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What is the latest data telling us?

Over the past week, there have been a number of conferences, reports, stats, forecasts etc. discussing the health of the housing market. These include reports from Inman’s Real Estate Connect Event in NYC, National Association of Home Builders International Conference and the Campbell Real Estate Timing Report.
I’ve spent some time reviewing a number of these.  Here are some of the key take away points, my thoughts on what the data is telling us, plus how I see my market unfolding.

 

  • Consumer confidence has improved and indications are that it will continue to do so.
  • The 2011 spring home-selling season will be better than last year (thankfully).
  • While we are likely to see an improvement in the housing market this year, it will be modest.
  • If the predictions about the economy and unemployment rates hold up, we can look forward to more substantial improvement in the housing market in 2012.
  • Of course, real estate is uniquely local with micro market trends.
  • In some markets there is still a glut of unsold houses that will continue to weigh heavily on the health of that market. Markets where this glut of unsold houses and a large pool of shadow inventory exist are projected to see additional price declines in 2011. Good news for investors, and buyers in those markets.
  • On a regional basis, San Diego’s market is one of the stronger. Based on year over year Case Shiller data (SA) since Oct 2009, prices in SD are higher by 2.9%.  According to the Campbell Report, recent data indicates that San Diego prices are likely to rise for the next 3 -6 months. (includes 5 vital signs; Existing home sales, New home building permits, Notice of defaults, Foreclosure sales, 30 yr fixed mortgage rates)
  • The biggest threat to the housing recovery; unemployment is the number one concern.

In my market, I am seeing improved consumer confidence and activity. My sense is that many who were uncertain or on the fence last year have started to move. There is a general sense that prices have reached or are near the bottom, buyers are re-entering the market and they believe the best deals will soon be gone.

What are you seeing in your market? Do you agree with the forecasts?