Real estate agents have less to worry about, as all signs point to a strengthening economy. Looking at the figures from May, experts are feeling optimistic about the current housing market and its long-term recovery. A general stabilizing was indicated by a lengthening in the amount of time listings spent on the market and an increase in inventory.
The number of homes that spent less than two weeks on the market decreased from 31.9 to 33.2 percent from April to May, which a Redfin report attributes to a wider selection of inventory. Despite the uptick in supply, the report reflects that home prices have reached a four-year high from January of 2010. Home sale prices went up by 17 percent year over year, and rose 4 percent from April. The number of sales themselves increased by 14 percent from 2012, and 16 month over month from April.
Cities of note in the report, which is not nationwide, included Austin, which saw an increase of 23.6 percent in home sales in May, Baltimore, which experienced a similar increase by 27 percent and Boston, in which home sales rose by 38 percent. In Austin and Baltimore, the number of single-family homes for sale increased by 4.6, 3.7 month over month, respectively. However, in Boston that statistic dropped by 1 percent, 49 percent lower than it was in May of 2012.
Limited inventory not expected to be a problem
Retrospective property data reports revealed that housing starts experienced an uptick of 60.3 percent over the past year, according to Bloomberg news. While inventory is still down 22 percent from May of 2012, the number of listings rose by 4 percent from April to May.
"We're going to see some fundamental improvements in our business just by the nature of the economic improvement, particularly with housing and the repair and remodel segment which uses lots of wood," said Rick Holley, CEO of Plum Creek Timber. "[The] most important thing is we see housing and demand continue to go in the right direction."
Experts estimate that housing starts reached a 950,000-unit pace in May, according to Bloomberg. The number of existing home sales rose 0.6 percent to an annualized rate of 5 million - a new high since the economic collapse in 2009.