Even though he has retired, don’t you sometimes just want to smack David Letterman? The popularity of his Top 10 something or other lists have made the genre ubiquitous. Apparently compiling them just too tempting.
Housing is no exception. In the last month or so we have seen lists (and no longer limited to top ten – 15 or 20 are increasingly common) of best cities (and worst) for first time homebuyers, for growth, jobs, safety, and affordability. If your city or town hasn’t been deemed the best place for something you should probably fire the mayor.
Today there were two more. Realtor.com released a list of the hottest housing markets in the country counting down from 20 and Clear Capital dug deeper, measuring market appreciation rates across price ranges to dissect valuation risk and come up with top and bottom performing markets.
The top 15 list is compiled by Realtor.com each month and Jonathan Smoke, the website’s chief economist said “We are now entering the time of the year when both inventory and demand typically reach their peak. The dog days of summer slow down the pace of activity, just as the school year creeps closer.
“This year we’re seeing inventory continue to grow in July, albeit at a slower pace than this spring,” he continued. “And while demand overall is strong, the trend in median days on market is suggesting that the market isfinding more of a balance, which bodes well for more moderate price appreciation in the months ahead.” If there’s a more diplomatic way to say housing has topped out for 2015, we haven’t heard it.
This list is based on the median number of days on market both to assess how quickly homes are selling and as an indicator of housing supply, or inventory. It also factors in traffic and searches on the Realtor.com site which the report said continued to set new highs, “showing that there is still strong demand for homes.”
Overall data for the first three weeks of the month showed a 7 percent year-over-year increase in the median list price and a 1 percent rise from June to $234,000. Median days on market increased to 69 days, down 7 percent from last July but up 5 percent from the previous month. Housing supply usually peaks in July or August as families rush to close before the school year begins.
The top 20 hottest median-sized to large markets in the country are those where there is plenty of demand from buyers as measured by on-site listing views and homes are spending little time on the market. On average, these markets receive 1.5 to three times the number of views per listing compared with that of the rest of the nation, and inventory is moving 24 to 41 days more quickly. They have also seen days on market drop by a combined average of 14% year over year.
“These hottest markets are the best in the country from both a supply and demand perspective,” Smoke said. “Sellers are seeing listings move much more quickly than the rest of the country and at an accelerating pace from just last month. Meanwhile, these markets are clearly attractive to buyers as the listings in these markets are viewed as much as three times more often than the national average.”
Eleven of the 20 metro areas on Realtor.com’s list are in California led by the San Francisco area. Vallejo, Santa Rosa, and San Jose were 4 through 6; San Diego was 8 and Santa Cruz 10. Non-California cities in the top ten were (2) Denver, (3) Dallas, (7) Midland, and (9) Ann Arbor. Starting with 11 the next ten in order are Detroit, Sacramento, Stockton, Yuba City (California), Columbus (Ohio), Austin, Los Angeles, Oxnard, San Antonio, and Fort Wayne.
Clear Capital looked at market appreciation rates across tiers; the bottom 25 percent, middle 25 to 75 percent, and highest percent priced homes. The data revealed that the low-tier has returned closest to peak 2006 levels; prices are about 10.1 percent below those peaks while the mid-tier homes (generally selling between $120,000 and $345,000 are still down almost 25 percent. The highest priced housing segment has returned to within 14.2 percent of peak. The report notes that this difference in recovery underscores the continued challenges the majority of homeowners face, despite a quicker recovery in both the bottom and top segments of the market.
Overall the company’s Home Data Index (HDI) posted a 0.7 return in quarterly gains in July compared to 0.6 in June.
“Through the first half of 2015, we observed a housing recovery that is normalizing after an impressive price surge from the trough of the market,” says Alex Villacorta, Ph.D., vice president of research and analytics. “After more than two years of a pretty remarkable upward swing, the housing market’s correction-to-the-correctionhas given way to more normal rates of growth. What we now know, however, is that this correctionary period has not treated all markets, nor segments within markets, the same.
“In particular, our latest data exposed a mid-tier lag. This segment is still way behind both the top and bottom of the market in terms of recovery over the last nine years,” Villacorta said. “The low-tier was both hit and buffered by high levels of distressed activity which, in recent years, has sparked investor activity driven in large part by theaccelerated demand in the rental sector. And, the top-tier has benefited from a segment of the market that is more resilient to the current economic climate. The mid-tier’s performance is concerning as it represents the key move-up buyer segment of the market. As long as this key segment is still fighting to regain an equity foothold, re-engagement back into the purchase market will continue to be on hold.”
Clear Capital names as its top 15 highest performing major markets (identified by its largest city), Las Vegas, Dallas Ft. Worth, Seattle, Denver, Tampa, Miami, Sacramento, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Riverside, Portland (Oregon), Orlando, and San Jose.
Conversely, those at the bottom included Providence, Baltimore, Cleveland, Hartford, and Milwaukee.
Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
With over 200 condominium, townhome and loft projects successfully marketed
310.453.1965 Cell: 310.633.4742 Fax: 310.756.1233
“Fewer properties for sale with such remarkably low interest rates make it a great time to sell but a more difficult time to buy”