Did You Know: Census data on smaller cities show that home prices were roughly stable in middle America post-recession in spite of declines in larger cities.
- In line with prices reported by the NAR Median sales price, the 3-year data from the Census, released November 14, shows that 2010-2012 prices were $17,300 lower than the three year period from 2007 to 2009. This is because, as shown in the graph above, home prices did not reach a trough until after the recession ended, and recovery began only modestly in 2012. In fact, most of the home price recovery experienced by the market occurred in late 2012 and 2013 and is not yet pictured on the annual graph above.
- The chart below shows that in spite of the notable gains in 2013, national housing prices are not yet back to peak levels.
The REALTOR® Confidence Index (RCI) for current market conditions continued to drop in October across all property types. An index of 50 marks “moderate” conditions . About 3,500 REALTORS® responded to the October survey: October REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey
A variety of factors were reported as negatively affecting confidence: impacts of the government shutdown, increases in mortgage rates, tight housing inventories, and the impending increase in home flood insurance rates.
 To assess their confidence about current conditions, REALTORS® were asked: “How would you describe the market where you make most of your sales? Concerning their expectations for the next six months, they were asked “What are your expectations for the housing market over the next 6 months where you make most of your sales?”An index of 50 delineates “moderate” conditions and indicates a balance of respondents having “weak”(index=0) and “strong” (index=100) expectations. The index is not adjusted for seasonality effects.
While the summer season was in full swing, economic performance during the third quarter of the year accelerated, based on initial estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The main measure of economic activity—gross domestic product—rose at an annual rate of 2.9 percent. The boost came from upward inventory adjustments. Consumer spending was positive, buoyed by spending on travel and leisure, recreation and home purchases and furnishing. Business spending was cautious, as the specter of a government shutdown loomed large. Net exports were positive to the tune of $44.8 billion for the quarter. And with stronger balance sheets, state and local governments upped their spending, overcoming the federal government’s negative contribution to GDP.