DataQuick: Dip In Home Sales, Flattening Of Prices Could Be A Good Sign

Home sales decreased in most U.S. markets in December – as per the usual seasonal trend – and home price appreciation has stabilized in recent months, according to DataQuick.

However, the declining numbers may mean a more stable housing market is on the horizon, the real estate data and analytics firm says in its monthly Property Intelligence Report.

While price appreciation continued in most of the 42 markets tracked in the report, prices leveled off in many areas and even declined in four – Cuyahoga, Ohio; Queens and Suffolk, N.Y.; and Fairfield, Conn.Â

What's more, home sales decreased in all but 11 of the 42 reporting counties last month.

Further, sales growth has decreased in all but three reporting markets over the past quarter.

‘We noted in last month's report that the pace of home price growth was not sustainable given the fairly weak underlying economic drivers,’ says Gordon Crawford, vice president of analytics for DataQuick. ‘This month, home price growth decreased substantially, which is encouraging as it shows that home prices are starting to respond to fundamentals rather than proceed along a speculative bubble-like track.

‘However, even with this slowing pace, home prices remain above the rate that can be sustained by currently weak economic drivers, as average annualized home price growth across all 42 reported markets remained abnormally high at 9.9 percent,’ he adds.

The report finds that home price appreciation was positive in 36 of the 42 counties tracked during the last month, was positive in 34 of the 42 counties over the last quarter and was positive in 39 of the 42 counties over the last year

Home sales increased in 11 of the 42 counties in the last month, in three of the 42 counties in the last quarter and in 17 of the 42 counties over the last year.

Foreclosures decreased in 26 of the 42 counties over the last month and decreased in 28 of the 42 reported counties over the last quarter and year, the report states.

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