As reported by the National Association of REALTORS®, the number of Existing Home Sales dipped last month, ending the metric’s 5-month winning streak. Newspaper headlines today are overwhelmingly negative on housing. You’d almost believe this year’s housing recovery had ended. That’s hardly the case. See, the other side of the Existing Home Sales story is that — while the number of units sold did fall by 3 percent — the months of existing supply fell by nearly a year. To home buyers and home sellers, this is huge. Home prices are based on supply and demand and with supplies plummeting, it means that home prices are poised to rise. Indeed, dwindling inventory isn’t “news” to today’s buyers. Multiple offer situations have been common since the start of the summer and, should supplies fall further, they may soon be the home-buying rule rather than the exception. Since peaking in November 2008, existing home supplies are down 23%. Mortgage Rates are near annual lows. If you are […]
Housing Starts on single-family homes took a step backwards last month, falling month-over-month for the first time since January. A “housing start” is new home on which construction has started. Don’t let the slowdown fool you, however — the housing market’s recovery is still very much underway. Sales volume is up in most cities Home values are up in most places Low mortgage rates are making homes affordable Builders were bound to take a construction breather sometime — especially with the looming expiration of the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. The last thing they want is to be saddled with excess supply. Some of the news coverage categorized August’s Housing Starts as troubling. That’s likely overstating it. One down month after 8 consecutive increases is not only acceptable, but it’s expected, too. Single-family starts are up 34 percent on the year. The housing market is recovering just fine.
Once again, the country’s foreclosures are concentrated in just a few states. As reported by foreclosure-tracking company RealtyTrac.com, more than 50 percent of the country’s foreclosure-related actions in August occurred in just four states: California : 25.76 percent Florida : 17.4 percent Michigan : 5.4 percent Nevada : 5.0 percent The rest of the “Top 10” foreclosure states included Arizona, Illinois, Georgia, Ohio, Texas and New Jersey. Versus July’s numbers, the U.S. foreclosure rate improved last month. However, the August data is awful in comparison to last year — foreclosures are up nearly 18 percent. The silver lining? High foreclosure rates are yielding tremendous opportunities for today’s home buyers. Buyers of distressed properties now account for about one-third of all home sales and low mortgage rates and a federal tax credit are spurring sales. Search the complete August 2009 foreclosure report for yourself, including foreclosure heatmaps and other trends on the RealtyTrac website.
In what’s becoming a regular occurrence, housing data blew away economists expectations Tuesday. As reported by the National Association of Realtors®, the Pending Home Sales Index posted its 6th consecutive monthly gain in July. After a meteoric rise that started in January, the index is now at its highest levels in more than 2 years. A “pending home sale” is a home that is under contract to sell, but not yet closed. It’s not the same as an actual home sold, but data shows that nearly 80% of homes under contract close within 2 months and many more close in months 3 and 4. Home buyers — take note. When the Pending Home Sales Index is rising, it means that market activity has picked up. This can lead to any one, or a combination, of the following: Multiple-offer situations Reduced negotiation leverage over sellers Higher home sale prices with fewer concessions So, consider yourself alerted. If you’re buying a home in […]
In a bit of good news for the economy, Consumer Sentiment fell to 4-month lows in August. The drop wasn’t “good news”, per se, but because it wasn’t nearly as large as economists expected, Wall Street cheered it. The index, jointly published by the University of Michigan and Reuters, measures how Americans feel about their situation today, and how they envision it six months in the future. Since bottoming 5 months ago, consumer sentiment has added more than 10 points. Rising Consumer Sentiment figures can foreshadow economic growth because confident consumers are more apt to spend money on big-ticket items including appliances, automobiles, and, of course, new homes. The recent run of sentiment data is one more reason to believe a full economic recovery is underway. That said, the Consumer Sentiment survey has its flaws. For one, the survey’s sample set includes just 500 households nationwide and that’s not a true cross-section of America. And second, just because people feel more confident about their […]