The Mid-Cities Report, released by Altos Research, has found that recovery in the housing will be extended for a long period of time, like a catfish, and bob up and down with no direction. The trajectory of the housing recovery, as found by the latest Altos Report, will take a similar pattern.
The recently-released Altos 20-City Composite National Report declared a Catfish Recovery, and the Mid-Cities are showing signs of similar behavior. In the month of June, prices increased in 19 of the 21 mid-cities markets, showing pricing strength much like the Altos 20-City composite. The headlines are still talking about a double-dip in housing and the Mid-Cities numbers provide further evidence of strength in prices across the board. The S&P/Case-Shiller numbers will report the same price strength in the late summer and early fall.
The Altos Mid-Cities Composite gives a different perspective to the state of the national housing market by reporting market conditions in mid-sized U.S. markets. The Altos Research Mid-Cities Composite and 20-City Composite seven-day and 90-day price trends are displayed in the chart below.
Key takeaways from the 21 markets reported:
►The Altos mid-cities median price was $254,046 in May, up 1.11 percent from $251,247 in April. For comparison, the Altos national composite median price was up 0.93 percent in May, from $440,194 to $444,273.
►The leaders in the three-month price increases are Orlando (7.39 percent), Boise (5.88 percent), and Boulder (5.54 percent).
►Only three markets had decreasing prices over three months. Honolulu (-2.64 percent), Reno (-0.33 percent), and Charleston (-0.24 percent). Charleston had an increase in median price in the past month, with a 0.84 percent increase.
►All three Florida markets--Jacksonville, Naples and Orlando--had substantial decreases in inventory (-2.07 percent, -4.95 percent and -2.32 percent). Charleston had the largest decrease in inventory at -6.25 percent.
►The largest one-month increases in inventory were in Austin (4.15 percent), Sacramento (3.79 percent), and Honolulu (3.61 percent).
►The seven-day and 90-day averages in the mid-cities composite are both trending upward for median prices and inventory, much like the Altos 20-city composite. The seven-day trends are always the first indication of a shifting market and should be watched closely.
The mid-cities had an increase in median prices across the board in May. The biggest increases in prices were Orlando (7.39 percent), Boise (5.88 percent), and Boulder (5.54 percent). Only two of the 21 markets had price decreases in the past month, and both of the decreases were nominal—Honolulu (-0.70 percent) and Dover (-0.31 percent). Charleston had an increase in prices last month (0.84 percent), and is still showing a decrease in prices over a three-month time period (-0.24 percent).
Housing inventory in the mid-cities composite was up as, but only slightly at 0.74 percent. Over the past three months, inventory has increased 2.28 percent. Compared to the national composite—3.17 percent month over month—this is a significantly smaller percentage increase. The cities with the largest one-month increases were Austin, Texas at 4.15 percent; Sacramento, Calif. at 3.79 percent; and Honolulu, Hawaii at 3.61 percent. There were significant decreases in inventory in Charleston, W. Va. (-6.25 percent); Naples, Fla. (-4.95 percent), and Orlando, Fla. (-2.32 percent). The biggest three-month increases in inventory were in Baltimore (12.16 percent), Austin (10.80 percent), and St. Louis (8.05 percent).