Housing Trends Update—January 2013

After several months of positive gains, the price of existing single-family homes shifted slightly downward, , while prices for new single-family homes continue to rise, this according to the January 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 January release:

  • The S&P/Case-Shiller Index—tracking repeat sales in 20 large cities—reports a 0.06 percent decrease in existing single-family home prices. The rate of growth has slowed within the past three months, but this is the first time in six months that the rate of growth is in the negative. Despite the decline, prices are still 4.3 percent above that one year ago.
  • New single-family home prices, on the other hand, were up a strong 3.7 percent in November. November’s median price of $246,200 is up almost 15 percent from November 2011.
  • Single-family and multifamily building permits showed strong gains in November. At its highest level since 2008, single-family building permits were up 3 percent, while multifamily permits were up 5 percent. Monthly starts for multifamily building permits are up 34 percent over the past four months.
  • The rent index for apartments, calculated by CBRE, was up one percent to $1,310, which is 4.8 percent higher than a year before. Apartment vacancies have dropped 4.5 percent.
  • New foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions—were down 3 percent in November to a total of 180,817 units, this according to RealtyTrack.

Bottom-line: the housing market is slowing, but numbers are still promising compared to last year. Multifamily building permits have increased significantly over the past four months and apartment rental prices are up while vacancies are down, indicating once again, that the demand for rental housing will continue amid a precarious housing market. 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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