After months of sluggish behavior in the Atlanta residential real estate industry, May finally demonstrated significant housing recovery. After two months of a score of 5.7, the May Cal-Culator ranks a 6.0 due to improvements across the board in pending home sales, foreclosures and home price gains.
The leading measure of U.S. home prices, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, latest data showed that home prices in the 20-City Composite, which includes Atlanta, increased 0.9 percent month-over-month.
Foreclosure levels are a positive trend that has been steady in 2014. According to CoreLogic’s most recent monthly report, foreclosures are down 0.4 percent month-over-month and down 18 percent from the previous year. The data also revealed April marked the 16th consecutive month of at least a 20 percent year-over-year decline in the inventory of foreclosed homes.
“We now have registered two and a half years of continuous decreases in the number of homeowners who are in some stage of the foreclosure process,” said Anana Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “This consistent decline means fewer Americans are experiencing the distress of delinquency and default. The recovery may be slow, but it is steady.”
RealtyTrac found in its April 2014 Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report that sales of U.S. residential properties, which include distressed and non-distressed sales of single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes, increased year-over-year by 4 percent. The report also found median sales prices of U.S. residential properties had the largest yearly increase since prices hit rock bottom in March 2012.
For the second straight month, the Pending Homes Sales Index improved, according to the National Association of Realtors. The forward-looking indicator, based on contract signings, increased 0.4 percent from the previous month. The report also indicated projected increases in home prices during the remainder of 2014.
“Higher inventory levels are giving buyers more choices, and a slight decline in mortgage interest rates this spring is raising prospective homebuyers’ confidence,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “An uptrend in closed sales is expected, although some months will encounter a modest setback.”
Unfortunately, every month experiences some hiccups when it comes to real estate. The NAR's Realtors Confidence Index, compiled from a survey of more than 3,000 Realtors, revealed a dip in confidence levels among Realtors about current market conditions.
“Tight credit conditions and the lack of inventory, particularly for ‘middle-priced’ homes were reported as the major roadblocks to increased sales,” said the report headed by Yun. “With a tight supply, properties were generally on the market for fewer days, and prices continued to increased in many areas although not as strongly as in 2012-2013.”The June Cal-Culator will be released July 8 and will hopefully continue the trend of significant recovery across Atlanta and the nation.
-Cal Haupt is the president of Southeast Mortgage, a regional HUD lender with 10 branches doing business in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina.
About The Cal-CulatorThe Cal-Culator is the brainchild of Haupt. To compile the index, Haupt consults a number of professional publications and indexes, such as the Mortgage Bankers Association’s commentary, Metrostudy’s market information and the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. After constantly being asked to predict what was next for the Atlanta housing market, Haupt realized stakeholders had no other credible, easy-to-understand resource to help understand Atlanta’s real estate market conditions, so in September 2013, he launched The Cal-Culator.