Monthly Archives: November 2012

10 Most-Searched Housing Markets Online

Chicago continues to hold the No. 1 spot for the most searched housing market at, according to October housing data from the real estate Web site. The following are the top 10 most-searched-for housing markets in October at

  1. Chicago
  2. Philadelphia, Pa.-N.J.
  3. Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.
  4. Detroit
  5. Atlanta
  6. Dallas
  7. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.
  8. Boston-Westchester-Lawrence-Lowell-Brockton, Mass.-N.H.
  9. Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.
  10. Orlando

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Daily News


LA Times – Home prices rise for sixth month in a row in largest U.S. cities

An index of home prices in the largest American cities rose in September, indicating that low supply and increased demand continue to boost housing.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index for the 20 largest metropolitan areas in the country rose 0.3% from August and 3.0% from September 2011. It was the sixth consecutive month-over-month increase and the fourth consecutive year-over-year bump.

[For the Record, 11:32 a.m. PST, Nov. 27: A previous version of this post listed Phoenix's August-to-September gain as 1.8% rather than 1.1% and had the number of cities with gains as 19 rather than 13.]

Thirteen areas tracked by the index posted gains over August and 18 posted year-over-year increases. Leading the home price recovery in major metro areas is Phoenix, one of the places that saw some of the steepest declines during the bust. It posted a 1.1% gain from August, and its 20.4% increase from September 2011 was the biggest year-over-year gain among the 20 areas.

California cities also recovered over the prior month with Los Angeles up 1.0%, San Diego up 1.4% and San Francisco up 0.5%.

"With six months of consistently rising home prices, it is safe to say that we are now in the midst of a recovery in the housing market," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The Case-Shiller index, created by economists Karl E. Case and Robert J. Shiller, is widely considered the most reliable gauge of home values. It compares the latest sales of detached houses with previous sales and accounts for factors such as remodeling that might affect a house's sale price over time.

The index is a moving average of home sales combining three months' worth of data, so September’s figures are a combination of price performance in July, August and September. As the traditionally slower fall and winter seasons begin, economists say the index is likely to post milder gains or decrease again.

More Confidence, Less Fear Among Home Sellers; Potential for Increased Inventory in 2013

As the housing market winds down this year, home sellers’ concerns about the economy are beginning to ease slightly and responses to Redfin’s Real-Time Seller Survey point toward increasing confidence for the 2013 selling season.

Last quarter we saw reluctant sellers with low opinions of the current market, but high expectations for the future. Here’s what sellers told us this quarter:

  • 40% cited the economy as a major concern with selling, down from 49% in the third quarter;
  • 83% believe that they would get a higher price for their home by waiting one to two years, up from 80% in the third quarter, suggesting increasing confidence about the housing market’s future;
  • 43% of respondents are considering renting out their home rather than selling it, down from 46% last quarter;
  • 31% intend to price their home higher than nearby comparable sales, down just one percentage point from last quarter;
  • 15% believe it is a good time to sell, up from 13% last quarter, while 58% believe it is a good time to buy, down from 61% last quarter. Taken together, these indicate that sellers sense a slight market shift in their favor; and
  • 37% would choose an all-cash offer over higher offers with conventional or FHA financing, up from 35% last quarter. Despite the perceived market strength, sellers are still wary of appraisals keeping up.

The changes were slight, but they all pointed in the same direction: Sellers are becoming a little more confident about their chances on the market, a little less interested in alternatives to selling (such as renting out the home), and a little less concerned about the economy. If these trends continue over the next few quarters 2013 will likely begin to see an easing of the big inventory squeeze that has made headlines throughout 2012.

About the Survey

This quarter’s seller survey took place over six days beginning last Thursday (October 25 to October 30, 2012), We surveyed 1,287 people who had used Redfin in the last three months and who indicated that they were a homeowner. We excluded anyone from the results who did not indicate an intention to sell his or her home at some point in the foreseeable future, leaving 567 respondents across 20 metropolitan markets in the U.S.: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Riverside / San Bernardino, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC.

Data and charts are below. If you’d like the data segmented by market or by other customer demographics, please contact press (at) redfin (dot) com. If there are questions you’d like us to include in the survey next time, please leave a comment below.

The Fourth Quarter 2012 Redfin Real-Time Home-Seller Tracker

Home-Selling Time-Frame

Among homeowners planning to sell, the majority intend to list their home sometime in the next six months. The increase in homeowners planning to sell soon is at least partially seasonal, as the next six months now include the spring selling season, but it also points to some pent-up demand to list early in that season. A second trend is less expected at this time of year: the share of homeowners whose home is currently on the market increased, despite the slowest season for new listings typically being the fourth quarter.

Your Home-Selling Plans

Sellers: Housing Market Slowly Shifting Away From Buyers

The gap between how many homeowners believe now is a good time to buy (58 percent) and those that believe it is a good time to sell (15 percent) shrank in the fourth quarter, implying that recent price increases are resulting in a (slowly) growing sense of comfort and confidence among sellers.

Is Now A Good Time to Buy In Your Neighborhood?

The share of respondents who believe now is a bad time to sell fell to just under a quarter.

Is Now A Good Time to Sell In Your Neighborhood?

Nearly Three Quarters of Sellers Believe Prices Will Rise

The percentage of sellers who believe prices will rise either “a lot” or “a little” in the next twelve months rose in the fourth quarter, with dips in all of the less optimistic categories. Nearly three quarters (74.6 percent) of respondents believe that prices will rise in their neighborhood.

In Your Market, How Will Prices Change in a Year?

The share of sellers who believe that they would get a higher price if they waited to sell their home also increased (from 80 percent last quarter to 83 percent this quarter), remaining eight percentage points above the percentage of sellers who see strength in their neighborhood as a whole.

Would You Get a Higher Price For Your Home If You Waited One to Two Years?

Market Improvements Make Renting Out a Less-Appealing Alternative to Selling

The share of respondents who indicated an interest in renting out their current home rather than selling it dropped in the fourth quarter, which is what one would expect as homeowners see improving market conditions for selling their home.

Are You Considering Renting Out Your Home Instead Of Selling It?

Pricing Strategies Unchanged: Many Will Over Price on Purpose

Virtually unchanged from the third quarter to the fourth, slightly less than a third of sellers plan to intentionally over price their home, either to build a buffer for negotiation, or because they are willing to wait until the market values their home as highly as they do (i.e. “take it or leave it”):

How Will You Price Your Home?

Still Willing to Take Less Money for a Sure Sale

Despite the slight shift in perceptions toward a stronger market for sellers, a slightly larger share of respondents indicated this quarter that they would prefer an all-cash offer (37 percent in the fourth quarter, versus 35 percent in the third quarter), even if choosing it instead of higher offers that were backed by financing.

Which Offer Would You Prefer?

Necessity Continues to Drive Much of Today’s Inventory

When we asked sellers for the reasons that they are selling now, the top two responses were the same as last quarter: Relocation was cited by 31 percent of respondents, while 34 percent pointed to a life event. Most sales are still being driven by the necessity of life events like the birth of a child instead of the lure of higher prices or other market forces.

Why Are You Planning to Sell?

Fewer Concerns about the Economy

“I’m worried about general economic conditions” was again the most common answer when we asked sellers about their major concerns with selling in today’s market, but the response rate dropped from 49 percent in the third quarter to just 40 percent in the fourth quarter. Only 16 percent of respondents had no major concerns.

Major Concerns With Selling This Year?

“At this point in the housing market, the only opinion that matters is that of the would-be sellers trying to decide whether to put their home on the market,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “Economists agree that the market hit bottom some time earlier this year and low interest rates have brought out more buyers than we’ve seen in years, but most sellers decided to wait for better prices. These attitudes aren’t changing dramatically from one quarter to the next, but the direction has been remarkably consistent among both buyers and sellers: the market is slowly tilting in sellers’ favor.”

Posted by Tim Ellis on November 5, 2012 10:00 AM | | Digg

Homes Are Selling Faster as Inventories Fall

Daily Real Estate News | Friday, November 02, 2012

The median time a home is on the market nationwide? Just 69 days. 

The number of days on the market nationwide has fallen nearly 30 percent from year-ago levels.

Meanwhile, inventory levels are hovering at all-time lows, with the number of homes for-sale down 31.2 percent from a year ago. The inventory is at a 6.4-month supply of homes on the market, as of July data.  

"As inventory has tightened, homes have been selling more quickly," says Lawrence Yun, the National Association of REALTORS®' chief economist. "A notable shortening of time on market began this spring, and this has created a general balance between home buyers and sellers in much of the country. This equilibrium is supporting sustained price growth, and homes that are correctly priced tend to sell quickly, while those that aren't often languish on the market."

For comparison, the time on the market for non-distressed homes peaked at 10 weeks in 2009. During the housing boom between 2004 and 2005, for example, the median selling time was just four weeks. 

Source: “Low Inventory Levels Sells Homes Quick,” Realty Times (Nov. 2, 2012)