By Peter Ricci
Real estate website Trulia is reporting that, boosted by fewer housing vacancies and relatively impressive job growth, asking prices have risen in its Trulia Price Monitor for the sixth straight month.
A leading indicator on home price trends, Trulia based the findings on for-sale homes on its site in the country's largest metro areas through July 31.
Asking Prices, Rents Both Rise in July
In addition to asking prices, Trulia also tracked the price of rental units in its Trulia Rent Monitor, and found that the increase in rent nationwide surpassed that of home asking prices. Some of the key findings included:
- From June to July, asking price increased 0.5 percent, seasonally adjusted. It was the sixth straight monthly increase for asking prices on Trulia.
- Quarter-over-quarter, the increase was even stronger, rising by 1.2 percent, and excluding foreclosures, it was stronger still year-over-year at 2.7 percent.
- The majority of large metros (62 of 100) had a year-over-year increase, the first time that's happened.
- The demand for rentals continued to push rents skyward, with rents increasing 5.3 percent nationally and in 24 of the nation's 25 largest rental markets. In San Francisco, Miami and Houston, for instance, rents posted respective year-over-year increases of 12.4, 11.3 and 8.5 percent.
The Future Recovery in Housing
Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, said all the signs in Trulia's report point to an optimistic future for housing.
“The housing price recovery looks stronger than at any other point since the bust,” Kolko said. “These price and rent increases, along with declining vacancies, should encourage new construction, which means housing will finally start contributing to the economic recovery.”
Ralph De Martino, the broker for Miami Coastal Condos in Miami Beach, Master Brokers Forum member and former president of the Miami Association of Realtors, said that shrinking inventories and strong buyer demand have contributed to the higher prices throughout the Miami area.
"Due to the dwindling inventory and strong demand, listings that didn’t sell six months ago (because the prices were high), are now selling," he said. "The pricing strategy for new listings is based on a rising market."