Real Estate Data for the Rest of Us

articles about “Jed Kolko

Rising Home Prices Can’t Keep Up with Rent Increases

Price gains in Denver, San Jose and Pittsburgh look like they’re here to stay, but a big foreclosure backlog put the price jumps in Phoenix, Miami and Detroit at risk.

The Trulia Price Monitor and Trulia Rent Monitor are the earliest leading indicators of how asking prices and rents are trending nationally and locally. They adjust for the changing mix of listed homes and therefore show what’s really happening to asking prices and rents. Because asking prices lead sales prices by approximately two or more months, the Monitors reveal trends before other price indexes do. With that, here’s the scoop on where prices and rents are headed.

Rent Increases Outpace Price Gains In June
Asking prices were up once again month over month in June, by 0.3%. Aside from May, when asking prices increased by so little that they were essentially unchanged, asking prices have moved up every month since February. Now, even the year-over-year price change is positive. Foreclosures hold back price gains; when we exclude foreclosed homes, prices are up 1.7% year-over-year. At the local level, prices have risen quarter-over-quarter in 84 of the 100 largest metros, seasonally adjusted – these widespread gains are in addition to the typical springtime boost. Now that’s real progress.

June 2012 Trulia Price Monitor Summary

% change in asking prices # of 100 largest metros with asking-price increases % change in asking prices, excluding foreclosures
Month-over-month, seasonally adjusted 0.3% (not reported) 0.8%
Quarter-over-quarter, seasonally adjusted 0.8% 84 2.2%
Year-over-year 0.3% 44 1.7%

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Trulia’s Housing Barometer: Recovery Hits A Plateau

Trulia's Chief Economist reviews May's construction starts, existing-home sales and the delinquency-plus-foreclosures rate to see how far away we are from a "normal" housing market.

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.

All three indicators took a step backward in May 2012:

Construction starts slid back for the month, but up for the year. Starts dropped from an upwardly revised 744,000 in April to 708,000 in May, a 4.8% month-over-month decline. But starts are up 28.5% year over year. Still, construction has a long way to go: starts are just 23% of the way back to normal.

Existing home sales also decreased. Dropping from 4.62 million in April to 4.55 million in May,  home sales are not quite halfway back (45%) to their normal level from their worst point during the bust.

The delinquency + foreclosure rate ticked upward. (Remember, on this measure, lower is better.) In May, 11.32% of mortgages were delinquent or in foreclosure, inching up from 11.26% in April and 11.23% in March, though down from 12.07% a year ago. The delinquency + foreclosure rate is 36% of the way back to normal, ahead of starts but behind sales.

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Consumer Optimism: Too Much of a Good Thing?

In Trulia’s latest American Dream survey, people told us they want to super-size their homes and expect prices to return to their bubble-era highs.

Trulia’s latest American Dream survey reveals that consumer optimism is rebounding– faster than the housing market itself is. Prospective homebuyers are looking at bigger homes, thinking more seriously about buying and optimistically hoping for higher home prices in both the short-term and long-term.

To get American’s take on homeownership, we worked with Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey of 2,205 U.S. adults between May 22-24 and 2,230 U.S. adults between June 4-6. For the full methodology, see here.

The Return of Super-Sized Homes
Remember when Americans started looking for smaller-sized homes after the bubble burst? Well, it turns out that downsizing was not here for good. After a few months of encouraging housing market news, the “bigger is better” way of thinking is making a comeback. Now, 27% of Americans  say their ideal home size is over 2,600 square feet–up from 17% in 2011. Furthermore, the “super-sized” house category, 3,200 square feet and up, saw an even more dramatic increase in interest. While just 6% of those surveyed in 2011 expressed desire for a super-sized home, 11% now say they want a home of this size — that’s almost double a year ago.

It turns out that new-home builders spotted this growing appetite for size: the Census recently reported the average home constructed increased from 2,392 square feet in 2010 to 2,480 square feet in 2011.

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Welcome to the Gayborhood

From Provincetown to the Castro, gay men and women have made neighborhoods their own. Many are pricey, but we’ve found some affordable neighborhoods where you can be out and proud.

In honor of Gay Pride month, when New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and many others cities across the country hold their annual parades, we wanted to find the gayest neighborhoods across America. No surprise that San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood is at the top of the list, but throughout the country there are suburban and small-town neighborhoods with high concentrations of gay people. Even in the big, expensive cities, it’s possible to find a gay community without spending a fortune. And the picture looks different for gay men and women, who often cluster in very different neighborhoods even in the same metro.

Here’s what we did. For each ZIP code in the U.S., we calculated the share of households that are same-sex male couples and same-sex female couples, based on the 2010 Census. Then, we combined the Census data on where gay people live with median price per foot of listed homes in each ZIP code on Trulia over the past year.

(The fine print: The Census doesn’t ask sexual orientation, of course, so the only way to measure gay neighborhoods is based on where couples live. The Census data requires some corrections and adjustments, described here. Finally, ZIP codes don’t line up perfectly with neighborhoods, but we did our best to use the closest neighborhood names that correspond to the ZIP codes in our analysis.)

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Home Prices Stall, Breaking 3-Month Streak of Rising Prices

After three straight months of price increases, the May 2012 Trulia Price Monitor showed no change in asking prices from April. But, at the same time, rent increases keep accelerating.

Each month we publish the Trulia Price Monitor and Trulia Rent Monitor, which are the earliest leading indicators of how asking prices and rents are trending nationally and locally, adjusted for the mix of listed homes and seasonal factors. Here’s the scoop on how prices and rents did in May.

After Three Months of Increases, Asking Prices Flat in May
Asking prices on for-sale homes were unchanged in May month over month, seasonally adjusted. Because prices rose in February, March and April, prices remain 1.6% higher in May than one quarter ago, and most of the country has seen price increases: 86 of the 100 largest metro areas had quarter-over-quarter price increases in May, seasonally adjusted.

May 2012 Trulia Price Monitor Summary

% change in asking prices # of 100 largest metros with asking-price increases % change in asking prices, excluding foreclosures
Month-over-month, seasonally adjusted 0.0% (not reported) 0.4%
Quarter-over-quarter, seasonally adjusted 1.6% 86 2.1%
Year-over-year -0.2% 41 1.0%

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