DataQuick has reported that both home sales and home price numbers slowed in many areas across the country in December. After months of increased home price growth across all 42 reporting markets in DataQuick’s monthly Property Intelligence Report (PIR), prices leveled off in many areas last month and even declined in four reporting counties—Cuyahoga, Ohio, Queens and Suffolk, N.Y., and Fairfield, Conn.
While a decline in home price growth strayed from recent trends—home price growth has been positive in 39 of the 42 reporting markets over the past year—the trend of low sales numbers continued in December. Home sales growth 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. However, the slowing growth of both home prices and overall sales isn’t all bad, according to DataQuick’s vice president of analytics, Gordon Crawford, Ph.D. Crawford points out that declining numbers may mean a more stable housing market is on the horizon.
“We noted in last month’s report that the pace of home price growth was not sustainable given the fairly weak underlying economic drivers,” Crawford said. “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.”
DataQuick’s PIR leverages its national property database and analytics expertise to assess 42 of the largest counties in the United States using valuation trends, REO inventory trends and sales trends metrics. Other key findings for December include:
►Home price growth was positive in 36 of the 42 reported counties over the last month
►Home price growth was positive in 34 of the 42 reported counties over the last quarter
►Home price growth was positive in 39 of the 42 reported counties over the last year
►Sales increased in 11 of the 42 reported counties over the last month
►Sales increased in 3 of the 42 reported counties over the last quarter
►Sales increased in 17 of the 42 reported counties over the last year
►Foreclosures decreased in 26 of the 42 reported counties over the last month
►Foreclosures decreased in 28 of the 42 reported counties over the last quarter and year