Boston Area Housing Predicted to go Down

The Boston area housing forecast for the second half of 2015 fails to show any positive data, with trends predicted to go downhill.

Boston area housing forecast for the rest of 2015 not looking so great

According to the latest market report from analytics firm Clear Capital, nationally, the data is more of the same. Data through June looks similar to data through May 2015, with no change in quarterly growth at 0.6% and a slight drop of 0.1% in yearly growth, from 5.3% to 5.2%.

Boston Area Housing Nearing Summer’s End

What’s worse is that the best of the year is already past since the spring and summer seasons typically reflect the peak of the Boston area housing demand cycle. And 0.6% quarterly growth nationwide is a foreboding sign of how the remainder of 2015 may play out, according to the report from Clear Capital.

In January 2015, Clear Capital forecasted total 2015 national growth would come in at 1.3%, more than five percentage points from where we ended 2014 at 6.7% national growth.

Here we are six months later, and there is very little evidence for Clear Capital to change their view that the year will end up with price growth coming in just around the rate of inflation. Their adjusted forecast calls for year-end national growth of 2.6%, falling within their initial projected range of between 1% to 3%.

Meanwhile, May home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased by 6.3% in May 2015 compared with May 2014, according to the home price report from CoreLogic.

This change represents 39 months of consecutive year-over-year increases in home prices nationally. On a month-over-month basis, home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased by 1.7% in May 2015 compared with April 2015.

Stay abreast of the latest in Boston area housing news, and all the news and events that affect the Boston area housing market by visiting our site often, and remember, we post tips daily to Twitter, and also on our Facebook Page. We’d love you to check us out there too.

May Boston Area Home Sales Highest Since 2008

Boston area home sales in May were greater than in any other May since 2008, while home prices continued to rise. Sales are on a four-month trend in which they were higher than both the previous month and the same month in the previous year.

Boston area home sales were higher in May than in any other May since 2008

Many positive factors are contributing to a strong housing market this year. Job growth and wages are slowly improving, while rents are increasing rapidly and mortgages are becoming much more accessible. When these factors are coupled with continuing low interest rates, the result is a growing number of consumers with the confidence to buy or sell a home.

Completed transactions in May were 8.9 percent higher than in April and 3.5 percent higher than May 2014. The median sales price of homes sold has risen for 40 consecutive months.

Prices Increasing Along With Boston Area Home Sales

Boston area home prices also continued to increase. In May, the median price was 7.8 percent above the price seen last year. The average month-over-month increase for the first five months of 2015 has been 3.6 percent.

Looking beyond the Boston area, thirty-eight metro areas across the country reported higher sales on a year-over-year basis, with 11 reporting double digit increases in May.

The average days on market, or the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed for all homes sold in May dropped seven days from April to 64, and two days below the average of 66 in last year.

The inventory of homes for sale increased by 0.4 percent from April, the first time back-to-back monthly increases occurred since May and June 2014. As home sales continue to grow, the months’ supply of inventory in May was 3.6 on a scale where six months indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.

Find more news pertaining to the recent number of Boston area home sales under our Boston area Real Estate News Section of articles to your right just below our Boston area Real Estate Categories.

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Credit Scores for Boston Area Renters Rising

Credit scores for Boston area renters appears to be unaffected by the surging cost of renting according to a report from CoreLogic.

New data from CoreLogic found that the risk of default among Boston area renters decreased year-over-year by two points, according to the firm’s index value for the first quarter of 2015 — compared to the index value in the first quarter of 2014.

The two-point, year-over-year decrease is a sign of the improving ability to meet lease obligations among prospective Boston area renters. And that’s a positive sign for investors entering or expanding their market presence. It’s also a good sign for the economy.

Boston area renters are seeing their credit scores go up

Boston area Renters Housing Outpacing Owned Home Values

Recently, the real estate site Zillow noted that U.S. rents outpaced home values in April for the first time in years. The CoreLogic “SafeRent Renter Applicant Risk (RAR) Index” indicates the credit quality of renter applicants.

Using a mean value of 100 during the base year of 2004, an index value below 100 indicates a renter applicant pool with a higher average risk of not fulfilling lease obligations.

Although credit scores for Boston area renters seems to be rising, albeit ever-so slowly, the Federal Reserve of New York released updated household debt data, showing that total consumer debt has now reached $11.85 trillion, an increase of $201 billion from the days of the financial crunch. You know, the one where we were all supposed to have learned our lesson about accumulating too much debt?

Mortgage debt did go down, but it was largely the result of banks writing off bad debt, rather than consumers paying down old balances. And by historic standards, total consumer debt remains high. As a percentage of disposable income, it remains above 100 percent. Before 2002, household debt had never been above 100 percent.

The biggest debt growth came from: auto loans, up $93 billion, student loans, up $78 billion, and credit cards, up $25 billion. The increase across all classes of debt should concern us. And the mythical deleveraging is now over, as Americans borrow to finance homes cars, schools and trips to restaurants.

With all that rising debt across so many platforms like cars, student loans and credit cards, it’s somewhat amazing that credit scores for Boston area renters seems to be holding steady or going up slightly.

Get more news regarding Boston area renters and the trends affecting those renters in our Boston Real Estate News section below our Boston Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.

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New Homes Increase 7 Percent in April

Sales of new homes increased nearly 7 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

New Homes Numbers Still Below Average

The new homes numbers are still below-average historically, but they are up 26 percent compared with April 2014. Plus, home builders were relieved that sales bounced back in April after slumping in March.

U.S. building permits rose 6%, while housing starts rose 9% versus a year ago, not seasonally adjusted. Bloomberg’s Josh Wright reports on “Bloomberg Markets.”

New homes, however, represent only a fraction of the housing market. Sales of existing homes fell 3.3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million, the National Association of Realtors reported recently. The good news is that existing home sales topped 5 million for the second consecutive month. Most real estate agents and brokers agree that sales could have easily been higher if more homes were on the market.
This supply shortage, plus higher home prices, could spur demand for more new homes to be constructed.
Keep up with Boston area new homes and new home sales by continuing to check our site daily for more news and information as it pertains to the sale of new homes and existing homes.
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Record Existing Boston Area Home Sales Expected

Existing Boston area home sales are expected to finish the year at their highest level since 2006 according to the National Association of Realtors’ economic forecast forum revealed at its 2015 Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

However, accelerating price growth and rising mortgage rates have the potential to change the expected finish.

Existing Boston area home sales are expected to hit their highest level since 2006 by the end of 2015

In the most recent existing-homes sales report, sales surged to their highest annual rate in 18 months, showing a promising beginning to the spring home buying season.

Nationwide, total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 6.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in March from 4.89 million in February — the highest annual rate since September 2013 (also 5.19 million).

What’s Driving Boston Area Home Sales?

Sustained job growth and interest rates below 4% have been the catalyst behind the improvement in Boston area home sales where supply needs to increase measurably to meet the pent-up demand for buying.

Unlike the existing Boston area home sales market, demand for single-family new home construction remains weak, and the homebuilding industry is acting accordingly by focusing on multifamily rental housing. New home construction for first-time buyers is about half of the long-term average and the reason is simple: the decline in homeownership and marriage rates among young adults. Things are not projected to return to normal levels for the building market until at least 2017.

Get more news regarding Boston area home sales and the trends affecting those sales in our Boston Real Estate News section below our Boston Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.

Remember, we also post daily on our Facebook Page, and over at Twitter. We’d love you to check us out there too.