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Tag Archives: Home Sales

Builder Confidence Plunges as Buyers Shy Away

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Housing Market Index (HMI), released in partnership with Wells Fargo, posted a 10-point decline to 46 in the group’s latest report. It was the first time since May 2013 that the index measured below 50, the “neutral” point between a market viewed as “good” or “bad.” All four regions reported declines in confidence, with losses ranging from seven points in the South to 14 points in the West.

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Already Low Inventory Drops Lower in January

Housing inventory declined more than 9 percent over the month of January in the 19 markets in which online real estate brokerage Redfin has a presence, according to the company's Real-Time Price Tracker for January. ""A year ago, we didn't think inventory could go any lower, yet we're beginning 2014 with another disappointment,"" Redfin stated in its January report. With the caveat that ""it is too soon to tell,"" the brokerage did offer some optimism regarding inventory in coming months.

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Applications Point to Spike in New Home Sales

A survey of loan application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of homebuilders across the country suggests sales of new homes experienced a substantial leap in January. The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Builder Applications Survey indicates new home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 543,000 last month, reflecting a month-over-month increase of 35 percent. On an unadjusted basis, the group estimates there were 38,000 new home sales in January, a 36 percent increase over December.

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Rising Home Prices Help Older Americans, Hinder Younger Buyers

While last year's rising home prices brought relief to many underwater homeowners, allowing many older homeowners with increased net worth to purchase new homes, they also precluded many young first-time buyers from purchasing, according to a report from BBVA Group. ""Older homeowners are increasingly able to purchase a new residence with cash only after they sell their current home,"" said Jason Frederick, an economist for BBVA Compass.

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Potential Sellers Stymied by Difficult Buying Environment

Homeowners surveyed by Redfin last month expressed greater confidence in the current selling environment, but many remain concerned about the difficulties they may face on the buyers' side of things. Denver Redfin agent Paul Stone captures survey-takers' sentiment, saying, ""Most of my home-selling clients worry the most about what will happen after they sell. With so much competition in the market, they fear they will have to move in with their in-laws if they can't find their next home quickly.""

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NAHB Projects Positive 2014 for Single-Family Homes

Speaking at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders' Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, economists expressed a positive outlook for homebuilders in 2014--with a few warnings. NAHB chief economist David Crowe noted five key points for his positive projections: ""Consumers are back, pent-up demand is emerging, there is a growing need for new construction, distressed sales are diminishing and builders see it."" However, builders still face hurdles like tight credit conditions, and difficulties in obtaining accurate appraisals.

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Originations See Lowest Numbers Since 2008

While most housing metrics ended 2013 on a promising growth path, mortgage origination volumes closed out the year on a decidedly sour note, Black Knight Financial Services (BKFS) says in its year-end Mortgage Monitor Report. "[H]igher interest rates and seasonality pushed monthly originations to the lowest level since 2008, and the current interest rate environment seems to have also brought an end to the refinancing wave we've observed for the last several years," said Herb Blecher, SVP of BKFS Data & Analytics.

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December Pending Home Sales Weakest Since 2011

The National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) fell in December to its lowest level in more than two years, with declines reported in all four of the country's major regions. The index, a forward-looking sales indicator based on contract signings, dropped 8.7 percent to 92.4 from a downwardly revised reading of 101.2 in November. December's index was at its lowest measure since October 2011, when it read 92.2.

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