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Tag Archives: Home Sales

Inventory Shortage Drives Unseasonable December Growth

Homebuyers hoping for more inventory and greater variety in December didn't get their wish, online brokerage Redfin reported in its latest Real-Time Price Tracker. According to the company's data, the total number of for-sale homes dropped to just below 200,000 in the final month of 2013--a monthly drop of 14.1 percent. While declines are normal for the season, December's decrease was the steepest since at least 2008, says Redfin analyst Tommy Unger.

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Economists Review Progress on Road to Recovery

The housing market has made great strides in recovering from the problems that ail it, but there are still major improvements that have to occur before it's back up to full health, Freddie Mac says in its latest Economic and Housing Market Outlook. The GSE's outlook focuses on four things the market needs to see before it can say the crisis is well and truly behind it: a healthy jobs market, mortgage delinquencies back down to historical averages, home prices consistent with payment-to-income ratios, and home sales more in line with historical norms.

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MBA Data Points to Decline in December New Home Sales

The latest builder application data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) suggest new home sales numbers came in below average for December. MBA's latest Builder Application Survey, a measure of application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of homebuilders, shows applications for new home purchases dropped 11 percent from November to December (unadjusted). Unadjusted, MBA estimates the month saw 28,000 new home sales.

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Beige Book Indicates Continuing Economic Expansion

Representatives from the Federal Reserve's 12 districts reported moderate economic expansion across most of the country through the end of last year, with indicators pointing to more steady growth ahead. Real estate markets "generally continued to improve," according to the Fed, with most districts experiencing increase home sales activity and construction along with rising home prices. Credit standards were largely unchanged among the districts, though increased competition led to some instances of relaxed standards.

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Pending Home Sales Maintain Holding Pattern

Pending home sales remained essentially flat in November, with regional shifts more or less offsetting each other, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported. The group's Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), used as an indicator for expected home sales, bumped up slightly to 101.7 in November from October's downwardly revised 101.5. Compared to last November, the latest index was down 1.6 percent. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said the data indicates a flattening market.

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Commentary: Looking Forward

In a commentary shared with theMReport.com, Peter Muoio, chief economist for Auction.com Research, revealed the company's predictions for 2014. Chief among his predictions: Housing will get its second wind, the Federal Reserve's stimulus taper will take longer than most people expect, and Congress will (hopefully) get out of the way of the housing recovery--though even Muoio acknowledges the latter prediction might just be hopeful thinking on his part.

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Survey Explores Shopping Patterns Among Homebuyers

The National Association of Realtors sent out a national survey in July, 2013 to buyers and sellers who made a transaction at some point in the last year. Among other findings, the survey showed increased use of online resources throughout the process. The first step in the process for 42 percent of buyers was searching online for properties. Use of the Internet to search for homes rose slightly to 92 percent. Eighty-eight percent of buyers purchased their home through an agent or broker--a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.

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