Dataquick is now reporting a 7.4% increase in closed sale values for the 30 days ended June 7 versus a year ago. This would represent mostly contracts entered in March. The data released today shows a clear breakout in prices with the median sale price for sales data collected in the 30 days ended June 7 at $188,000, versus last year’s high of $185,000 set from July 21 to August 4, 2011.
Excluding 2010 when prices were skewed by government price goosing programs, this is the first time that a national measure of housing prices has exceeded the high of the previous year since 2006.
This continues a period of sharp and steady gains since the March 2012 low.
Sales volume is also increasing as is normal for this time of year. The last 30 days sales are up 7% versus one year ago and 10.8% versus 3 years ago, indicating increasing demand.
These numbers are not modeled. They are real sales counts and medians from 98 of the top 100 US metros encompassing 66% of US home sales.
The data represents the most recently available data from each market and the sale dates covered apparently vary from market to market due to varying amounts of reporting lag. Data collected in the current week may represent sale closings from as recently as one or two weeks ago, to as long as 7 or 8 weeks ago depending on the municipalities. I am waiting for a reply from Dataquick for a more detailed explanation of this issue, but my in my past experience with collecting this type of information from a variety of municipalities in a past life, I estimate that the current data would be sales mostly closed in April-May, therefore representing contracts mostly signed in February-March.
The primary advantage of this data is that it is compiled and reported weekly, while other services report only monthly, with somewhat more lag.
The disadvantage of this data is the mixed and undisclosed closing sale dates. However, as long as the data encompasses large numbers of sales and the methodology and timing is consistent over time, then it should provide equally valid data as from other national services on a more timely basis.
CoreLogic, another provider of real estate information services is now publishing an index of current contract prices, apparently collected from Multiple Listing Services around the country. This would be the most current available sales data, representing current contracts from last month. CoreLogic is reporting that contract prices rose 2% in May, which while strong, is a cooling off from the 4.4% monthly rate shown from the most recent Dataquick data for sales most likely originated mostly in March.
The March increase was probably spurred by the looming FHA fee increase that was scheduled for early April. That makes the May gain of 2% even more impressive given that many buyers were probably pulled forward into March and April to beat the fee increase.
Recent information reported by a mortgage industry group suggests some cooling of contract activity over the past month. I will have more in depth analysis in the Professional Edition housing update to be posted this evening.
For more on housing values, visit the Home Sales Chart page.
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