time as a half percent or full percent hike can seriously affect your buying power. Also, timing can also be independent of market forces. Job changes, family relationships, and other personal issues may dictate when the timing is right for you. The good news is, when the time is right for you to make a move, whether you are buying or selling your home in Tulsa, the Rentz Team is available to assist you and help you achieve your real estate goals. Connect with us today to schedule your professional consultation! We look forward to hearing from you soon.