National Housing Report: Prices And Inventory Both Up

May 6, 2011

by jon

8 comments

The headlines were reporting a “double-dip” in the lagging real estate data this week, but April brought some good news for the active housing market.  Both prices and inventory continued their upward trajectory, causing some cautious optimism from the real estate community.

History tells us the seasonal uptick is expected this time of year and we have been watching the 7-day averages trend upwards for a few months now.  Sellers are entering the market to take advantage of all the buyers who seem to be getting off the fence in larger numbers this spring.  Low interest rates and comparatively low prices are fueling demand in most parts of the country.

The highlights from the Altos Research National Report:

  • The Altos national index median price was $440,194 in April, up 1.82% from $432,307 in March.
  • Austin, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. all showed double-digit inventory increases.
  • Boston posted the biggest inventory increase at 19.18%.
  • The leaders in the price increase category were in “Sunshine States” – San Francisco (4.87%), San Jose (4.32%), Phoenix (3.30%), Denver (3.23%), and DC (3.04%). The 7-day and 90-day averages are both trending upwards for median prices and inventory. The 7-day trends are always the first indication of a shifting market and should be watched closely.
  • Prices were flat in New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Tampa.
  • Las Vegas and New York were the only markets showing a decrease in inventory, and the decreases were modest (-1.05% and -0.26%, respectively).

The high unemployment rate (although improving) and the lingering threat of shadow inventory are still big concerns for the overall health of the housing market.  The upward trend in list prices will show in the closed transaction data this summer.  The spring market has some good momentum and that trend will continue for a few more months, at the very least.  The data geeks at Altos are fascinated to see how this trend plays out and we’ll keep you posted on any noteworthy changes.

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