Residential Real Estate Index – Real Estate Matters
Browsing Category

Residential Real Estate Index

Affordable Housing, Appraisal, Economics, Home Prices, Housing, Housing Trends, Industry News, Minneapolis / St. Paul Housing, Real Estate Trends, Residential Real Estate, Residential Real Estate Index, Twin Cities Real Estate

University of St. Thomas Housing Market Analysis for November 2018

Will A Computer Tell You How Much Your House Is Worth?

Lower Mortgage Rates for Energy Efficient Homes?

Market Update – Is the Twin Cities one of the top markets in the country where you should buy this winter?

 

Will A Computer Tell You How Much Your House Is Worth?

Federal regulators have proposed loosening real-estate appraisal requirements to enable a majority of U.S. homes to be bought and sold without being evaluated by a licensed human appraiser. That potentially opens the door for cheaper, faster, but largely untested property valuations based on computer algorithms.

Appraisals help lenders ensure that the estimated value of the property supports the purchase price and the mortgage amount. An appraisal that is off by a few percent could leave a homeowner owing more than their house is worth or lenders with insufficient collateral to cover defaulted loans.

Will this automated approach work? It is hard to see how an appraisal can be done without a human appraiser involved. There is so much variation in condition and functionally that cannot be assessed by a computer algorithm. There’s still no computer that can see, hear, taste, smell and touch the property. Until that happens appraisals with humans involved will continue be necessary to do accurate appraisals.

Lower Mortgage Rates for Energy-Efficient Homes?

Mortgage guarantors, insurers, underwriters, and security owners have recently observed that home buyers with lower monthly utility costs default less. Do these lower-risk home buyers deserve a lower interest rate? Lenders are starting to consider the idea of offering a lower interest rate for mortgages on energy efficient homes. Energy efficient mortgages (EEMs) encourage energy efficiency by giving buyers a better rate or more borrowing capacity to buy an energy efficient house or to cover the cost of new energy improvements.

There are several types of EEM products in use today; however, adoption remains limited. Developing programs in several states inject capital into traditional mortgage products to “buy down” the interest rate that is charged to borrowers as an incentive to finance energy retrofits. A third structure being tested assumes that the energy savings and reduced exposure to energy costs reduce the risk profile of the loan and on average should lead to better loan performance. The reduced risk justifies a lower interest rate, which in turn improves the loan pricing for borrowers, while leaving underwriting criteria unchanged.

There are now quantitative standards available to measure a home’s efficiency. The HERS Index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. The HERS or Home Energy Rating System was developed by RESNET and is the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance. Certified RESNET Home Energy Raters conduct inspections to verify a home’s energy performance and determine what improvements can be made to increase it. Home buyers will be attracted to buy homes that are not only more efficient, saving utility costs, but also being able to qualify for lower mortgage rates.

November Market Update

According to a recent Zillow report the Twin Cities was one of the top ten markets in the country where it makes the most sense to buy this winter. This ranking is based on an index they developed using the factors below. For potential buyers looking to make a move before rents and mortgage payments rise further, the report indicates our market compares favorably to most other markets in the country.

Here are the three factors that went into the index:

  • The share of price cuts compared to a year ago: (In the Twin Cities the year over year over year actual selling price compared to the asking price has been declining since June indicating that sellers are beginning to cut prices.)
  • Rent appreciation forecast: Metros where rents are expected to rise more over the next year are ranked higher on the index, because they offer the greatest opportunity for buyers to save money by picking up a mortgage rather than continuing to pay rising rents. (Year over year rents in the Twin Cities continue to increase modestly and are expected to continue to do so, although the rate of increase is expected to moderate.)                      
  • Mortgage affordability: Metros that already have bad mortgage affordability will become harder for buyers as mortgage rates rise, so they are prioritized on this index. (Relative to other markets in the country the Twin Cities does not already have “bad” mortgage affordability. In our market mortgage rates have increased and median sale prices continue increase faster than income making mortgage affordability more difficult.)

The median sale price increased .4% between October and November, however the median sale price of homes sold in the Twin Cities has increased by 8.6% in the past year to $266,000. In comparison, the average annual increase for the previous 12 months has been 7.8%.

The number of closed sales decreased .2% between November of 2017 and November of 2018, continuing a trend of decreasing year over year sales that has been observed for 10 of the last 12 months. The combination of the low number of homes available for sale and higher interest rates continues to take its toll on the number of homes sold. The number of pending sales decreased by 5.7% however the number of new listings increased 11.8% compared to the same period last year. The increase in new listings is a hopeful sign that will be more homes available for sale in the coming few months and that the slide in the year over year sales volume will begin to reverse itself.

For more information, visit the Shenehon Center’s complete report for November 2018 at http://www.stthomas.edu/business/centers/shenehon/research/. The report is also available for free via email from Tousley at hwtousley1@stthomas.edu

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

Affordable Housing, Economics, Home Prices, Housing, Housing Trends, Real Estate Trends, Residential Real Estate, Residential Real Estate Index, Twin Cities Real Estate

University of St. Thomas Real Estate Housing Report for September

Home Affordability Being Stressed By Higher Interest Rates, Higher Median Sale Prices And Higher Construction Costs

30-year mortgage rates reached a new high this week at 4.9%. A year ago, at this time 30-year rates were about 4%. A 1% increase rates makes owning a home less
affordable, especially for first time and first move up buyers. When you look at what that difference means a 1% increase would increase the monthly payment of a homebuyer purchasing a median priced house with 5% down by $155.00. In other cases, a potential buyer would have to come up with an additional $15,900 down payment to get to the same $1,250 payment level when rates were at 4%.

Although the median sale price declined 2.25% between August and September, despite the increase in interest rates, the year over year median sale price of homes in the Twin Cities increased by 7.4% to $262,000. A continuing trend of higher median sale prices and higher interest rates will make home affordability more difficult for homebuyers.

The number of closed sales decreased 5.26% between September of 2017 and September of 2018 and the number of pending sales has decreased by 1.4%during the same period. This decrease may be an early sign that the housing market may be starting to cool down returning to a more even balance between
sellers and buyers. The number of new listings has increased by 5.9% compared to a year ago. The number of homes available for sale was down slightly (4%) compared to last September with 12,623 homes available compared to 13,151 last year.

A Perspective on Interest Rates

By recent standards 30-year mortgage rates near 5% seem high. There has been almost a whole generation of younger homebuyers that have experienced an environment of very low interest rates (3% – 4%). While to these younger homebuyers a 5% rate may seem high, it was not that long ago that 5% -7% rates were considered normal. As can be seen in the chart below there have been periods in the past when rates have been much higher. If interest rates
continue to increase toward historical norms we will begin to see major adjustments in the housing market as higher rates impact affordability.

New Home Construction Prices

The gap between new construction prices and existing housing prices continues to widen. The adjoining table shows the national annual increase in sale price and price per square foot between 2015 and 2017. In the Twin Cities September, the median price of new homes sold was $397,383 compared to a median sale price of existing homes was $252,000. Since new homes tend to be
larger it is helpful to compare the price per square foot. The price per square foot for a new house sold in September was $175 per square foot as opposed to $139 per square foot for existing homes. Much of the cost increases for new construction have been driven by higher land costs, higher material costs and higher impac t fees. Building new housing that is affordable to homeowners in the low to median price brackets will continue to be a challenge tosupply the ever increasing need for affordable housing.

For more information, visit the Shenehon Center’s complete report for Sept ember 2018 at http://www.stthomas.edu/business/centers/shenehon/research/. The report is also available for free via email from Tousley at hwtousley1@stthomas.edu

Affordable Housing, Economics, Home Prices, Housing, Housing Trends, Residential Real Estate, Residential Real Estate Index, Twin Cities Real Estate

Remodeling Activity At Record Levels In The Twin Cities

August 2018

 Median Sale Price Up – Supply of Homes For Sale Down – Sales Volume Flat

Homeowners Are Staying Put Longer

One of the side effects of the continuing shortage of homes for sale and median sale prices rising faster than the cost of living is that remodeling contractors have become very busy. This is a trend that has been developing over the last couple of years. Homeowners are realizing that if they sell their home it will be very difficult to find a new home. As a result, many are choosing to stay where they are and remodel their current home. The data shows that the average length of home ownership in the United States has been steadily increasing. In 2007, the average homeowner stayed in their home for about seven years and in 2008 it had increased to nine years. By 2016 this number had increased to ten years. According to the Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report – 2017 by the National Association of REALTORS Research Department prospective buyers now expect to live in their homes for a median of 12 years, while18 percent say that they are never moving.

As result many remodeling contractors are booked ahead well into next year. Several of the local remodeling contractors I have spoken with recently have indicated that business is very good. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University remodeling activity in U S major metro areas have reached a peak level of activity and the Twin Cities is no exception. Remodeling activity in the Twin Cities is expected to increase at 7.8% in the coming 12 months. In comparison the average growth projection for other U S major metro areas is 6.8%. As more homeowners elect to remain in their existing homes for longer periods that means that these homes will not be available for sale, further contributing to the shortage of homes available for sale. I expect this increasing length of ownership trend will continue for the foreseeable future contributing to the ongoing shortage of homes available for sale.

Market Summary

 The shortage of homes for sale continues to impact the local housing market. Median sale prices were flat between July and August at $268,000, however, the Twin Cities housing market continues to show a year over year gain in sale prices, marking an 6.3% percent annual increase in August 2018. The annual rate of increase has remained on pace with increases that were recorded earlier this year. The number of homes sold in August 2018 was 6,605 an increase of 5.4% compared to last month and a decrease of .2% compared to August 2017

On the supply side at the end of August there was a 2.5 months supply of homes available for sale. In comparison in a normal, balanced market there is about a 6 month supply. In August 2018 there were 12.193 homes available for sale, 8.2% less than the 13,280 that were available in August 2017. A relatively high annual growth rate in median sale prices and historically low supply will continue to dominate the market for the foreseeable future.

New listings in August were 7,813, an increase of 8% from the 7,263 recorded in August 2017. Although the number of new listings has increased slightly compared to last August. If the number of new listings remains at this level compared to current sales levels it appears the shortage of homes for sale will continue to be the new normal for now.

For more information, visit the Shenehon Center’s complete report for August 2018 at http://www.stthomas.edu/business/centers/shenehon/research/. The report is also available for free via email from Tousley at hwtousley1@stthomas.edu

Economics, Government Policy, Home Prices, Housing, Housing Trends, Real Estate Trends, Residential Real Estate, Residential Real Estate Index, Twin Cities Real Estate

Is the Twin Cities Housing Market Really Beginning to Change?

What really drives the need for housing?    

Since the June and July housing numbers have been published there seems to be much more uncertainty about the current state of the housing market. People are beginning to ask questions about the housing market. Is the decrease in sales volume a warning sign? Are we in a bubble? Will there be another housing market correction? One or two months data by themselves doesn’t signal a major change in the direction of the housing market. We will need to look at several more months data to understand more about where the market is headed.

 The number of closed sales were down 12.5% between June and July of this year. However, number of home sales in the Twin Cities was essentially unchanged in July 2018 compared to July 2017. If you look at the overall seasonal pattern for the number of homes sold is following a very similar pattern compared to previous years. Looking at the data for the median sale price, the number of closed sales, and the number of homes available for sale you will notice that the pattern for 2018 is very similar to 2016 and 2017. People have expressed

             Homes Sold YTD 2018 vs. YTD 2017
Jan 2017 2018       +/-
Feb 2805 2787 -18
Mar 2744 2671 -73
Apr 4304 4033 -271
May 4726 4688 -38
Jun 6265 5775 -490
Jul 7527 7160 -367
Aug 6046 6278 232
 
Total 34417 33392 -1025

concern that the number of sales is declining. When you look at 2018 year to date sales there have been just over 1,000 fewer homes sold this year compared to last year. About half of this amount occurred in May. I think that we are going to need to see a few more months data to understand if this is a long-term change in the market. At this point much of the decrease in the number of homes sold seems to be a result of the continued decrease in the number of homes available for sale. The number of homes available for sale was 12.3% less than last July. Median sale prices continue to increase, up 6.6% year over year compared to July 2017.

What really drives the need for housing?

Many people correctly point to increasing population and job growth as the primary reason. Job growth doesn’t drive housing demand, housing demand responds to job growth. Few people are against job growth, it is considered by many as sign of “progress”. There are many local economic development groups trying to attract new jobs by offering incentives for potential employers. Almost all communities are in favor of job growth but what about the housing needs that are created by this job growth? In many of the communities where people want to live creating more housing translates to more density. The truth be told, many people are in favor of more housing and more affordable housing as long as it not near them. According to recent DEED statistics employment in the Twin Cities metro area in the last 12 months has increased by 30,800 jobs. We have not been creating enough new housing units to keep up with that growth rate. As a result, we have a chronic shortage of homes available for sale, median sale prices are increasing faster than wage growth, a very low vacancy rate for rental housing, and rents that continue rise faster than the cost of living. It’s becoming increasing difficult and expensive to develop and create any type of for sale or rental housing. If we are going to continue to have strong economic growth, then we are going to have to figure out a way to create enough new housing units at all price levels to keep up with the increasing employment growth.

 What about new housing? Why does it take so long? Why is it so expensive?

  •      Lack of entitled land
  •      Difficulty and length of the entitlement process
  •      Excessive impact and local fees
  •      Zoning and bias against density
  •      Inclusionary zoning
  •      Rapidly increasing construction costs
  •      Rapidly increasing land costs

As long as our local economy continues to grow and is creating more jobs these are some of the issues that need to be addressed if we are going to come up with meaningful solutions to our housing market issues.

For more information, visit the Shenehon Center’s complete report for July 2018 at http://www.stthomas.edu/business/centers/shenehon/research/. The report is also available for free via email from Tousley at hwtousley1@stthomas.edu

Affordable Housing, Economics, Home Prices, Housing, Housing Trends, Minneapolis / St. Paul Housing, Residential Real Estate, Residential Real Estate Index, Twin Cities Real Estate

Rising Home Prices Are Creating Wealth For Twin Cities Homeowners

Traditional Median Sale Price Up $82,300 (43.8%) From Low Point in Feb 2012.

Rapidly rising median home sale prices have been a major source of wealth creation for homeowners since the low point in median home sale prices that occurred in February 2012. Since then median home sale prices in the Twin Cities have increased by $82,300, a gain of 43.8%. In April the median home sale price was $266,500 eclipsing the prerecession high water mark of $238,000 observed in July 2007. As has been noted before this rapid rate of increase has been fueled by the historically low availability of homes for sale coupled with improving economic conditions and relatively low mortgage rates. Another positive development is that in February 2012, 61.5% of all the sales in the metro area were distressed sales compared to the 3.3% that was observed this April. The percentage of distressed sales has since returned to pre-crash levels at less than 5%. The wealth creation effect of continued increases in home values will ripple throughout the economy as homeowners will be able use this newly created equity for investments or purchases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How long will this trend continue?

In the near term a rapid rise in interest/mortgage rates and/or an increase in inflation would begin to make homes in all price ranges less affordable for many potential homebuyers. A decrease in the number of qualified buyers would put a damper on the demand for homes, reducing the upward pressure on home prices. In the short term it appears that neither one of those scenarios is likely to occur. Until that happens expect to see the supply of homes for sale remain very low and annual price increases in the 6% to 8% range. As in the past the current shortage of homes for sale has been most acute in lower to moderately priced homes (See the table below)

                   At What Price Range is the Shortage of Homes for Sale the Greatest?
Price Range % of Homes Available For Sale in April 2018 % of Closed Sales in April 2018 Months Supply
Less than $200,000 13.6% 22.7% 0.9
$200,000 – $399,999 42.4% 57.0% 1.5
$400,000 – $599,999 23.6% 14.0% 3.5
More than $600,000 20.3% 6.1% 6.6
  Median Sale Price $266,500  

Market Summary

 Median sale prices increased 3.3% between March and April ($258,000 to $266,500 respectively). The Twin Cities housing market continues to a show strong year over year gains in sale prices, marking an 8.8% percent annual increase in April 2018. While this is great news for sellers, a continuation of this rate of increase is going to create affordability issues for some potential buyers since this rate of increase is much higher than the growth rate of area income. On the supply side in April 2018 there were only 9,100 homes available for sale, 24% less than the 11,964 that were available in April 2017. A high annual growth rate in median sale prices and historically low supply will continue to dominate the market.

The number of homes sold in April 2018 was 4,664 an increase of 15.5% compared to last month and a decrease of 4.6% compared to April 2017. At the end of April there was a 1.8 months supply of homes available for sale, In comparison in a normal, balanced market there is a 6-month supply. Distressed sales accounted for only 3.3% the recorded home sales in April, similar to percentages observed before the housing market crash in 2007. New listings in April were 7,325, a decrease from the 7,890 recorded in April 2017. The decrease in new listings indicates that the supply of home of homes for sale situation will continue to tight in the near future.

For more information, visit the Shenehon Center’s complete report for April 2018 at http://www.stthomas.edu/business/centers/shenehon/research/. The report is also available for free via email at hwtousley1@stthomas.edu.

Home Prices, Housing, Housing Trends, Residential Real Estate Index

UST Housing Index – Housing shortages continue

The latest report, just published today by the Shenehon Center for Real Estate is not a significant shocker. Current trends of single family housing supply shortages continue. Herb Tousley, Director of the University of St. Thomas’ Shenehon Center for Real Estate, gave interesting insights this month. Many people have attributed the shortages to simple reasons such as increased demand due to millennials and generation X’ers beginning to settle down which are true, but Mr. Tousley brings up a point seemingly looked over, the recent actions of investment vehicles.

“Nationally, over the past five years, the single family rental home has become its own institutional asset class with over $50B invested Continue Reading

Minneapolis / St. Paul Housing, Residential Real Estate, Residential Real Estate Index, Twin Cities Real Estate

UST Housing Index: “It’s Not Your Father’s Housing Market Anymore”

The September Residential Index report from the Shenehon Center for Real Estate came out last week. Mr. Tousley, director of the Shenehon Center, was not surprised by the continuation of the supply glut, but in this latest report, he pointed out that the housing market is now being driven by the Millennial generation and Generation Z. Some key takeaways,

  • Over half of home sales this year have been to people 36 years old or younger
  • Home price appreciation continues to outpace income growth
  • Inventory remains significantly below demand
  • Price and inventory are affecting the “typical” renter

As seen in Minneapolis, many major cities are being pressed by a combination of decreased household sizes, sociocultural trends for “more” space, and an influx of people coming to live in the cities not seen since the 1940’s. The report states, Millenials and Generation Z’ers while interested in buying Continue Reading

Economics, Housing, Housing Trends, Minneapolis / St. Paul Housing, Real Estate Trends, Residential Real Estate, Residential Real Estate Index, Twin Cities Real Estate, Uncategorized

Sight-Unseen Home Buying: Trend or Consequence

Twenty years ago, virtual tours and 3D graphics were mainly science fiction in movies like The Fifth Element, and a “sight-unseen” purchase literally meant a buyer had no experience of the property other than static photographs. Buyers were in essence blindfolded. Today, 3D and virtual technologies have become a reality. They are able to bring a property experience to the “sight-unseen” purchase. Local Minneapolis real estate broker Aleksa Montpetit of Downtown Resource Group noted this ingress of technology into the real estate industry, and how it has given realtors a new tool to present properties. Montpetit, who has personally sold 3 properties sight-unseen in the last year, said the Minneapolis market has recently seen buyers more willing to at least offer sight-unseen.

An article posted in the Wall Street Journal by Katy McLaughlin cites increases in sight-unseen purchases are nationally becoming more common. The annual Redfin survey showed 33 percent of those surveyed said they had made at least an offer on a house “sight-unseen” in the last year. However, this survey did not include the Minneapolis market.

Both Scott Parkin of Verve realty and Scott Stabeck of Sotheby International agreed with Montpetit that potential buyers are more willing to make offers “sight-unseen,” and they added Continue Reading

Home Prices, Housing Trends, Minneapolis / St. Paul Housing, Residential Real Estate Index

Low Home Inventory Beginning to Affect Sales Volume: First Time Home Buyers Fueling Growth

MINNEAPOLIS, (June 21, 2017)— According to the First-Time Homebuyer Market Report recently released by Genworth Mortgage Insurance this segment of the market is having a big influence on the national housing market. The report found that this demographic accounted for 424,000 single-family home sales, or 38 percent of the total homes sold in Q1 of 2017. This amount is an 11 percent increase from Q1 2016, and the most since 2005. Their source data dates back to 1994 and analyzes over 20 million records. The survey tracks home sales for first-time homebuyers on a monthly basis, publishes quarterly, and compares the data against national housing market indicators.

“The first time home buyer segment is poised for additional growth in the Twin Cities. In fact, historically low interest rates and a strong local economy are all feeding demand in this market segment.” said Herb Tousley, director of real estate programs at the University of St. Thomas.

There are some head winds that are creating a drag on the willingness and ability of first time buyers to jump into home ownership. Student loan debt is a major factor making it very difficult to save for a down payment, qualify for a mortgage, and afford a mortgage payment. Additionally, the extreme shortage of moderately priced homes is making it difficult for first time buyers to find affordable homes in good locations.

The limited availability of homes to buy is creating upward pressure on sale prices. Home prices have been rising faster than wages for the last several years. This situation is starting to create affordability issues for first time buyers who typically do not have large down payments. The idea of home ownership is still very much alive among younger potential home buyers. However, due to the aforementioned factors many are needing to delay their first home purchase by several years.

 Setting New Records

The Twin Cities housing market continues to set new records in May. Record high median sales prices and historically low supply continue to dominate the market. The overall median sale price jumped from $245,500 in April to $250,000 in May.

Continue Reading

Affordable Housing, Home Prices, Housing, Housing Trends, Industry News, Minneapolis / St. Paul Housing, Real Estate Trends, Residential Real Estate, Residential Real Estate Index, Twin Cities Real Estate

University of St. Thomas Real Estate Analysis for April 2017: High Demand and Low Supply Continue to Put Upward Pressure on Sale Prices

Negative Equity – Continued Improvement in 2016 but Still an Issue

The number of homeowners with negative or near negative equity continues to decline but is still high by historical standards. Lack of equity is a reason that many homeowners are not willing or able to put their homes up for sale which is a contributing factor to the very low number of homes for sale in the Twin Cities. As can be seen in the table below about 1 in 5 homeowners in the metro area with a mortgage is in a negative or near negative situation.

% of Home Owners in the Twin Cities with Negative or Near Negative Equity

County Negative Equity* Near Negative Equity**   County Negative Equity* Near Negative Equity**
Hennepin 8.0% 20.4% Scott 6.1% 20.1%
Ramsey 6.6% 18.7% Carver 5.9% 21.3%
Dakota 6.6% 20.5% Chisago 8.5% 22.9%
Washington 6.6% 21.1% St. Croix (WI) 7.9% 23.0%
Anoka 7.0% 23.6% Pierce (WI) 11.3% 27.5%
Twin Cities 7.3% National 10.5%

     Source: Zillow

* Negative Equity – Owes more than the house is worth

** Near Negative Equity – Equity is less than 20% of value

“The problem with near negative equity is that home owners are not actually underwater, but in many cases they do not have enough equity after they sell their home to pay for the costs of buying a new home, including a down payment, commissions and taxes” said Herb Tousley, director of real estate programs at the University of St. Thomas. In 2017, home prices are expected to increase about 5% – 6% in the Twin Cities, which will free many more homeowners from negative equity Rising prices and loan repayments will also continue to improve the equity position for homeowners, but this will be a slow process and we should be prepared for higher than normal negative and near negative equity to be a part the housing market for a long time to come.

 High demand and low supply of homes for sale continue to put upward pressure on sale prices in April. The overall median sale price jumped from $237,300 in March to $246,000 in April. The traditional, non-distressed median sale price is at a new all-time high at $250,000, a 4.2% increase compared to April 2016. On the supply side in April there were 10,969 homes available for sale, 19.9% less than April 2016. Again, the shortage is most acute in the low to moderately priced homes. See the table below.

Homes For Sale vs. Closed Sales –  Where The Action Is

Price Range Number of Homes For Sale % of Total Homes For Sale Number of Closed Sales % of Total Sales Months Supply
0 – $200,000 1992 18.2% 1449 30.7% 1.2
$200,000 – $400,000 4554 41.5% 2484 52.5% 1.9
$400,000 – $600,000 2270 20.7% 563 11.9% 4.2
$600,000 + 2095 19.0% 230 4.9% 8.5
       Total 10969 4726

The number of homes sold in April was 4,726 compared to 4,348 in March and 5,252 in April 2016. That is 10% less than the number of sales recorded in the same period a year ago. We believe that this is a reflection that extreme the low supply of homes for sale is beginning to impact the number of homes sold in April. This this the first time since 2011 that the number of closed sales has declined on a year over year basis. The number of new listings was 7,747, which is 8.3% less than recorded in April 2016. That decrease is a sign that the short supply situation is likely to continue for at least the next several months. We believe that the changes observed in April are the beginning of an indication that the supply and demand sides of the market are becoming slightly less imbalanced.

 The St. Thomas Indexes

Here are the Shenehon Center’s monthly composite index scores for April 2017. The index, which tracks nine data elements for the three types of sales (traditional, short sales and foreclosures) started in January 2005. For that month, the center gave each of the three indexes a value of 1,000.

At a level of 1172 the April UST Residential Real Estate Traditional Sale Composite Index is up significantly, registering a 3.1% monthly increase compared to the level of 1137 that was recorded in March.

The UST Residential Real Estate Short Sale Composite Market Health Index was 1045 in April, up 3.1% from the 1014 recorded in March.

The UST Residential Real Estate Foreclosure Composite Index was observed in April at 924 a significant increase over the 901 recorded in March.

For more information, visit the Shenehon Center’s complete report for March 2017 at http://www.stthomas.edu/business/centers/shenehon/research/default.html.The report is also available for free via email from Tousley at hwtousley1@stthomas.edu.