SOURCE: Clear Capital

Clear Capital

April 21, 2017 08:00 ET

Early Spring Thaw Begins in the West

RENO, NV--(Marketwired - April 21, 2017) -

Western growth is on the rise as the Spring buying season begins to take shape, and a nationwide trend of decreasing distressed saturation rates indicates that the housing market is at its healthiest state since the crash in 2008.

  • The West leads the rest of the country with quarterly growth at 1.3%, a sharp increase of 0.3% from 1.0% last month. Annual growth in the region has bumped up to 8.1% from 7.6% last month. Current western quarterly and annual growth rates are significantly higher than in April 2016 when rates were 0.9% and 7.4% respectively. In addition, it looks like the Spring buying season in this region is arriving at least a month earlier this year than last when quarterly growth didn't cross over the single percentage mark until May.
  • Fresno steps up as the second fastest growing metro area in the nation, up from the number four spot last month. QoQ price growth in Fresno has now reached 1.9%, while annual price gains are also quite impressive at 9.6%. Distressed saturation in Fresno is still relatively high for a Western metro at 11.5%, higher than the regional average by 3.2%, which could point to a pocket of opportunity for investors who have been driven out of the bay area by high prices. San Antonio continues to be the fastest growing major metropolitan area in the nation as QoQ growth increases to 2.0% this month.
  • National quarter-over-quarter growth has reached 1.0% for the first time in 2017, a slight uptick from 0.9% in March, while annual growth remains steady at 6.3% with no change from last month. With the first quarter of 2017 now officially closed, this year is shaping up to be a more aggressive growth year than 2016; national QoQ growth is double what it was in April 2016 (0.5% QoQ). Distressed saturation is also down significantly in the last year, dropping to 11.8% this month from 14.7% in April 2016.
  • Other regions show little change since last month, indicating that the typical rush of Spring buyers has not entered the market yet. However, Q1 2017 growth in the South, Midwest, and Northeast was still considerably healthier than in 2016. Southern QoQ growth is currently 0.9%, a difference of 0.3% from 0.6% last year, while Midwestern regional QoQ is 0.5% improved over 2016, now tracking at the 0.8% mark. The Northeastern region has seen the most marked Q1 quarterly growth improvement over 2016, as the region currently boasts a quarterly price increase of 0.9% compared to just 0.2% last year.

"Growth in the West is beginning to pick up as Spring buyers start to enter the market early, boosting price growth in the region, but other areas of the country don't seem to have thawed out from the cold winter season just yet," states Allison Whealton, Senior Economic Analyst for Clear Capital. "It has been an impressive start to 2017 for the housing market. Nationally, home prices have increased twice as fast in Q1 2017 as they had in Q1 2016, and with the typical Spring buying season just on the horizon, the next few months could be shaping up to be an impressive start to the busiest buying season."

Top 30 MSAs March 2017
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