Southern California continued to have a strong home sales month in February. The area recorded its highest sales in the month of February with 15,945 home sold in the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernandino, San Diego and Ventura counties. Although it was a .7 percentage point lower from January 2013, it was was still higher by 21% year over year for the month of February.
As Julie Greenwood, Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors President stated, " These numbers reflect a simple economic premise; when inventories get low, price starts to react". The February 2013 Market Report shows a February average sale price was $203,514 a month over month 9.38% increase from January 2013.
Housing construction began on 613,000 single family homes in January, the most since July 2008. As a clear indicator of the real estate momentum in 2012, faster hiring and easier access to credit along with historically low interest mortgages, coupled with rising rents, is fueling the growth in home starts.
With the median home price rising by 6.3 percent in 2012, forecasters predict that for the first time in a while it is both a seller's and buyer's market. During the Winter months it is common for home sales to taper off and pick up during the Summer while children are on school vacation. 4.65 million homes were sold in 2012, the highest level since 2007.
Hurricane Sandy's destruction increased the number of housing starts in the Northeast by about 19% from November to Decemebr of 2012. A key indicator is the number of building permits issued and although November rates stayed the same, the month of Decemeber saw almost a 29% increase from last year.