Home sales for March in Montgomery County – up, up and away!

Home sales – up, up and away
County Monthly Home Sales for March 2013The long-term trends continue; home sales and prices are continuing their upward march to the next peak. What has been happening for a year in Montgomery County has now taken hold around the country – home prices are on the rise.

A survey shows U.S. home prices rose 10.5 percent in March compared with a year ago, the biggest gain since March 2006.

Core Logic, a real estate data provider, said Tuesday that annual home prices have now increased for 13 straight months. Prices are rising in part because more buyers are bidding on a limited supply of homes for sale.

Prices increased in 46 states over the past year – 11 of them posting double-digit gains. And when excluding distressed sales, which include foreclosures and short sales, prices rose in every state. A short sale is when a home sells for less than what is owed on the mortgage. In Texas, the Houston MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) posted a 7.9 percent annual gain (excluding distressed properties, the gain was 9.7 percent). For the PDF report: corelogic-hpi-march-2013

Nevada led all states with a 22.2 percent annual gain. It was followed by California (17.2 percent), Arizona (16.8 percent), Idaho (14.5 percent) and Oregon (14.3 percent).

Home prices also rose 1.9 percent in March from February, signaling a solid start to the spring buying season. And 88 of the 100 largest cities reported price gains compared with a year earlier, down slightly from 92 in February.

Consider the following statistics from the data of the Texas Real Estate Center for March. The data looks at home sales, including townhomes and condos, for Montgomery County:

County Monthly Home Inventory March 2013

  • Home Sales — Up 30 percent compared to previous March, rising from 528 to 684
  • Median Price —                 Up 5 percent compared with previous March, rising from $192,600 to $202,000.
  • Inventory — Falling 35 percent, plummeting from 6.2 months of available inventory to just 4 months currently.

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The interesting number to watch is the low inventory; it has been low for months, and I’ve been expecting to see builders respond to increasing demand for housing.

It has begun to happen. According to the graphic below, March building permits nearly doubled over the previous year. Eventually, that will help ease some upward pressure on prices — and more importantly, it will put more and more people to work and help the local economy.

Monthly home inventory March 2013

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