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Lending

The counterpoint: Here’s why 2014 will be a good year for housing

Realtors: It's not all doom and gloom

sales up

There may some indicators that the rest of 2014 won’t be good for housing, but the news isn’t quite as bad as it seems. In fact, things just may be looking up.

Data from Realtor.com suggests that an annual growth in inventory and days on the market, coupled with more modest price increases than in years past, speaks to a healthier market in 2014 compared with the early buying season in 2013.

March’s National Housing Trend Data from Realtor.com indicates that there will be more homes on the market in this buying season, which it considers a good sign for buyers in many markets. Specifically benefited by the increased inventory will be first-time buyers, who may have been squeezed out of the 2013 market due to the lack of inventory.

The report states that the number of properties for sale in March rose 9.5% above March 2013’s figures, to 1,841,844 units. The national median list price at $199,900 increased 5.3% compared to the same month last year. The national median age of inventory increased 22.9% above 2013’s figures, to 102 days.

Contrast this data with a HousingWire report that the rest of 2014 will be tough for housing. In that report, Tom Showalter, chief analytics officer at Digital Risk, says, "Housing price appreciation (is) already on the decline, with only six cities in the Case-Shiller index showing strength in recent indexing – Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, Tampa, and Washington. Moreover, while home prices have increased, at least 25% of all homes are still under water."

Showalter also says that as investors leave the market, “there is little evidence that the typical retail buyer will up the slack.”

But the Realtor.com’s report paints a brighter picture. Its report states that the increasing inventory and moderate price increases help point toward a strong real estate market place for buyers to move into, especially ripe for first-time and transplant buyers.

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