Housing Market Cooling Off as New Year Approaches

The real estate market has cooled off in the past month, an indication that the winter months—the industry's slowest time of the year–have arrived. On a month-over-month basis from October to November, home prices were essentially flat, and there were fewer homes available for home buyers.

At the same time, the list price per square foot on a year-over-year basis has risen significantly each month throughout the year. However, the rate at which the median list price per square foot for homes in our index increased each month has steady dropped throughout the year. In August, the list price per square foot increased by 13.2 percent, in September by 12.6 percent, and in October by 12.1 percent. Finally, in November the median list price per square foot increased 10.9 percent. This is a sign that prices are starting to level out. As a result, homeowners can expect lower year-over-year gains in 2014.

How This Report Is Made

In building Movoto Real Estate's monthly State of the Real Estate Market report, we look at 38 geographically diverse cities in order to determine total inventory levels and median price per square foot index. In addition, we further break down this data on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis. The data used comes from each city's Multiple Listing Service.

Median Price Per Square Foot Index

Year-over-Year

When compared to the same time a year ago, the median price per square foot across the homes we track increased by 10.9 percent, going from $161 to $179. Overall, 34 of the 38 cities we track witnessed an increase in price per square foot. Three cities had prices decrease, and one remained flat. The cities that saw the greatest increase by percentage were:

Phoenix, AZ: The median price per square foot for a home in Phoenix increased by 24.7 percent in the past 12 months. In October 2012, homes in Phoenix sold from $97 per square foot. This figured increased to $121 per square foot last month.

Miami, FL: The median price per square foot for a home in Miami was $187 at the end of October, an increase of 20.6 percent. In October 2012, homes in the city cost $155 per square foot.

Boston, MA: A home in Boston was worth $435 per square foot at the end of last month, up from $361 the year before. This is an increase of 20.5 percent.

The city that saw the greatest decrease in its median price per square foot was Colorado Springs, CO. The median price per square foot for a home in the city decreased by 5.2 percent in the past year, dropping from $115 to $109.

                                   

Month-over-month

According to our analysis, the median list price per square foot dropped from October 2013 to November 2013. In October, the median list price per square foot on our index was $180; this declined to $179.

On a month-over-month basis, the median list price per square foot has remained relatively flat for the past five months. Past trends indicated this is a typical occurrence. Our index indicated prices remained relatively flat during the same time period in 2012 and 2011.

State of the Real Estate Market December 2013 By Movoto

Inventory Index

Year-over-year

In the past 12 months, the number of homes on the market across the 38 cities we track increased by 4.5 percent, going from 100,757 homes in November 2012 to 105,291 homes last month. Of the 38 cities we track, 20 metros saw an increase in inventory. The cities that saw the largest increase in the number of homes available were:

Las Vegas, NV: The big news out of Las Vegas is that the number of available homes on the market increased significantly in the past 12 months. According to our data, inventory in Las Vegas increased by 91.5 percent, jumping from 3,438 to 6,583.

Sacramento, CA: The number of homes on the market in Sacramento increased by 78.9 percent in the past 12 months. In November 2012 there were 877 homes on the market, while at the end of last month there were 1,569 homes available.

San Diego, CA: The number of homes available to home buyers in San Diego increased by 59.8 percent, compared to the same time a year ago. Today there are 2,284 homes on the market, while a year ago there were 1,433 homes.

The two cities that saw the great decrease in the number of available homes was Houston and Boston. Compared to a year ago there are 1,468 fewer homes on the market in Houston, a decrease of 19.8 percent. During the same time Boston saw the largest decrease in inventory on a percentage basis. There were 916 homes on the market in October 2012. At the end of last month there were 734, a drop of 19.9 percent.

                         

Month-over-month

On a month-over-month basis, there were fewer homes on the market in November when compared to October. This is typical for the winter months, which are normally the slowest times of the year for the real estate industry. However, while there are fewer homes available, the percent of home that went off market from October to November is less than in years past.

At the end of November 2013 there were 105,291 homes on the market, while in October 2013 there were 107,154 homes. This is a decrease of about 1.7 percent. By comparison, in 2012 the number of homes on the market dropped by about 5.2 percent over the same period; in 2011 the number of homes on the market between October and November dropped by 5.8 percent.

State of the Real Estate Market December 2013 By Movoto

Long-term investing
It's no secret that investors tend to be impatient with the market, but the best investment strategy is to buy shares in solid businesses and keep them for the long term. In the special free report, "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," The Motley Fool shares investment ideas and strategies that could help you build wealth for years to come. Click here to grab your free copy today.

This article originally appeared on Movoto.com


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2754256, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 12/20/2014 6:45:56 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement