Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Housing Misc: Short Sales surpass Foreclosures, Asking prices up, Inventory down year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 4/17/2012 12:19:00 PM

From John Gittelsohn at Bloomberg: Short Sales Surpass Foreclosures as Banks Agree to Deals (ht Mike in Long Island)

Short sales accounted for 23.9 percent of home purchases in January, the most recent month available, compared with 19.7 percent for sales of foreclosed homes, data compiled by LPS show. A year earlier, 16.3 percent of transactions were short sales and 24.9 percent involved foreclosures.
Only a few Realtor associations break out short sales, but the ones Tom Lawler has been tracking have shown a steady increase in short sales - and decrease in bank-owned sales.

From Nick Timiraos at the WSJ: Report: Sellers’ Asking Prices Rose in March
Here’s a sign that sellers are feeling more optimistic about their prospects this spring: median asking prices in March jumped by 5.6% from a year ago, and were up 1% from February, according to a report released Tuesday [by Realtor.com].

The jump in median asking prices comes amid a sharp drop in the number of homes listed for sale from one year ago. While listing inventories in March rose by 1.5% from February, they were still 21.5% below last year’s levels.
Here is the data for each city from Realtor.com: March 2012 Real Estate Data
On the national level, inventory of for-sale single family homes, condominiums, townhouses and co-ops declined by -21.48% in March 2012 compared to a year ago, and declined in one month in all but two of the 146 markets covered by Realtor.com.

The median age of the inventory fell 19.82% on a year-over-year basis last month and the median national list price was up by 5.56% last month compared to March 2011.
A 21.5% year-over-year decline in inventory would mean the NAR would report inventory at about 2.38 million for March (Lawler estimated a 20.5% decline or about 2.41 million). The NAR's inventory is always a little difficult to forecast, but this suggests around 6.2 to 6.3 months-of-supply.

The NAR is scheduled to report March existing home sales and inventory on Thursday.

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