The association’s second-quarter metro area home price report, covering changes in 149 metropolitan statistical areas, revealed that 67 areas posted double-digit annual increases in median existing single-family home prices, while seven areas posted “generally modest” price declines; none of the areas seeing declines had previously recorded rapid gains, the NAR noted.
The national median existing single-family home price was $208,500 in the second quarter, up a whopping 13.6% from the second quarter of 2004, the NAR reported.
David Lereah, the NAR’s chief economist, termed the price gains unprecedented. “When you look at appreciation of home prices relative to the overall rate of inflation, these are the strongest increases on record,” he said.
The areas experiencing price declines were lower-priced markets, with one or both of the conditions necessary for price softness – local economic weakness, primarily in jobs, or a large supply of homes for sale in the local area, the NAR noted, adding that these are typically temporary conditions.
Regionally, the strongest increase was in the West, where the median existing single-family home price rose 19.5% over the last year during the second quarter. In the Northeast, the median resale price during the second quarter was up 13.1%, while price gains were also reported in the Midwest (+12.1%) and the South (+5.7%).
Stocks, Hit by Storm, Plummet in August
Stocks associated with the kitchen and bath industry took a beating, along with the rest of Wall Street, in August, as Hurricane Katrina and surging oil prices took a destructive toll on investors.
The index of 54 key stocks of building products manufacturers, distributors, retailers, home builders and e-commerce enterprises – as tracked in Kitchen & Bath Design News’ exclusive monthly Stock Index – fell 80.48 points, or 3.10%, to close the trading period from August 5 through Sept. 2 at 2515.28. In similar fashion, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 110.63 points, or 1.05%, ending the month-long trading period at 10447.37, while the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 36.84 points, or 1.69%, to close at 2141.07 (see Market Diary, below).
Declining stocks outpaced advancing issues 34-17, with only three of the stocks reaching a new 52-week high and two dipping to a new annual low.
Top gainers for the period included Owens Corning, USG Corp. and Maytag Corp. Jacuzzi Brands and Fortune Brands were among the biggest losers.
Editor’s Note: Several of the companies listed in KBDN’s monthly Stock Index are parent companies of – or have key financial ties to – building and remodeling industry product suppliers. Included are the following: Armstrong World Industries (Triangle Pacific, Bruce Hardwood, Hartco Flooring); Black & Decker (Price Pfister, Kwikset, DeWalt); DR Horton (Schuler Homes); Electrolux AB (Frigidaire Co.); Fortune Brands (Moen, MasterBrand Cabinets – Aristokraft, Decorá, Diamond, Kemper, Omega Cabinetry and Schrock); Griffon Corp. (CLOPAY); Illinois Tool (Wilsonart International, Florida Tile); IAC/InterActiveCorp (ServiceMagic, Inc.); International Paper (Nevamar); Knape & Vogt (Feeny Mfg.); Masco Corp. (Merillat Industries, KraftMaid, Delta Faucet, Peerless Faucets, Aqua Glass/Huppe, Melard Mfg., Zenith Products and Baldwin Hardware); Maytag Co. (Jenn-Air and Magic Chef); Mohawk Industries (Dal-Tile); Newell Rubbermaid (Amerock); OfficeMax; Pentair (Porter-Cable); Technical Olympic USA (Engle Holdings Corp. and other home-building companies.); Tomkins (LASCO Bathware and Pegler Ltd.); U.S. Industries (Jacuzzi Brands, Inc.); Weyco Group (Willamette Industries); and Whirlpool Corp. (KitchenAid and Roper).