The housing market this year has been defined by tight conditions and limited buyer activity. However, many of those negative trends have started to reverse, and more positive signs have begun to emerge for potential homebuyers and real estate professionals.
According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales have ticked up for the second month in a row. The Pending Home Sales Index, which analyzes the housing market based off of contract signings, increased slightly in April. Gains were experienced in the Midwest and the Northeast, but not in the West and South.
"Higher inventory levels are giving buyers more choices, and a slight decline in mortgage interest rates this spring is raising prospective home buyers' confidence," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. "An uptrend in closed sales is expected, although some months will encounter a modest setback."
In addition, Yun added that he expects some mortgage rates to continue to climb over the next year, which could further affect the housing market and home affordability.
Home prices rise on monthly basis
While home sales have finally begun to increase this year, home prices have maintained a steady upward climb over the past several months. According to RealtyTrac's recent April 2014 Residential and Foreclosure Sales Report, the median sales price for all U.S. properties was $172,000 for the month.
That represents 4 percent growth on a monthly basis and an 11 percent uptick year over year, RealtyTrac noted.
"U.S. median home prices have now increased 21 percent since hitting bottom in March 2012, although they are still 28 percent below their pre-recession peak of $237,537 in August 2006," said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. "There are a surprising number of markets, however, where median home prices have surpassed their previous peaks since the Great Recession ended in June 2009."
Given these new trends, real estate professionals will want to keep up-to-date with any information related to the housing market. Thanks to CRS Data's many suites and solutions, it is easier than ever to access mortgage records, property data and much more.