U.S. Home Market Seen Remaining Vibrant in 2013 Second Half


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, August, 13, 2013 – Platforms appear robust for the U.S. residential market to sustain its growth in the 2013 second half, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports, as it noted recent indicators from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showing continued strength in home resale accompanied by prices rising at a double-digit clip.

At the same time, the full service real estate firm says much optimism can be drawn from the construction sector, one of the main primers of the current housing-led U.S. economic recovery. Based on recent reports, there was an 8-point rise in the June reading of National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index to 52 from the 44 recorded in May. The June level marks the first time in seven years that most homebuilders in the U.S. are optimistic on home sales.

Good prospects for sellers

The builders’ positive outlook which stands to add further momentum to new home construction, however, is unlikely to dampen the uptrend in home prices. For the rest of the year, limited housing supplies can be expected in most parts of the U.S., according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. Despite a 3.3% gain in total housing inventory at end-May to 2.22 million units, this growth pace can’t moderate future price gains. Newly built residences can only have a downward pressure on prices if “new home construction ramps up quickly by an additional 50%,” NAR’s Yun indicated.

Indeed, current home inventory remains favorable to prospective sellers. NAR’s reported 2.2-million unit total U.S. inventory for May represents a 5.1-month supply, using current sales pace as basis. This inventory level is down from the 5.2 months in April and likewise 10.1% below the 6.5-month supply a year earlier. A 6-month supply is generally considered by realtors as the market equilibrium wherein pricing favors neither buyers nor sellers.

Price gain streak continues

Residential Price Gains

Indicating brisk demand, total sales of existing homes consisting of single family residences, townhouses, coops and condos rose year over year by 12.9% to a seasonally adjusted 5.18 million units in May from 4.59 million representing the 23rd consecutive monthly increase on an annual basis.. This May’s level was 4.2% above the April record of 4.97 million units.

The streak in gains in median home price increases likewise remains unbroken, Sarasota Bay Real Estate says. The national median for prices of all existing home types rose by 15.4% year over year to $208,000 in May, marking the sixth straight month of double-digit advance. This gain, unbroken for 15 consecutive months, was also the strongest since October 2005 when the median price rose a record 16.6% on an annual comparison.

Food for thought when buying

These advance in median prices, nonetheless, shouldn’t dishearten prospective home buyers, Sarasota Bay Real Estate says. By teaming up with an expert broker, the full service realty firm maintains, those hunting for residential bargains can still locate some attractively priced properties. In its region, it adds, the median home price this May for Manatee-Sarasota homes for sale stands at $201,521, notches lower than the national average.

Great choices, for one, can be had in the golf community of Stoneybrook at Heritage Harbour. A condo property here listed among Bradenton real estate for sale had its asking price reduced recently to the low $100s. This two-bedroom unit has a floor area of 1,100-plus square feet and has a superb location close to local amenities.