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The Most Trusted Housing Market Indicators: What They Tell Us and Who Publishes Them

Housing market indicators are statistics that reflect the state of the housing market. These indicators can be helpful for homeowners, homebuyers, and real estate professionals to gauge the strength of the market and make informed decisions. In this white paper, we will explore the most trusted housing market indicators and what they tell us, as well as who publishes them and how often.


Existing Home Sales


Existing home sales refer to the number of homes that are sold within a given period of time. This indicator is published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on a monthly basis and includes data on the number of homes sold, the median sales price, and the inventory of homes for sale.


Existing home sales can be a good indicator of the overall health of the housing market. An increase in existing home sales can indicate that demand for housing is strong, while a decrease in existing home sales can indicate that demand is slowing. Existing home sales can also give insight into the types of homes that are in demand and the price points that are most popular.


New Home Sales


New home sales refer to the number of new homes that are sold within a given period of time. This indicator is published by the Census Bureau on a monthly basis and includes data on the number of homes sold, the median sales price, and the inventory of new homes for sale.


New home sales can be a good indicator of the strength of the housing market and the overall economy. An increase in new home sales can indicate that builders are confident in the market and demand for new homes is strong, while a decrease in new home sales can indicate that demand is slowing. New home sales can also give insight into the types of homes that are being built and the price points that are most popular.


Housing Starts


Housing starts refer to the number of new homes that are being built within a given period of time. This indicator is published by the Census Bureau on a monthly basis and includes data on the number of housing starts, as well as the number of building permits issued.


Housing starts can be a good indicator of the strength of the housing market and the overall economy. An increase in housing starts can indicate that builders are confident in the market and demand for new homes is strong, while a decrease in housing starts can indicate that demand is slowing. Housing starts can also give insight into the types of homes that are being built and the areas where new construction is taking place.


Housing Permits


Housing permits refer to the number of building permits that are issued for new homes within a given period of time. This indicator is published by the Census Bureau on a monthly basis and includes data on the number of housing permits issued, as well as the number of housing starts.


Housing permits can be a good indicator of future demand for housing and the overall strength of the housing market. An increase in housing permits can indicate that builders are anticipating strong demand for new homes and are preparing to meet that demand, while a decrease in housing permits can indicate that builders are less confident in the market. Housing permits can also give insight into the types of homes that are being planned and the areas where new construction is likely to take place.


Median Home Price


The median home price is the price at which half of homes in an area sell for more and half sell for less. This indicator is published by various sources, including the NAR, the Census Bureau, and Zillow, on a monthly or quarterly basis and includes data on the median home price for different types of homes (e.g. single-family homes, condos, etc.) and different regions.


The median home price can be a good indicator of the overall strength of the housing market. An increase in the median home price can indicate that demand for housing is strong and supply is limited, while a decrease in the median home price can indicate that demand is slowing or there is an excess of supply. The median home price can also give insight into the types of homes that are in demand and the price points that are most popular.


Mortgage Rates


Mortgage rates refer to the interest rate at which people can borrow money to buy a home. This indicator is published by various sources, including the Federal Reserve, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and Freddie Mac, on a weekly or monthly basis and includes data on the average mortgage rates for different types of mortgages (e.g. 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, etc.).


Mortgage rates can have a significant impact on the housing market, as they can affect the affordability of homeownership. An increase in mortgage rates can make homeownership less affordable and discourage people from buying homes, while a decrease in mortgage rates can make homeownership more affordable and encourage people to buy homes. Mortgage rates can also give insight into the overall strength of the economy and the availability of credit.


Conclusion


In conclusion, the most trusted housing market indicators include existing home sales, new home sales, housing starts, housing permits, median home price, and mortgage rates. These indicators can give insight into the overall strength of the housing market, the demand for different types of homes, the price points that are most popular, and the availability of credit. Understanding these indicators and how they are published can help homeowners, homebuyers, and real estate professionals make informed decisions about the housing market.


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