The housing market is showing signs of life, according to analysts. Sales of previously occupied homes are at their highest since May 2010. A larger number of first-time buyers are making purchases and the supply of homes fell last month to its lowest point in nearly seven years. Home sales have risen almost 13 percent over the past six months. Though they are below the 6 million that economists equate with a healthy market, the gains, combined with other changes in the market, suggest that more sales are coming. Single-family home sales have risen 3.8 percent and the number of first-time buyers, critical to a housing recovery, increased slightly to make up 33 percent of sales. That’s still below 40 percent, which tends to signal a healthy market. But hey, any improvement is a movement in the right direction.
Of course, all good news comes with its share of skeptics. Many are concerned that the market is still saturated with homes at risk of foreclosure, which lower broader home prices. Those increased to make up 35 percent of sales (though most economists said the January Housing report was encouraging, especially when viewed with other recent positive housing data). “The rise in existing home sales in recent months adds to the indication from housing starts, building permits, and homebuilder sentiment that the sector has improved modestly since the middle of 2011,” said John Ryding, an economist at RDQ economics.
With a greater amount of people buying homes and moving into new areas, demographics could change considerably. At MarketMAPS, we understand businesses’ need to continually manage and redesign their sales territories in accordance with demographics, and an influx of new homeowners into your area is a good reason to reexamine how you design your territories. We combine geographic and demographic data to create customized maps that help businesses identify where their best opportunities lie.