Housing Trends Update—February 2013

Housing prices for new single-family homes are showing signs of recovery, surpassing their prerecession high. Existing single-family homes decrease for the second consecutive month, but the decline is marginal, and condo sales are on the rise. This according to the February release of the ULI Real Estate Business Barometer­—a monthly online resource that tracks key economic and financial trends, published by the ULI Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate. Each month, the Terwilliger Center highlights selected data housing trends from the Barometer. Here’s what caught our eye in the February release:

  • For the second straight month, the S&P/Case-Shiller Index—tracking repeat sales in 20 large cities—reports a slight decrease in existing single-family home prices (0.9 percent). Last month’s decrease was also marginal, but these small declines follow six consecutive months of price increases. Despite the decline, prices are still 5.5 percent higher than one year ago.
  • New single-family home prices, on the other hand, were up 1.3 percent in December. December’s median price of $248,900 is up almost 14 percent from December 2011.
  • Single-family building permits were up 1.7 percent in December to 571,000, while multifamily building permits fell 1.3 percent to 294,000. Multifamily housing starts have increased 46 percent over the past five months and are at their highest monthly level since September 2008.
  • Existing condo sales reached 590,000 in December; this is up 23 percent over December 2011.
  • New foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions—were down 10 percent in December to a total of 162,511 units—the lowest since April 2007, according to RealtyTrack.

Bottom-line: Housing prices are reaching numbers not seen since prerecession peaks and condominium sales have soared over the past two years—a jump that could be attributed to young professionals and baby boomers. To view a complete snapshot of current housing trends, please visit the ULI Real Estate Business Barometer at http://urbanland.uli.org/EconomyMarketsTrends/Barometer.

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