Housing Trends Update—December 2012

The housing market continues on its road to recovery, as prices of existing single-family homes continue to rise and housing starts for single-family and multifamily homes are at four-year highs, this according to the December 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 December release:

  • The S&P/Case-Shiller Index—tracking repeat sales in 20 large cities—reports a 0.29 percent increase in existing single-family home prices during September. The rate of growth has slowed over the past three months; however, despite the declining growth, prices are up 3 percent from a year ago.
  • Sales of existing single-family homes were also up by almost 2 percent in October to 4.2 million, 10 percent higher from the same time last year.
  • New single-family home prices were down 4.2 percent in October, the second-straight month of decline. While sales of new single-family homes barely changed, moving down 368,000 from 369,000 in September. Sales are now up 17 percent from October 2011.
  • Single-family building permits are up for the 18th-consecutive month, up 3.2 percent in October to 541,000. Although currently at the highest level in more than four years, single-family building permits are still 70 percent below the prerecession high in November 2005.
  • Similarly, single-family housing starts showed positive gains; increasing 5.5 percent in October to 576,000—the highest level in four years, but still 68 percent below the prerecession high in November 2005.

Bottom-line: the housing market continues to grow at a healthy rate. While several housing statistics only marginally increased or slightly declined, the housing market continues to show signs of stability. 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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