Housing seemed to have a slow start to the spring selling season, but appearances deceive. Dig into that spring soil and you begin to unearth differences in individual areas and market segments. Inventory is slowly rising in some areas. Activity is picking up in the upper price tiers. Rents continue to climb in most metros. And interest rates are generally lower than a year ago, to the surprise of some and the delight of others.
New Listings in the Western Upstate region increased 8.3 percent to 669. Pending Sales were down 25.5 percent to 219. Inventory levels rose 7.1 percent to 4,025 units.
Prices forged onward. The Median Sales Price increased 5.3 percent to $150,600. Days on Market was down 16.1 percent to 99 days. Absorption rates slowed as Months Supply of Inventory was up 3.1 percent to 14.3 months.
Housing is one part of a broader ecosystem that thrives on a strong economy that churns out good jobs. First-quarter employment figures were adequate but not thrilling, but second-quarter numbers figure to be more positive. Access to mortgage capital remains an ongoing concern. As cash and investor deals fade, first-time buyers typically step to the forefront, but tight credit can and has been a real hurdle.
Housing Supply Outlook
The astute observer will note that headline figures can sometimes mask the truth. The truth hides within the various areas and sub-markets. Watch closely for signs of changing supply and demand dynamics in certain price ranges and other segments. For the 12-month period spanning July 2013 through June 2014, Pending Sales in the Western Upstate region were up 4.0 percent overall. The price range with the largest gain in sales was the $200,001 to $350,000 range, where they increased 9.9 percent.
The overall Median Sales Price was up 4.6 percent to $136,000. The property type with the largest price gain was the Condo segment, where prices increased 20.7 percent to $105,000. The price range that tended to sell the quickest was the $100,001 to $150,000 range at 94 days; the price range that tended to sell the slowest was the $350,001 and Above range at 148 days.
Market-wide, inventory levels were up 7.1 percent. The property type that gained the most inventory was the Single-Family segment, where it increased 9.9 percent. That amounts to 14.4 months supply for Single-Family homes and 12.9 months supply for Condos.
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