Ofir Levy's Blog

Report: October Cool Down in Temperature Only

Cooler temperatures didn’t necessarily mean a cool down in October activity, according to recent data. Despite a seasonal slowdown in activity, the housing market continued to post some positive metrics in October, reports the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey, which aggregates approximately 2,000 real estate agents nationwide each month and provides up-to-date intelligence on home sales and mortgage usage patterns.

“There were signs of continued resilience in the housing market last month. Most of the metrics tracked by HousingPulse were positive for October and the few negative metrics appear to be seasonal,” said Thomas Popik, research director for the HousingPulse survey.

Investors had a solid showing of home purchase activity during October according to the data. In February, when the home purchase market hit 23.1 percent, investor participation took a tumble hitting a three-year low of just 16.6 percent in August. The monthly rate is based on a three-month moving average. But, during the past two months, the investor share has risen, climbing to 16.9 percent in September and then 17.4 percent in October. The two-month rise in investor activity is significant given that it occurred at the same time the proportion of distressed properties in the housing market has continued to fall.

The HousingPulse Distressed Properties Index, which reflects the share of home purchases involving real estate owned or short sales, fell to a four-year low of 24.1 percent in October based on a three-month moving average. This was down from 24.6 percent in September and 35.1 percent in October of 2012.

Homes stayed on the market for shorter periods of time with increasing numbers of offers on those non-distressed properties. The national average-time-on-market for non-distressed properties was 8.9 weeks in October, while the national average number of offers on non-distressed properties last month was 2.1.

Still, the October data revealed a slowdown in homebuyer traffic and a three-month slide in the sales-to-list price ratio for non-distressed properties. Both of these trends were seen last fall and appear to be seasonal developments.


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