Redfin CEO: “Strong sellers’ market”
The chief executive of Redfin says the real estate market is “real hot” for sellers in many US housing markets. Glenn Kelman told CNN’s Power Lunch that in places like Omaha and Atlanta “we’ve got homes selling in 45 minutes”. Housing market data released recently has shown positive growth in many areas and Kelman says that the expectation of an interest rate rise in the fall is driving increased sales.
Not that buying is easy in the tightest markets with bidding wars frequently a frustration for homebuyers. The online realtor firm boss says he expect prices to increase in the next few months as the heat in the market intensifies. However Kelman says that as mortgage rates rise prices will become too much for people to pay and will moderate.
Small land sales are strong in the Lone Star State
Small land sales in Texas have been increasing and prices have been growing according to the latest report from the Texas Association of Realtors. According to the report, 5,282 small land tracts were sold in Texas in 2014, a 20.69 per cent increase from 2013. Association chairman Scott Kesner commented: “Land is a hot commodity in Texas. The competitiveness of the market is as strong for small land sales as it is in the residential housing market. Land for weekend getaway homes, ranchettes, and hunting continues to grow in popularity across the state as the Texas economy continues to prosper, particularly in areas surrounding Texas’s major metros.” The demand pushed prices in 2014 up by 3.5 per cent year-over-year to $5,018 per acre statewide.
Not every housing market is feeling the heat
While national data may show an optimistic outlook for the US housing market there are still many areas that are struggling to recover from the recession. Rockford, Illinois for example. The Rockford Register Star reports that following the economic collapse which saw unemployment surge to above 10 per cent and stay there for 5 years, the city’s housing market is hardly moving. It reports that there were just 5 building permits issued by the city last year, three of them to a non-profit builder of homes for low-income families. In the years from 2003-2006 the average number of permits for the city was 2,425 each year. With low wage growth, unemployment at 6.8 per cent and potential first time buyers not buying there is some way to go before Rockford will be talking about heat in the housing market.