Real Estate Data for the Rest of Us

articles about “Infographics

Woulda Shoulda Coulda: Real Estate Regrets to Avoid

Trulia’s latest consumer survey revealed that 52% of people regret something about their current home or the process of choosing it. This season, under the pressure of tight inventory, buyers and renters have to try hard not to make the same mistakes

Spring house-hunting season is upon us. Home searches peak in March and April, and this year the search is especially frantic as inventory is near a 12-year low. Many homes don’t stay on the market for long, so buyers will have to move fast – especially in markets with bidding wars and competing investor activity. But when it comes to searching for a home, as with everything else, moving too fast leads to mistakes and regrets. To find out which regrets are most common – and who is most prone to making decisions they’ll later regret — we asked more than 2,000 consumers what, if anything, they regret about their current home and most recent home-search process.

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Housing Market 53% Back to Normal

Trulia’s Housing Barometer improved in February, up 20 percentage points from one year ago

Each month, Trulia’s Housing Barometer charts how quickly the housing market is moving back to “normal.”  We summarize three key housing market indicators: construction starts (Census), existing home sales (NAR), and the delinquency-plus-foreclosure rate (LPS First Look). For each indicator, we compare this month’s data to (1) how bad the numbers got at their worst and (2) their pre-bubble “normal” levels.

In February 2013, all three measures held steady or improved:

  • Construction starts notched up. Starts were at a 917,000 annualized rate, up 0.8% month-over-month and up 28% year-over-year. Aside from a December spike in construction, February starts were at the second-highest level since July 2008. And 31% of February construction starts were in multi-unit buildings–compared with the typical level of 20%. Construction starts are now 43% of the way back to normal.
  • Existing home sales also increased. Sales rose slightly to 4.98 million in February from 4.94 million in January. Year-over-year, sales were up 10%. Excluding distressed sales, conventional home sales were up 25% year-over-year in February. Importantly, inventory–which has been very tight and could hold back sales–rose almost 10% in February, which is a bigger jump than the typical seasonal increase. Overall, existing home sales are 70% back to normal.
  • The delinquency + foreclosure rate dropped. The share of mortgages in delinquency or foreclosure dropped from 10.44% in January to 10.18% in February, and is now at its lowest level since October 2008. The combined delinquency + foreclosure rate is 46% back to normal.