Did You Know: While US homeownership rates were down, Census data shows that homeownership rates were roughly unchanged in most small areas comparing 2007-2009 with 2010-2012.
- On November 14, the Census Bureau released a review of homeownership rates and housing values based on data from the American Community Survey (ACS) 3-year estimates. These estimates are based on surveys of homeowners from a broad, 3-year period that enable researchers to examine trends in more localized areas, places with populations as small as 20,000. (The 1-year estimates from the ACS cover areas with populations of 65,000 or more.)
- This period was a tumultuous one for the national economy and for many housing markets, but today’s data from the Census emphasizes the fact that real estate is local and that many smaller areas of the country handled the recession and housing crisis better than larger cities.
- While the national homeownership rate measured by the ACS fell 1.7 percentage points from 66.4 in 2007-2009 to 64.7 in 2010-2012, nine states did not show a decline in ownership in the same period. These were Vermont, Hawaii, Alaska, Montana, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
- A look at data by county and metro area shows that most populous counties and metro areas were more likely to see declines in homeownership. 46 of the 50 most populous counties and 49 of the 50 most populous metropolitan statistical areas had lower home ownership rates in 2010-2012 than 2007-2009.
- Take a look at the map of changes in home ownership to see that while some areas matched the national trend of decline in this period, most areas saw rough stability or some saw gains in home ownership in this period. This map shows that compared to home price changes, home ownership changes show a more varied regional distribution pattern. How did your market fare?
- The ACS data is based on surveys of homeowners. The 2007-2009 estimates are based on surveys taken from January 2007 to December 2009. The 2010-2012 estimates are based on surveys taken from January 2010 to December 2012.
While we are still grappling with the delays from October’s government shutdown, the estimates for third quarter economic output show much of the same. Gross domestic product rose at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the third quarter, on the heels of a 2.5 percent rise in the second quarter. While the acceleration in the economic pace is welcome, most of it was boosted by inventory adjustment.
All main GDP components—consumers, businesses, government and trade—were positive contributors to third quarter growth. Consumer spending gained 1.5 percent, driven by a 4.3 percent rise in consumption of goods. Businesses approached investments with a cautious outlook in the third quarter, as the specter of budget wrangling in Washington and the possibility of a government shutdown loomed large. Nonresidential fixed investments rose at an annual rate of 1.6 percent. Business spending on buildings jumped 12.3 percent in the third quarter, on the heels of a 17.6 percent gain during the second quarter. The noticeable advances point to a strengthening pipeline of commercial developments, as market fundamentals continue to improve.
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.