The National Assocaitation of Realtors reported that sales maintained a strong lead over year-ago levels and home prices are on a sustained uptrend in all regions. Total existing-home sales were 9.6 percent above the 4.15 million-unit pace in May 2011.
It was reported that inventory shortages in certain areas have been building all year. Home sales have moved markedly higher with 11 consecutive months of gains over the same month a year earlier."
There are broad-based shortages of inventory in the lower price ranges in much of the country except the Northeast, and in the West supply is extremely tight in all price ranges except for the upper end. "Realtors® in Western states have been calling for an expedited process to get additional foreclosed properties onto the market because they have more buyers than available property. Inventory shortages also are found in much of Florida.
Total housing inventory at the end of May slipped 0.4 percent to 2.49 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.6-month supply at the current sales pace; there was a 6.5-month supply in April. Listed inventory is 20.4 percent below a year ago when there was a 9.1-month supply. Unsold inventory has trended down from a record 4.04 million in July 2007; supplies reached a cyclical peak of 12.1 months in July 2010.
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage declined to a record low 3.80 percent in May from 3.91 percent in April; the rate was 4.64 percent in May 2011; recordkeeping began in 1971.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types rose 7.9 percent to $182,600 in May from a year ago, the third consecutive month of year over year price gains. The last time there were three back-to-back price increases from the same month a year earlier was from March to May of 2006.
The Bend Bulletin reported that the median home price in Bend for May was $234,000. The last time the median was this high was 2009.
Nation wide distressed homes - foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts - accounted for 25 percent of May sales (15 percent were foreclosures and 10 percent were short sales), down from 28 percent in April and 31 percent in May 2011. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 19 percent below market value in May, while short sales were discounted 14 percent. I'm not sure how they detrimine that figue but there it is. I would take that with a grain of salt.
NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, offers advice to buyers in markets with limited supply. "We are hearing a lot about multiple bidding and quick sales in areas with tight supply, with competition between first-time buyers and cash investors, who have a significant advantage," he said.
"It's extremely important to listen to the advice of your agent and perform all the due diligence that you would normally do in a more balanced market, such as making offers contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection," Veissi said.
The NAR reported first-time buyers accounted for 34 percent of purchasers in May, compared with 35 percent in April and 36 percent in May 2011.
All-cash sales slipped to 28 percent of transactions in May from 29 percent in April; they were 30 percent in May 2011. Investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in May, down from 20 percent in April and 19 percent in May 2011.
Single-family home sales are 10.4 percent above the 3.67 million-unit level in May 2011. The median existing single-family home price was $182,900 in May, up 7.7 percent from a year ago.
Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 500,000 in May from 530,000 in April, but are 4.2 percent higher than the 480,000-unit pace one year ago. The median existing condo price was $180,000 in May, which is 8.8 percent above May 2011.
Existing-home sales in the West are 3.6 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $233,900, up 13.4 percent from May 2011. So homes in Bend are selling right at the median prices of West coast homes.