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Chief Economist Offers 2012 National Housing Forecast

by The Worrell Group

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), offered his annual analysis of the housing market and provided insight into the year ahead at last week’s REALTORS® Conference and Expo in Anaheim, Calif. He anticipates 2012’s housing market to experience “gradual improvement”. 

Yun explained, “tight mortgage credit conditions have been holding back home buyers all year, and consumer confidence has been shaky recently. Nonetheless, there is a sizeable pent-up demand based on population growth, employment levels and a doubling-up phenomenon that can’t continue indefinitely. This demand could quickly stimulate the market when conditions improve.”

He pointed to tough underwriting standards in the mortgage markets as a key barrier predicting if standards returned to more the “normal” conditions in place before the housing bubble years, sales activity could increase by 15 to 20 percent. He pointed to growing markets such as Bismarck, Boston, Buffalo, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. and identified markets which continue to struggle: Altanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami and Phonenix. Across the country, Yun sees little concern for price declines.

Local Housing in October Follows Positive Trend

by The Worrell Group

Coming off a positive third quarter, central Indiana housing numbers held strong in October. According to the latest MIBOR Monthly Indicators Report of Broker Listing Cooperative® data released today, pending sales, closed sales, median and average sales prices rose in the three-month and one-month comparisons to last year.

Closed sales were up 19.5 percent in the quarter ending in October compared to the same time period last year. Median sales price rose 5.3 percent and average sales price rose 4.3 percent in the quarter, consistent with the price stability seen all year. New listings were down 10.4 percent in the three months ending in October which helped to bring inventory levels down 8.2 percent. Months of supply of inventory sits stubbornly high at 9.9 months for the quarter, but down by 3.7 percent to 9 months even for the month of October.

Monthly numbers are encouraging as well. For the month of October, closed sales rose 13.2 percent over October 2010. Price increases were respectable with median up 3.2 percent to $123,695 and average up 3.5 percent to $160,071. Pending sales for October were up an encouraging 15.5 percent for the month.

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RE/MAX Legends Group
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