Thursday, January 08, 2015

Trulia: "What Falling Oil Prices Mean for Home Prices"

by Bill McBride on 1/08/2015 01:37:00 PM

From Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko: What Falling Oil Prices Mean for Home Prices

Nationwide, asking prices on for-sale homes were up 0.5% month-over-month in December, seasonally adjusted — a slowdown after larger increases in September, October, and November. Year-over-year, asking prices rose 7.7%, down from the 9.5% year-over-year increase in December 2013. Asking prices increased year-over-year in 97 of the 100 largest U.S. metros.

Four of the five markets where asking prices rose most year-over-year are in the South, including Atlanta, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, and Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach. Of the top 10, four are in the Midwest, including Cincinnati, Detroit, Lake-Kenosha Counties, and Indianapolis. Among markets with the largest asking price increases, Houston stands out for having a large local oil industry, accounting for 5.6% of jobs there.

Only Bakersfield and Baton Rouge have an even higher employment share in oil-related industries than Houston. Oklahoma City, Tulsa, New Orleans, and Fort Worth round out the seven large metros where oil-related industries account for at least 2% of employment. It’s not until you look at smaller metros that you find oil-related industries representing a larger employment share. In Williston, ND, and Midland, TX, they account for almost 30% of local jobs. [see graph of percent oil jobs at article]

This history offers three lessons for today’s housing market. First, any negative impact of falling oil prices on home prices should be concentrated in oil-producing markets in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and other places with large oil-related industries. Second, in these markets, oil prices won’t tank home prices immediately. Rather, falling oil prices in the second half of 2014 might not have their biggest impact on home prices until late 2015 or in 2016. Third, falling oil prices will probably help local economies and home prices in markets that lack oil-related industries.
Nationwide, rents rose 6.1% year-over-year in December. The least affordable rental markets are Miami, Los Angeles, and New York, where median rent for a two-bedroom unit eats up more than half of the local average wage.
emphasis added
Note: These asking prices are SA (Seasonally Adjusted) - and adjusted for the mix of homes - and although year-over-year price increases had been slowing, the year-over-year change increased in November.

The month-to-month increase suggests further house price increases over the next few months on a seasonally adjusted basis.

There is much more in the article, especially on the impact of falling oil prices on housing.