While new home sales increased 11.7 percent in January of 2015, the seasonally adjusted pace of new single-family houses dropped 0.2 percent. Overall, in the United States, new single-family home sales slipped to a yearly rate of 481,000 in January of 2015.
While these numbers represent mixed news, it must be noted that new home sales within the United States are at 5.3 percent higher than the same time last year. Still, this is down from 8.8 percent on a year over year basis for the prior month. The new home sales are also about one quarter less than the long-term average calculated each January over the past half century. It typically averages around 653,000. Newly built single family home sales actually peaked in January of 2005 at 1,203,000. This figure represents 150 percent more sales than were recorded this past January.
On the west coast, the pace of new home sales dropped by 0.8 percent from December to January. The pace of sales is now running about 5 percent higher compared to this point last year. On a year to year basis, new home sales are 23.6 percent higher this December. Turn to inventory numbers to see a more complete picture of the pace of new home sales. Here, you will find that the number of new single-family homes available for sale within the country is just over 15 percent higher than this time last year.The total number of new homes available for sale has reached 218,000, a figure that hasn’t been reached since 2010.
The fact that the spring buying season is at a slower pace than last year is an indication that the economy has yet to rebound toward a full recovery. Baby boomers are holding onto their jobs for dear life. Meanwhile, Millennials either don’t have enough funds to settle down into a house or don’t trust the housing market following the subprime mortgage crisis of the past half decade.They’ve followed the tips and advice of older Americans whose lives were turned upside down by exorbitant home loans that they could not pay back. As a result, fewer young people are interested in committing to a home, its upkeep and the accompanying monthly mortgage.
Another key reason for the slow housing market is that recent hiring gains have not made as much of an impact on real estate as expected. While unemployment is down and employment figures are steadily ticking upwards, many of those who have found full-time work are not committing to new homes. Many of these newly hired employees are millennials who flock to busy cities full of apartments rather than houses. Others state that the brutally cold winter caused home sales to lag and will continue to do so into the summer.
While the housing figures cited above aren’t exactly fantastic news for home builders, they serve to show just how much opportunity is available for real estate agents. Agents who are on the prowl for additional skills and training advancement in real estate selling will find that they can execute a considerable number of sales in less time than they expected. If there were few new homes available in today’s real estate market, plenty of would-be real estate agents would be looking for work elsewhere. The homes have been built. The challenge lies in pairing those structures to the proper buyers.
Any time new procedures displace standard documents and protocols under the guise of simplification, all the original concerns rise up again. Some stakeholders will exploit the confusion to increase market share, others will huddle in a corner waiting to see how things work out.
Over several years, clarity may begin to rule once again when the language of fees and data becomes standardized, but now, the different languages babble towards confusion and unmergeable data. And compliance is a mere five months away.