Is the Real Estate Market Turning?

It’s December and Kansas City residents who have been keeping an eye on the real estate market may be beginning to see renewed signs of life. The stirrings are still relatively minor, but those of us who have studied the ups and downs of real estate markets for the past decade or two know this is what happens right before substantial activity gathers wider attention.

Kansas & Missouri listing and sales figures take time to compile, but we’re seeing early nationalImage: renjith krishnan / figures that hint at the change. According to the National Association of Home Builders, house prices are growing (“modest gains in the third quarter”) and new home sales show slight improvement. That movement is confirmed by the familiar Case-Shiller and FHFA indexes.

The NAHB also works with Wells Fargo to measure overall housing affordability, which can be thought of as the bottom line we all come up with when penciling out whether or not a residence change makes sense for the family budget. That affordability index continues to be near a record high. Coupled with a confirmed drop in new mortgage delinquencies, it also seems possible that the national media might also begin to sound a more optimistic note -- which would be helpful in establishing a less tentative real estate market.

All in all, while it’s necessary to bear in mind that conditions are likely to remain subject to short-term fluctuations, it’s also wise to stay apprised of longer-term trends. Everyone makes their buying and selling decisions based on a complicated mix of factors. Knowing where the real estate market stands (and where it’s likely to be headed) should always be one of those.