Recently, Homes.com celebrated some promising news regarding the state of the housing market as reported by the National Association of Realtors® (It’s Official: NAR Reports that Housing Market is ‘Solidly Recovering’!). All in all, the market is on the up and up. But how do things stand in your neck of the woods? Look no further because Homes.com has unveiled a Local Market Index Report, which is undoubtedly the most geographically comprehensive measure of the U.S. housing market right down to the quaint little cul-de-sac near you!
What is the Local Market Report?
Utilizing home pricing data for the period ending March 2013, the Homes.com Local Market Report is a new summary of price performance on repeat sale properties for both single family and multi-unit/condominium sales within the U.S. This information substantiates pricing trends, performance, and growth indicators.
What Makes it Different from Other Housing Reports?
Typical reports are limited to the top 20 housing markets and only provide high level statistics regarding the nearest metro areas. However, the Homes.com Local Market Index Report encompasses the top 100 U.S. markets and uses localized information to provide a detailed view of neighborhood or zip code performance.
What Will You Get Out of It?
- Use this data as a benchmark against surrounding areas or at a national level to gauge which areas are thriving and which areas are diving.
- If you have clients that are relocating out of the area, the Local Market Index can substantiate those trends and how it stacks up to their current location.
- If you’re a broker considering expansion or have a client that is, use this report as a tool to evaluate top performing markets that would be a worthy investment and those to avoid due to declining values and other factors.
- Forecast conditions down the road and disclose current trends to clients and prospects to showcase yourself as an authority. If you have clients that are on the fence about putting their home on the market, the neighborhood data provided in this report will be helpful in pushing them to one side or the other.
- This data is helpful when negotiating contracts. For example, if an offer is lower than the asking price, but the neighborhood report has dictated consistent positive growth, encourage your clients to stand their ground.
- Lastly, real estate pros should always be in the know about national economic indicators that impact the housing market. Read on below for more information on economic factors.
Top Performing Markets:
While 96 out of 100 markets for single-family properties are advancing on a monthly basis, there are a few worth noting including the “Aloha state!” Break out your leis, pineapple drinks and dust off your ukuleles because not only is Honolulu, Hawaii a popular vacation destination, but it had the highest month over month growth (+2.40 points) and the largest year over year growth (+22.55 index points)! Following behind for year over year gains was the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. area (+18.18 points) and second for month over month growth was Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C. gaining 2.23 points (coincidentally, Homes.com home office is in Norfolk!).
Worst Performing Markets:
Worst performing markets were concentrated in the Northeast but only saw marginal declines. Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA. had the largest month-to-month decline with a -0.45 point decrease (side note: NBC’s award-winning sitcom “The Office” was fictionally based on the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin!). For year to year declines, Jackson, Miss. fell the farthest at -1.35, followed by Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. at -1.21.
The National Overview portion of the report is a comprehensive picture of the economy’s overall health. It highlights contributing factors that impact the housing market including employment, manufacturing and retail sales, new construction, fuel costs, stock market and other indicators. Below are some notable high and lows that have contributed to thriving or diving markets:
- While housing starts slumped 16.5% in March, building permits surged 14.2% with over 1 million permits pulled (highest since June 2008). This is good news as Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist recently suggested that new home construction could bridge the gap between low inventory and buyer demands that we’re currently experiencing.
- Job gains came in higher than expected; unemployment rate ticked down to 7.5%; and new unemployment claims moved to its lowest level since late 2007.
- Earnings were up 0.2% possibly due to falling fuel costs, which typically supports higher spending
- Supply management indices posted declines possibly due to reductions in defense spending as a result of sequestration.
- Retail sales advanced slightly at 0.1%, which could be attributed to lower gas costs and higher stock prices.
How is your local area is measuring up? Tell us on Facebook! Download the full Local Market Index here and to receive a comprehensive data file including index values in every zip code within a local market, contact us at LocalMarketReports@Homes.com. For more detailed information about the Local Market Index Report, review the full press release. Check back each month to take advantage of our other comprehensive market reports to gain more insight on the state of the housing market including your local area!