Current Climate – For the moment it appears that the glass is overflowing. A few housing market highlights:
Permits, Starts, Completions and Pendings – All are up year-over-year: 7.5%, 10.1%, 14.6% and 7.4%, respectively. Permits are at an annual rate of 1.19 million; starts are at 1.2 million+, completions are hovering just under 1.0 million, and the pending sales index has risen year-over-year for 11 consecutive months, standing at 110.9 in July.
Sales – New single-family sales are up 25.8% year-over-year and the median sales price of $285,900 reflects a modest but sustainable 2.0% year-over-year increase. The current new home inventory at the end of July was 218,000 representing a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace.
At 5.59 million, existing home sales are at the highest level since February 2007 and are 10.3% above a year ago. The median existing home price for all housing types was $234,000 in July reflecting a 5.6% y/y increase.
Unsold inventory now stands at a 4.8-month supply; 43% of homes sold in July were on the market for less than a month; the mortgage rate held steady at about 4% at last report; and distressed sales declined to a 7% share of sales compared to a 33% share in July 2010.