submitted by Lynne Kelleher, Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors – Newtown Office
“The housing market has turned – at last. The U.S. finally has moved beyond attention-grabbing predictions from housing “experts” that housing is bottoming. The numbers are now convincing.”
This from the July 11th Wall Street Journal article by David Wessel.
“The housing market is starting to recover. Prices are rising. Sales are increasing. Home builders are clearing lots and raising frames.” So says Binyamin Applebaum in the June 29th issue of the New York Times.
That certainly seems to be the case here in Bucks County, where inventory levels in June were down 11.7% and sales were up 11%. Year-to-date sales are up 15%, while the average sale price is down 2.5% to $317,000.
It would seem that at least for now, the housing market is slowly gaining a bit of momentum, despite the recent slow down in the already sluggish economy. According to the WSJ article, their survey of forecasters found 44 of 47 believe the housing market has finally reached the bottom.
Several key factors will determine whether housing continues its fragile recovery.
The pace of the overall economic recovery, the unemployment rate, consumer confidence and the size of the so-called “shadow inventory” of unsold homes – those not yet on the market because they are worth less than what’s owed on them, those to be foreclosed upon, and those already owned by lenders.
Uncle Sam has taken steps to delay foreclosures and assist in re-financing, but if that changes, this inventory could flood the market and stall any recent growth.
Is the housing market still walking on eggshells? Heck yes! But at least it’s back on it’s feet and moving forward…for now.