housing forecast

Louisville Area Home Sales up 6.3% Year-to-Date with 5.5% Increase in Prices

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported year-to-date sales up 6.3%, with 1,732 homes and condos sold versus 1,629 at the same point last year. Sales were up 0.5% in February 2015 (848 units) compared to February 2014 (844 units), and the average selling price in all Multiple Listing Service (MLS) areas was up 5.5% compared to the same month last year. The median price in Jefferson County was up 3.7% and the average was up 1.6% due to the specific mix of homes sold. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties remains 11% lower than the same month last year. In Jefferson County, inventory is recovering slightly, but is still 6.1% lower than February 2014.

GLAR President Paula Colvin commented that, “members saw strong sales in February with multiple offers on properties in several areas of the market, which is something we would typically see in the spring and summer months.” She also added that, “the inventory of homes available for sale has rebounded from 11% lower to 6% lower, and we anticipate more sellers putting their homes on the market in March.”

All MLS Areas Feb.
Feb. 2015 % Change Jan. 1- Feb. 28, 2014 Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2015 % Change
Houses Sold 844 848 0.47% 1,629 1,732 6.32%
Averages Selling Price $158,929 $172,540 8.56% $160,375 $169,305 5.57%
Median Selling Price $131,950 $144,000 9.13% $130,000 $139,250 7.12%
# of Active Listings Placed into Pending Status During February 1039 1211 16.55%
Active Listings at February 15 6065 5397 -11.01%
Jefferson County Feb.
Feb. 2015 % Change Jan. 1- Feb. 28, 2014 Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2015 % Change
Houses Sold 578 594 2.77% 1117 1232 10.30%
Averages Selling Price $162,821 $170,361 4.63% $164,032 $166,637 1.59%
Median Selling Price $132,000 $135,000 2.27% $130,000 $134,900 3.77%
# of Active Listings Placed into Pending Status During February 692 845 22.11%
Active Listings at February 15 3518 3301 -6.17%
Oldham County Feb.
Feb. 2015 % Change Jan. 1- Feb. 28, 2014 Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2015 % Change
Houses Sold 46 51 10.87% 90 97 7.78%
Averages Selling Price $260,324 $249,701 -4.08% $240,216 $260,550 8.46%
Median Selling Price $225,750 $239,900 6.27% $201,000 $240,287 19.55%
# of Active Listings Placed into Pending Status During February 70 65 -7.14%
Active Listings at February 15 382 322 -15.71%
Bullitt County Feb.
Feb. 2015 % Change Jan. 1- Feb. 28, 2014 Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2015 % Change
Houses Sold 62 50 -19.35% 102 99 -2.94%
Averages Selling Price $138,705 $165,424 19.26% $148,065 $155,717 5.17%
Median Selling Price $128,200 $143,750 12.13% $130,000 $137,900 6.08%
# of Active Listings Placed into Pending Status During February 74 78 5.41%
Active Listings at February 15 420 323 -23.10%



Housing in 2014

Realtors® Look Forward to Tackling Housing Challenges in 2014

After several years of slow recovery, the housing market began to show signs of improvement in 2013. Some homeowners saw their home equity grow as home prices rose and single-family home sales increased. However, the market still has its challenges and Realtors® remain committed to helping build a responsible, sustainable housing market in 2014.

According to the National Association of Realtors®’ Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, 2013 was a recovery year, as annual existing-home sales are expected to increase 10 percent over a year ago, totaling just above 5.1 million, and national median existing-home prices are projected to be 11 percent above last year. The 2013 market also experienced a shortage of housing inventory. NAR data showed inventory levels swung from a record high of 11.9 months in July 2010 to a recent low of 4.3 months in January 2013. Recently however, inventories have started to increase – current unsold inventory shows a 5.1-month supply of homes.

Tight inventory typically means rising home prices. This is what we’re experiencing now. Prices have gained 18 percent over the past two years. An increase in prices has helped lift many homeowners into positive equity again and foreclosures and short sales have declined. When homeowners benefit from price appreciation and housing equity increases, this helps the economy through greater consumer confidence and spending.

Despite these positives, housing affordability for some buyers declined in 2013. Yun predicts affordability will continue to decline in 2014 if mortgage rates continue to rise and particularly if qualifying for a mortgage remains difficult. The Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS (GLAR) says Realtors® have reported that tight credit restrictions are preventing qualified buyers from becoming homeowners, and that is also making it more difficult for some homeowners to sell their homes.  Mortgage availability will only be worsened by regulatory reforms stemming from the Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that go into effect in January 2014.

While these new rules reduce risky loan products and establish critical lending protections for consumers, they could also preclude many potential home buyers from entering the housing market. Qualified buyers with good jobs and strong credit histories cannot continue to be turned down for loans. Lenders need to return to sensible lending standards this year.

Yun predicts we’ll continue to see healthy gains in existing-home sales this year, and prices will continue to rise. However, he also projects mortgage rates to rise and inventory shortages to continue.

Realtors® remain actively involved with lawmakers to ensure housing and homeownership issues are first on the nation’s public policy agenda this year. Several critical issues affecting housing will continue to take precedence this year.  Delaying further flood insurance rate increases is one of them. Also, as debates surrounding federal tax reform likely heat up again this year, Realtors® will continue to urge the preservation of property and homeownership tax policies. Realtors® also support legislation and regulations to create healthier housing and mortgage markets, something that is vital to the recovery.

Despite the challenges we face in the coming year, Realtors® are feeling confident and optimistic about the future of our nation’s housing market. Homeownership is an investment in our future, and 2014 will present tremendous opportunities for buyers, sellers and investors.

For more recaps of the real estate market in 2013, visit realtor.com’s Real Estate Review site at http://realtor.com/2013review.