What are more home sales telling us?

Here is some interesting information I found in the San Diego Union Tribune

HOME SALES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY SURPASSED 4,000 IN A MONTH IN APRIL FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE AUGUST 2013. WHAT DOES THAT TELL US ABOUT THE CURRENT HOUSING MARKET?

Murtaza Baxamusa, directs planning and development for the Family Housing Corporation, of the San Diego Building Trades in Mission Valley:
Home sales figures only tell part of the story about the current housing market. The unaffordability of the current stock seems eerily similar to the bubble that formed a decade ago. Some on this panel view rising prices and sales as a sign of continuing recovery, which would be justified if broad-based income and capital growth was driving the market. However, if few higher income buyers and speculative investors are buying up the existing inventory and demanding more expensive new products, then we have a bubble.

Chris Anderson, president of the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors:
Sales of previously owned single-family homes increased 8 percent in April compared to March, and during the first four months of this year sales were up 1.5 percent compared to the same period a year ago, according to new statistics from the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. It is encouraging to see our strong spring season pick up even more steam. We expect the numbers to continue to climb as we move into summer, which also is when we expect to see more homes come onto the market. More potential sellers are going to become sellers as the market continues its steady and healthy ascent.

Bill Davidson, president of Davidson Communities:
The increased monthly sales volume paired with increased housing pricing is indicative of a strengthening housing market. Based on the underlying economic fundamentals (i.e. low interest rates, declining unemployment rates, rising stock market, etc.) it appears that the housing market is trending toward the positive. It is our belief that we are just beginning to see a truly rejuvenated housing market and the trend of price appreciation will continue for some time.

Robert Vallera, senior vice president of Voit Real Estate Services in San Diego:
San Diego County’s economy has enough strength to support a healthy real estate market without the need for a large pipeline of lender, real-estate owned, and short sales to maintain sales volume. This year’s slower 4.6 percent appreciation rate indicates that the market cycle has reached a more mature phase. The 20 percent appreciation rate in 2013 reflected an initial price spike as the market sharply moved toward a price equilibrium following the Great Recession market crash. Absent a large upward shift in interest rates, the market is likely to remain on a healthy but temperate path for the remainder of the summer.

Kurt Wannebo, real estate broker and CEO of San Diego Real Estate and Investments:
What this tells me is that buyers are finally getting off the fence and taking action this year as opposed to last year. Buyers I think feel, finally, that interest rates are going to go up and so they are taking advantage of the low rates in today’s market. Likewise I feel more equity sellers are deciding to sell, which has opened up the inventory a bit after all the short sales and foreclosures dried up, allowing more transactions to occur. The equity sellers also become buyers again, so we are seeing more buyers enter the market right now.

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