Real Estate by the Numbers: Week of February 19-25

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A quick rundown of the important real estate news from the week of February 19-25, by the numbers:

5.6 Million – Number of  existing homes sold in January 2011 on an annualized basis. That pace represents a 2.7% increase from December and a 5.3% increase from January 2010.

$158,000 – Median home price in January 2011, which is down 3% from January 2010.

284,000 – Number of  new homes sold in January 2011 on an annualized seasonal adjusted basis. That pace represnets a 12.6% decrease from December’s pace of 325,000 new homes.

15% to 20% – Percentage to which home sales have been overstated in recent years by the National Association of Realtors according to Core Logic

37% – Percentage of homes purchased in January 2011 that were foreclosures. Furthermore, 32% of homes purchases were all-cash. These figures suggest that investors, to a large extent, are driving the current market.

73.9% – Percentage of homes sold in the 4th quarter of 2010 that were affordable for families earning $64,400, the national median income. It’s the highest percentage of affordable homes since the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index starting tracking the figure.

9.4% – Percentage vacancy in apartments in the 4th quarter of 2011. It’s the lowest vacancy for apartments since 2007 and a drop from the previous quarter’s 10.3% vacancy. With vacancy falling, it’s predicted that rents will rise 4.5% in 2011.

27.96% – Percentage return in 2010 on the FTSE NAREIT Equity REIT Index. It’s the second year in a row that REITs (Real Estate Investments Trusts) have performed well, as the index returned 27.99% in 2009. The return on the REIT index compares favorably to the returns on the NASDAQ Composite and the S & P 500 Index, which had returns of 16.91% and 15.06% respectively in 2010.

18% – Percentage increase year-over-year in December 2010 in residential remodels. It’s the fourteenth straight month remodeling activity has increased.

$36 billion – Total amount of economic aid that the Saudi Arabian government has announced, with a large percentage earmarked towards interest free loans for building and buying homes.

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  1. Here in Houston, the vacancy rate is at an all time low. Harris County Texas has always been known for reasonably priced luxury apartments for a great quality of life factor. But since the mortgage company quit taking junk application, and approving people that will be foreclosed on in a short time, the apartment industry is the only place to turn to currently.

    The property owners are taking full advantage right now, and are increasing monthly rents by forty percent on people renewing their leases. People searching for an apartment in Houston currently are finding it is just as hard to be approved for a lease, as it is for a new home mortgage.

    • FORTY percent? I mean, I get that this is supply/demand, but that’s really, truly outrageous. If that’s happening to large numbers of people who have no choice but to rent, I have a hard time believing that Texans are going to tolerate that state of things for very long.

    • Doug Lazovick on


      Thank you for the insight into the Houston apartment market. Here in Phoenix, apartment owners are also seeing a drop in vacancy and is some cases, are pushing rents.


  2. I find it odd that investors are driving the market and purchasing homes for cash in this market. Purchasing without the use of leverage in these market conditions seem to not be very wise.

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