Nationwide Home Sales Grow at Highest Pace of 2014
Across a good portion of the country, localized real estate markets are continuing to pick up steam as we progress more than halfway through 2014. After the fourth straight month of gains, total existing-home sales grew by 2.4% to reach an annual rate, seasonally adjusted, of 5.15 million for the month of July, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.
In the opinion of NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, more properties being listed for sale and stronger growth in the job market have both helped drive real estate sales momentum. Yum states that these factors, as well as more stable price growth, are “giving prospective buyers less hesitation about entering the market.”
For homeowners contemplating selling, this increased market activity is a welcomed sign of the continued recovery in the real estate market. Nationwide home values are also still on the rise, with the median existing-home price for July standing at $222,900 – a figure that's 4.9% above July 2013's results.
More good news was provided by the NAR in the form of distressed-home sales numbers. In July, distressed properties accounted for just 9% of total sales – the first time that number has been in the single-digits since tracking began in late 2008, in the midst of the house crisis. The higher the percentage of distressed homes sold, the greater the negative impact they have on the value of traditionally-sold properties.
San Diego Real Estate Data Shows Buyers Seeking Quality Properties
Locally, the San Diego real estate market is finding itself in a unique, yet still promising, situation.
The number of homes available for sale has grown tremendously this year, with active listings reaching 8,330 in August. This is a 66% increase from January's low of 5,006. At the same time, however, the number of sold properties has decreased slightly in recently months, falling by 6.4% to 2,776 from June to July.
Luckily, however, the average number of days that San Diego homes for sale are sitting on the market has continued to fall, reaching 41 after starting the year off at 55. Median sales prices have also remained high, making it well past the $500,000 mark for the second month in a row.
June and July have been the first months that median prices have topped $500,000 in years, signaling that the market is still making positive progress.
One reason for decreasing sales and rising inventory levels is that many homes are being listed at prices well above current fair-market value, leading to a long sales process. For sellers with quality properties listed at fair prices, the outlook is much better.
In a market with increased listings and decreased sales, you'll normally find that the average number of days on the market increases as well. But with our current market conditions, the quality listings are still being met with high demand from buyers. This means they're flying off the market so quickly that it's helping to still bring the average DOM down, despite less-desirable properties taking longer to sell. All of this is while the median sales prices of these homes are continuing to rise.
For homeowners trying to price their property for more than it's worth in order to take advantage of buyer demand, selling may take a while. But for sellers looking to cash in on the major gains we've seen in home values over the past year and a half, listing their quality home at a reasonable price is likely to generate big interest from hungry home shoppers.
San Diego Real Estate Market Statistics for August 2014