Employment numbers improve while real estate is “stuck in neutral”

February 09, 2012 12:00PM

There is good and bad news for the American economy, according to CoreLogic’s MarketPulse report for February 2012, released today. Labor markets, a leading indicator for other economic activity, are showing steady improvement, the report says, though real estate and financial markets related to real estate remain “stuck in neutral.”

In January, 243,000 jobs were added nationwide, and unemployment fell to 8.3 percent from 8.5 in December, the report says.

In the real estate sector, sales volume and prices were down in January from the month prior, but the volume of originations improved, the report shows. Distressed sales increased, to 28.1 percent of total sales, up from 27.1 percent previous month, but down from 28.9 percent a year ago in January. As The Real Deal reported this morning, home prices overall in the U.S. are projected to decline 3.7 percent in 2012, according to a report from Zillow.com.

Meanwhile, sales of homes with asking prices of over $1 million declined to 1.2 percent of all home sales last month. Excluding distressed sales, overall home prices declined by 0.9 percent month-over-month and were down 4.7 percent year-over-year. — Guelda Voien