Over the past few months, we’ve been talking about how things are looking up in Houston, Dallas and Memphis real estate: but what about the rest of the country? Markets like Houston and Dallas, of course, had the distinct advantage of not being as affected by the market crash (or recession) compared to other national real estate markets.
We of course recognize that these markets on the forefront of recovery are great and, we hope, a sign of good to come in the future. But really, how is the rest of the United State faring when it comes to real estate?
Real Estate Trends Point to More Pending Home Sales
Once the second quarter of the real estate season hit, home sales across the country saw great improvement in comparison to that past few years. Late Spring brought us the highest percentage of pending homes sales in nine years. They’re 14% up from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Despite the fact that many markets are facing inventory shortages, home sales were up countrywide.
Regionally, increases varied, but there were no decreases for pending home sales in 2015 compared to 2014.
But What About Closed Home Sales?
Unfortunately, the number of closed sales on existing homes fell. Because we’re in a high-demand seller’s market with tight inventory, many regions have seen accelerating home prices due to competition. If left unchecked, this could actually hurt markets across the country.
The total number of mortgaged residential properties with negative equity, meaning the borrower owes more on the mortgage than the home is worth, hit 5.1 million. This is a decrease from 5.4 million in Q4 2014 and 6.3 million in Q1 2014. Two interesting stats came from the most recent report.
- Memphis homes underwater continues to decrease like the national average and now stands at 17% of homes with mortgages listed as underwater.
- Texas has the fewest homes underwater, with Dallas leading the way, out of all 50 states.
New Single-Family Home Sales Looking Strong
As of April 2015, new home sales are also on the upswing — at least, for the Midwest (up 36.8%) and South (up 5.8%). In order to meet demand, new home construction is rising to the challenge to supply new inventory in tighter markets, particularly where new homes sales are doing well. The South is known as the most prolific region for new construction,
Remember, however, that new home sale numbers can fluctuate wildly between months, so a longer-term observance is in order to identify clear real estate trends.
Despite home sales and new home construction not nearly reaching pre-recession levels, we can celebrate the fact that real estate markets across the country — not just in isolated, more “recession proof” markets — are looking up.
What do you think will be the next catalyst in the recovery of the real estate market? Share your thoughts in the comments.