November/December 2012 Market Pulse

Sales and prices are up and the length of time it takes to complete sales is down, but NAR’s data for August suggests real estate isn’t out of the woods.

November 1, 2012

The national median home price, at $187,400, is up 9.5 percent from year-ago levels, and the market is on pace to see 4.82 million home sales this year, a 9.3 percent improvement over last year. Almost two-thirds of sales are completed within three months, a big jump from a year earlier. But practitioner confidence, a good indicator of how the market will look down the road, has barely budged for months. All trend lines are from August 2011 to August 2012.

Existing-home sales is a seasonally adjusted annual rate, which is the actual rate of sales for the month, multiplied by 12 and adjusted for seasonal sales differences.  Pending home sales is an index that measures ­housing contract activity. An index of 100 is equal to the level of activity during 2001, the benchmark year. Inventory measures the number of existing homes on the market at the end of the month.  Buyer and seller traffic, current conditions, six-month expectations, and time on market derive from a monthly REALTOR® Confidence Index. Results are based on 3,421 responses to 6,000 surveys sent to large and small real estate offices. The survey asks practitioners to indicate whether conditions are strong (100 points), moderate (50), or weak (0). Some data may be revised from previous issues.

Lawrence Yun
Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of REALTORS®

Yun oversees and is responsible for a wide range of research activity for the association including NAR’s Existing Home Sales statistics, Affordability Index, and Home Buyers and Sellers Profile Report. He regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1.3 million REALTOR® members.

Dr. Yun creates NAR’s forecasts and participates in many economic forecasting panels, among them the Blue Chip Council and the Wall Street Journal Forecasting Survey. He also participates in the Industrial Economists Discussion Group at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. He appears regularly on financial news outlets, is a frequent speaker at real estate conferences throughout the United States, and has testified before Congress. Dr. Yun has appeared as a guest on CSPAN’s Washington Journal and is a regular guest columnist on the Forbes website and The Hill, an “inside the beltway” publication on public affairs.

Dr. Yun received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park.

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