February 27th, 2024 - This Week in Real Estate

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What’s new in the world of Real Estate
  • U.S. home prices keep going up

  • The Bay Area housing market stays hot

  • Home sales rose

  • Commercial foreclosures have doubled in a year

  • and more…

Listing of the week: 52,000 acres of California farmland.


Freddie Mac 30 Year Fixed
6.90% (+0.13% weekly)
Dow Jones Real Estate Index
335.92 (-0.4% weekly)
325.98 (-0.5% weekly)


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Market Updates

U.S. home prices rose 6.5% in 2023. This is according to the latest FHFA House Price Index, which also showed a gain of 1.5% in the 4th quarter of 2023, and a modest 0.1% gain in December as growth slowed at the end of the year. Overall, every quarter for the past twelve years has seen positive growth. Regionally, 49 of the 50 states (Hawaii did not) and 96 of the top 100 metro areas saw year-over-year price growth. Meanwhile the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index reported a 5.5% year-over-year gain, though it actually declined by 0.4% in December. It also found that raw prices declined in 17 of the top 20 metro markets, but after seasonal adjustment, the index actually rose by 0.2%. With prices rising in 2023 despite high mortgage rates, there is optimism that even a minor decline in mortgage rates in 2024 could lead to rapid price growth this year.

San Jose and Oakland lead another ranking of the hottest markets in the country. This report from Construction Coverage looked at five factors - one-year change in median sale price, share of homes that sold above asking, median number of days on the market, average sale-to-list percentage, and share of listings with price drops. Three other California cities (San Diego, Long Beach and Sacramento) made the top ten, while the Northeast dominated overall, taking six of the top seven spots at the state level. Previously hot markets in the South have cooled off, with New Orleans ranking last, and Austin, San Antonio and Fort Worth all in the bottom six as well.

Both existing-home and new-home sales increased in January. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales rose by 3.1% monthly, but were down 1.7% year-over-year. The median sales price rose by 5.1% year-over-year, and all four regions of the country posted increases. Meanwhile, Realtor.com found that sales of newly-built homes increased by 1.5% in January, with the median price rising by 1.8%. However, the numbers fell short of Wall Street expectations, largely due to the increase in mortgage rates last month.

Foreclosures of commercial properties are up 97% since last year. The real estate data firm ATTOM found 635 commercial properties in the U.S. under foreclosure in January, a 17% rise since December, and nearly double the number from January 2023. It is also significantly higher than the recent low of 141 foreclosures in May 2020, when pandemic aid programs were at their peak. California has been hit particularly hard, with a 72% increase from December and a 174% increase from January 2023.

Listing of the Week

A property that caught our eye

almonds in august before harvest

A major farming operation in Fresno, CA, is reportedly on the block, as its owners, the Assemi family, are looking to move on due to the declining health of its head of operations. For sale are Maricopa Orchards, which includes 52,000 acres of farmland that contain pistachio and almond trees, as well as packing and shipping operations and a processing facility. It also includes water rights about seven water districts, which is of great importance in the region. All told, the value of the companies are said to be in the range of $2 billion.


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