Posted tagged ‘Existing Home Sales’

Pending Home Sales Surge in May

July 3, 2014

home-for-sale-sign-twoThis is good news all around for the housing industry but the most encouraging points have to be the nice increase in new homes followed closely by lower interest rates. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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Pending home sales surged in May, spurred by lower interest rates and increased inventory, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Monday.

The group’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), which measures contract signings as an indicator of future sales figures, jumped 6.1 percent month-over-month to 103.9. It was the largest one-month increase since April 2010, when the index spiked 9.6 percent as first-time buyers moved to sign purchase contracts to qualify for the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit.

With both new and existing-home sales showing promise in May, the association expects the momentum to continue.

“Sales should exceed an annual pace of five million homes in some of the upcoming months behind favorable mortgage rates, more inventory and improved job creation,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “However, second-half sales growth won’t be enough to compensate for the sluggish first quarter and will likely fall below last year’s total.”

All four regions of the country posted increases in pending sales numbers, with the Northeast leading with an 8.8 percent month-over-month gain to an index of 86.3. The Northeast was also the only region where pending sales increased year-over-year, rising 0.2 percent.

In the Midwest, NAR reports pending home sales were up 6.3 percent to an index of 105.4, while pending sales in the West rose 7.6 percent to 95.4. Pending home sales in the South, meanwhile, increased 4.4 percent to 117.0.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Home Sales Surge

December Existing-Home Sales Up 1%

January 28, 2014

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It seems that 2013 was really a seller’s market except for the stringent requirement to qualify for a mortgage. Most Mortgage Brokers think that the lenders are taking advantage for this increase in sales to demand that buyers are “Over Qualified” before they will grant a mortgage. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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Existing-home sales finished 2013 with a slight increase, closing the book on the strongest year for sales since 2006, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Thursday.

Total existing-home sales–including all completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops–increased 1.0 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.87 million last month. November’s sales rate was revised down to 4.82 million.

December’s sales were down year-over-year, coming up 0.6 percent short of December 2012’s pace of 4.90 million.

Removing all other types of sales, sales of existing single-family homes rose 1.9 percent from November to an adjusted annual rate of 4.30 million. Compared to the prior year, single-family sales were down 0.7 percent.

For all of last year, NAR estimates there were 5.09 million existing-home sales, a 9.1 percent improvement from 2012.

“Existing-home sales have risen nearly 20 percent since 2011, with job growth, record low mortgage interest rates and a large pent-up demand driving the market,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “We lost some momentum toward the end of 2013 from disappointing job growth and limited inventory, but we ended with a year that was close to normal given the size of our population.”

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Home Sales Up

Even in Buyer’s Market, Homeownership Expected to Decline

January 2, 2014

forecast-fourThis is good news in spite of what it sounds like. The rapid growth in home prices would only lead to another “Bubble” and more than likely a crash down the line. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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Zillow expects conditions next year to be a bit friendlier to homebuyers—but that doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily see more owner-occupied housing, experts at the real estate marketplace say.

Looking at ongoing trends, Zillow made four major predictions about the course of housing over 2014.

First, home values are forecast to rise by 3 percent at the national level over the year. The prediction projects a retreat from 2012 and 2013 levels, which Zillow says were “unsustainable and well above historic norms for healthy, balanced markets.”

“This year, home value gains will slow down significantly because of higher mortgage rates, more expensive home prices, and more supply created by fewer underwater homeowners and more new construction,” said Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist. “For buyers, this is welcome news, especially for those in markets where bidding wars were becoming the norm and bubble-like conditions were starting to emerge.”

Second, the company predicts mortgage rates will reach 5 percent by the end of the year—a level not seen since early 2010—as the economy improves and the Federal Reserve adapts its policies. That news may not be as bright for buyers, but Erin Lantz, director of mortgages for Zillow, says it’s important to keep perspective.

“While this will make homes more expensive to finance—the monthly payment on a $200,000 loan will rise by roughly $160—it’s important to remember that mortgage rates in the 5 percent range are still very low,” Lantz said. “Because affordability is still high in most areas relative to historic norms, rising rates won’t derail the housing recovery.”

However, Lantz noted affordability has already turned into an issue for some markets, particularly those in California.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Homeownership Expected to Decline

Housing Momentum Stalled by Cautious Consumers

December 11, 2013

This doesn’t come as a big surprise considering the unemployment rate, interest rate increases and home prices climbing. The fact that so many people think that their personal situation will get worse in the next 12 months is a little unexpected but not a great shocker. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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According to Fannie Mae’s November National Housing Survey, positive momentum in the housing market has slowed as Americans remain cautious about their personal finances and the overall state of the economy.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed believe the economy is on the wrong track. Twenty-two percent expect their personal finances to worsen during the next year, and only 45 percent expect home prices to increase within the next 12 months.

According to Doug Duncan, SVP and chief economist at Fannie Mae: “We continue to see caution as the defining feature of Americans’ attitudes toward the economy and their personal financial situation. In this environment, the housing recovery is likely to improve, but only at a gradual pace.”

Duncan continued: “Our November National Housing Survey results show a loss of momentum in expectations for home prices and personal finances. Also, the majority of consumers expecting higher mortgage rates implies a slowing of housing market momentum. As the economy continues to improve and household balance sheets for most Americans are slow to repair, we continue to see the transition to a full housing recovery as a slow process.”

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Housing Momentum Stalled

Why so Few Houses for Sale? Lots of Reasons.

December 10, 2013

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This is a pretty complete overlook of the inventory shortage. The one major factor that was not touched on by this article is the lenders, for a lot of different reasons, are not putting many of their foreclosed homes on the market as fast as they used to and therefore there are less of these homes for sale. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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Inventories of homes for sale have been slow to bounce back since the 2007–09 recession, despite steady price appreciation since January 2012.

Normally, higher prices reflect robust sales. But lately, prices have been rising even though sales remain stuck at relatively low levels. The National Association of Realtors reports that an annualized 4.5 million homes were sold in June 2013, roughly the same as at the end of the 1990s.

Many prospective buyers attribute the low sales volume to a lack of inventory on the market. So why are there so few homes for sale? There are lots of reasons why.

William Hedberg, a research associate, and John Krainer, a senior economist, both with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, examine some of the factors affecting this “more complicated than normal” situation in a recent paper. Here are their key findings:

Many homeowners are still underwater. Many properties are still worth less than the value of their mortgages, which would leave sellers owing additional money at closing.

As a result, a large number of homeowners are waiting for house prices to rise, allowing them to recover lost equity. They delay putting their homes up for sale until the situation improves and they can make back enough to cover the down payment on their next purchase.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Few Houses for Sale

Sales of Existing Homes Slip for Second Straight Month

November 24, 2013

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It seems that this is really a seller’s market except for the stringent requirement to qualify for a mortgage. Most mortgage brokers think that the lenders are taking advantage for this increase in sales to demand that buyers are “Over Qualified” before they will grant a mortgage. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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October saw existing-home sales decline for the second straight month as low inventory propped up prices, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Wednesday.

Total existing-home sales—completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops—fell 3.2 percent from September to October, coming out to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.12 million. Compared to last year, sales were still up 6.0 percent, marking the 28th consecutive month of year-over-year improvement.

“The erosion in buying power is dampening home sales,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Moreover, low inventory is holding back sales while at the same time pushing up home prices in most of the country. More new home construction is needed to help relieve the inventory pressure and moderate price gains.”

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $199,500, up 12.8 percent annually.

Part of the rise in median price came from a smaller share of discounted distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales together made up 14 percent of October’s sales (9 percent foreclosures and 5 percent short sales) compared to 25 percent last year.

At the same time, inventory remains a challenge. The total number of existing homes available for sale at the end of October was 2.13 million, down 1.8 percent year-over-year. At the current sales pace, inventory levels come to a 5.0-month supply, NAR reported.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Sales of Existing Homes

NAR Chief Economist Reveals 2014 Predictions

November 14, 2013

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This will be interesting to look back at the end of next year and see how close Mr. Yun predictions match what actually happened. He should be fairly close. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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Speaking at the 2013 Realtors Conference & Expo Friday, National Association of Realtors (NAR) chief economist Lawrence Yun predicted steadiness in existing-home sales over the next year as prices continue to ascend.

Looking over the past year, Yun said he expects existing-home sales to be up about 10 percent in 2013 to 5.13 million. Sales in 2014 are expected to hold fairly even at about 5.12 million.

Reviewing price movements, he said the national median existing-home price should end this year about 11 percent higher than 2012, climbing to $197,000. Next year’s growth is expected to be cut nearly in half at about 6 percent.

Over the past two years, Yun says existing-home sales have shown a 20 percent cumulative increase, while prices have gained 18 percent. Meanwhile, incomes have only barely risen, coming up somewhere between 2-4 percent.

“We’ve come off of record high housing affordability conditions in the past year, and are now at a five-year low, but conditions are still the fifth best in the past 40 years,” Yun said, noting that the median-income family should still be “well-positioned” to buy a home in 2014 in many areas.

Aside from affordability, ongoing headwinds include limited inventory conditions and stringent mortgage standards, both of which are expected to continue as housing starts struggle and business costs remain elevated for lenders.

On housing production, Yun forecasts 917,000 starts through the end of 2013 and 1.13 million in 2014, which still falls short of the underlying demand of about 1.5 million.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

2014 Predictions