Saying Bye to Summer – And Stagnation in Atlanta Real Estate
After a month of stagnation, the Atlanta residential real estate index has inched forward 0.1 due to rising home prices, increased home sales, improved builder confidence and improved foreclosure inventory. The August Cal-Culator now rests at a record-breaking 6.8.
CoreLogic’s Home Price Index found home prices rose a respectable 6.9 percent on a yearly basis and 0.5 percent month over month. CoreLogic also expects healthy year-over-year increases leading into next summer. Still, home prices remain at 6.6 percent below their April 2006 peak.
“Low mortgage rates and strong consumer confidence are supporting a resurgence in home sales as of late,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Adding to overall housing demand is the benefit of a better labor market which has provided millennials the financial independence to form new households and escape ever-rising rental costs.”
CoreLogic’s most recent National Foreclosure Report found foreclosure inventory was down 4.1 percent from the previous month, marking 44 months of consecutive year-over-year declines. Completed foreclosures dropped 14.8 percent from the previous year, though it rose slightly compared to the previous month.
“The foreclosure rate for the U.S. has dropped to its lowest level since 2007, supported by a continuing decline in loans made before 2009, gains in employment and higher housing prices,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic.
The foreclosure rate currently stands at 1.2 percent, which is back at the January 2008 level.
Standard & Poor’s Rating Service’s U.S. Weekly Economic Roundup broadcasted multiple positive economic trends. Housing starts were 0.2 percent to 1.206 million in July – the highest since October 2007. Single-family starts were up 12.8 percent to 782,000 – the highest since the end of 2007. The report also reported existing home sales climbed 2 percent from 2014 to reach an eight-year high. Existing sales climbed a remarkable 10.3 percent from the previous month, marking the 10th consecutive month of growth.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reported builder confidence for newly built, single-family homes rose one point to 61, the highest level since 2005. Scores over 50 indicate more builders view conditions as good than poor.
“Today’s report is consistent with our forecast for a gradual strengthening of the single-family housing sector in 2015,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Job and economic gains should keep the market moving forward at a modest pace throughout the rest of the year.”
The first Cal-Culator of the fall will be released October 13. Check back to see if the Atlanta housing market is continuing to improve – or succumbing to the slow season.