As July turns into August, individuals concerned with the health and well-being of the real estate market should find comfort in the fact that overall, things keep getting better with regards to the most important aspects of the market: sales, home prices and inventory. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released some statistics for the month of June and when compared to previous months in 2014 as well as the same time frame last year, the real estate market has made great strides towards a healthy recovery.
Overall, home sales are up almost 3% when compared to May of 2014; in fact, the number of existing home sales throughout the nation was the highest it’s been since last fall. Distressed property sales have also decreased by 4% in the past year. Thanks to an improving economy and increasing home values, the number of people that are underwater on their homes or behind on their mortgages has declined, creating a smaller number of foreclosures and short sales available for sale.
Nationwide, home prices have also increased by almost 4.5% since last summer. Not only does this means that people that were once underwater may have equity again and are able to complete a traditional sale, but it also means that potential buyers are purchasing homes sooner rather than later to avoid another home value increase. Homeowners with equity also means that more people are interested in selling their homes, thankfully adding to the low inventory that many markets are experiencing throughout the United States. Inventory levels have increased a little over 6% since last year, creating a five and a half month housing supply; a healthy market is considered to have at least a six month supply, so obviously, we’re getting there.
Whether you are a potential buyer, a homeowner looking to sell or just someone that likes to stay up-to-date on the real estate market, you can be rest assured that things are still improving when compared to last year and even a few months ago; many experts see these improvements in inventory, sale prices, home values and a decrease in distressed properties only continuing for the future.