The final tallies from 2011 are in. With the arrival of the new year, a slew of agencies, academics and industry groups are starting to release an annual treasure trove of statistics that give us a pretty illuminating glimpse of what actually happened this past year — and whether or not the current year is the right time to begin considering a Dallas home loan, Austin home loan, or Houston home loan.
For example, according to the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes across America rose approximately 1.7 percent in 2011, from 4.19 million to 4.26 million. This stat is extra positive considering the fact that existing home sales in 2010 actually fell 3.5 percent from the year before, showing that we avoided another prolonged slide.
It’s also good news because sales of existing homes are needed perhaps as much as anything else in order to see a sustained housing recovery. While sales of newly constructed homes are important (home-building adds much-needed construction jobs and other ancillary benefits), there’s still a massive glut of unsold houses available on the market. This “shadow inventory” needs to be sold off before we can get back to normal.
Still, as the statistics note, we’re a long, long way from normal. The year before the housing bubble popped, 5.04 million homes sold — approximately 15.5 percent more than last year.
New Home Construction
On the flip side, according to the Commerce Department, 2011 was the worst year for new home construction since the economy crashed. Construction began on just 428,600 single-family homes in 2011, just half of what’s standard in a normal U.S. economy
On the bright side, even housing starts ended the otherwise dismal year on a positive note: housing starts increased for the third consecutive month in December. So maybe 2012 will show more signs of a recovery across the board.
All these stats show two things: 1. Better times are likely ahead (so long as, you know, Europe’s problems don’t spread, or China doesn’t crash, or our debt problems finally catch up to us, or Wall St. flips out again). 2. We’re not there yet.
So it’s still a historic buyer-friendly housing market in Texas. And here at TexasLending.com, we’re proud to offer a full range of affordable Texas home loans if these stats tell you it’s time to buy.