Housing market continues to rebound
Housing market activity is moving in a direction that is better for the economy.
High Point Regional Association of Realtors reported that in October, closed transactions were up 19 percent in a year-to-year comparison and 14 percent from last month. According to HPRAR, the average sales price has shown a steady increase all year. October’s figure of $151, 200 is the highest in 17 months.
A comparison of total market activity, the combination of closed transactions and those under contract, for the first 10 months of 2012 shows a 12 percent increase over the same time last year. “This is very encouraging given the normal seasonal slowdown in real estate activity that normally accompanies the approach of the holidays,” said association president Cindy Martin.
Martin said that the real estate market’s resurgence is good news for the region’s economy.
“Based on and as a result of sales thus far in 2012 nearly 500 jobs have been created, primarily in related industries. Plus, over time, $30-50 million will be pumped in the regional economy,” she said.
Although the national report for October is not available yet, Re/Max’s national report for September showed that both home prices and home sales continued at levels higher than last year.
While low inventories are creating bidding wars in some markets, they also have resulted in prices moving higher.
“Now that the summer buying season is behind us, we can clearly see that the market made a significant rebound, and 2012 is definitely the year of the housing recovery,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of Re/Max. “Although we still face some serious obstacles in tight lending and shrinking inventory, we believe that the housing market will continue to recover into 2013.”
Martin said that there are the intangible, but very important benefits of housing.
“(Important benefits are) supporting neighborhoods, stability, reduced crime, providing a source of community volunteers and giving birth to a sense of control and pride,” she said. “Of course, there are the facts that 80-90 percent of all federal income taxes are paid by homeowners, and that housing accounts for 15 percent of the nation’s GDP.”