Aug 26, 2011

Housing Market Study: Mid-Size US Housing Markets

Real Time Housing Market Report
Real-Time Housing Market Update By Altos Research
This is the first time we have experienced the current combination of low interest rates, high unemployment, and a glut of inventory hiding in the shadow. The housing market in the United States is in a constant state of flux. Volatility is the norm and the rules of yesterday’s market no longer apply.

The Mid-Cities Report provides a glimpse into real estate market trends for mid-sized US markets not commonly reported in the media.  

This month prices increased in 14 of the 20 markets, and inventory increased in 12 of the 20 markets. The list of markets with price and inventory increases has been in flux for the past three months.  Our Altos 20-City Composite National Report showed signs of a slowing market a few weeks ago. The summer price bump is over and both prices and inventory are declining at the seven-day level. The next few weeks will set the stage for a long, cold winter. There’s nothing on the immediate horizon with employment or the economy that suggests a spike in fall or winter housing market activity.
Traditionally, inventory begins declining in the fall and reaches a seasonal low in January. The current inventory trend shows evidence of the seasonal inventory shift.

Key takeaways from the markets covered in this report:
  • The median price was $256,120 in July, up $7 from $256,113 in June. For comparison, the Altos national composite median price was down 0.16% in July, from $450,894 to $450,176.
  • The leaders in the three-month price increases are Boulder (8.23%), San Antonio (4.43%), and Boise (3.11%).
  • Only two markets had decreasing prices over three months. Naples (-2.73%) and Dover (-1.25%).
  • Boulder had the largest one-month increase in median price, with a 3.67% increase.
  • The largest one-month increase in inventory was Boulder, with a 3.26% increase.
  • The largest one-month decrease in inventory was Naples, with a 5.32% decrease. Naples also had the largest three-month decrease in inventory (-10.95%).
  • Eight of the 20 markets reported a decrease in inventory and six of the 20 markets reported a decrease in median prices.
  • The 7-day numbers have been declining and 90-day averages in the mid-cities composite are flattening for median prices and inventory. The 7-day trends are always the first indication of a
    shifting market and should be watched closely.