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Tag Archives: Existing-Home Sales

Last Year’s Housing Doldrums Dampen Obama Scorecard

A troubled year for housing surfaced in a February housing scorecard from the Obama administration Friday, underscoring a still-unsteady pace for home prices, mortgage origination volume, and housing supply. Jointly released by HUD and the Treasury Department, the scorecard reflects an industry still in transition from crisis to recovery. The scorecard cited a National Association of Realtors Home Affordability Index, showing that it moved from 179.1 February last year to 194.9 this year, not far from the level seen in January.

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Still Falling, Mortgage Rates Read From the Same Script

This week mortgage rates played by the same script seen for the last few months, furthering a season for all-time high affordability while fears for Europe drove investors across the Atlantic. Finance Web site Bankrate.com, mortgage giant Freddie Mac, and real estate Web site Zillow.com delivered a dearth for rates across the board. Bankrate.com likewise offered declines for loans across the board. For its part, Greece remains in the clutch of a debt crisis that drew $172 billion in bailout funds from eurozone finance ministers last week.

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Discounts Drive Cash Buyers to Market: Survey

More homebuyers are scooping up properties with cash only, even in an environment for record-low mortgage rates, according to a recent survey. Campbell Surveys and Inside Mortgage Finance jointly released the HousingPulse Tracking Survey, collecting responses from about 2,500 real estate agents around the industry. The survey said that cash buyers will account for roughly half of all homebuyers in 2012 if current trends continue. The survey also attributed the rise in all-cash transactions to hefty discounts and late appraisals.

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New Home Sales Fell Slightly in January

New home sales fell 0.9 percent in January, declining from 324,000 in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 321,000. The Commerce Department found that the new home sales from January reflected a 3.5-percent increase year-over-year, up from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 310,000. Sales in the Northeast accordingly leapt forward by 11.1 percent from December but fell 39.4 percent from January last year. The South boasted still-strong numbers on either basis, up 9.3 percent month-over-month and 15.3 percent year-over-year.

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Mortgage Rates Lift on Greek Bailout, Housing

Interest rates for mortgage loans climbed close to 4 percent this week as a second Greek bailout sowed more confidence in the investor crowd and signs emerged that housing may see an upswing. Finance Web site Bankrate.com and mortgage company Freddie Mac each released separate surveys, with analysts attributing the rise to different causes. The GSE found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage lifting to 3.95 percent, up from 3.87 percent. Bankrate.com saw rates for the loan hit 4.16 percent, up from 4.10 percent last week.

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Existing-Home Sales Up in January as Prices Fall: NAR

Existing-home sales rose in January for the third time in the last four months, according to the National Association of Realtors. January sales ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô completed transactions ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô were up 4.3 percent from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million. December├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós total was revised downward to 4.38 million from 4.61 million. The January 2012 sales pace was up 0.7 percent from January 2011. The median price of an existing-home was $154,700 in January, down 2.0 percent from January 2011, falling to lows from 2001.

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Carwin Advisors Forecasts Recovery for Las Vegas, Phoenix

Revealing results from its predictive modeling survey of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoneix, Arizona, Carwin Advisors is forecasting the recovery timeline for both metropolitan areas. According to Carwin, Las Vegas will have a longer wait for housing market improvement, while Phoenix is expected to be well on the way to recovery by 2013. Carwin predicts that the housing market will eventually normalize to levels of new and existing home sales that were average for the metro area during the early 2000s.

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Existing-Home Sales Climb 5% in December: NAR

Existing-home sales climbed by 5 percent in December as more consumers felt the confidence needed to move forward with home purchases. The National Association of Realtors reported the figures Friday, showing that total existing-home sales ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô those sales in the process of closing ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô moved forward to 4.61 million in December, up from 4.39 million in November. The trade group said that existing-home sales arrived at 4.26 million, reflecting a 1.7 percent rise from 4.19 million last year. All-cash sales reflected about 31 percent of purchases in December, up from 28 percent in November.

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Group: Don’t Blame Appraisers for Housing Conditions

Enough is enough, the Appraisal Institute said Tuesday, defending the role of appraisers in a statement and two separate guidelines. The trade group came out swinging on behalf of appraisers and appraisal management companies, arguing their independence and professionalism in a down market that consistently sees analysts, Realtors, and bankers on the offensive. The statements and guidelines pointed to appraisers as independent observers hard at work for lenders, not buyers or sellers, reaffirming their sense of judgment, market analysis, and roles in the housing industry.

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Economy Will Improve With Home Sales, Starts: ABA

Eleven chief economists forecasted Friday that the U.S. economy will continue to improve modestly as job growth steadies, along with easing declines in home prices, sales, and starts. The 11 economists all from banks and members of the American Bankers Association's economic advisory committee said that GDP growth rose to 2.5 percent in 2011. The committee also said home sales and starts could catch an upward draft seen in 2011 that lasts this year, with home prices likely continuing to stagger.

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