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Tag Archives: Home Sales

President Addresses Housing Concerns, Demands Congressional Action

In his State of the Union address, President Obama acknowledged the progress that has been made in the housing market with rising prices, increasing home purchases, and an uptick on construction. However, "even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, too many families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected," he said. Obama also proclaimed his support for expanding access to refinancing, calling on Congress to pass a refinance bill currently in the pipeline.

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NAR: End of 2012 Sees Gains in Prices, Sales, Affordability

According to the NAR, the depleting share of lower-priced homes is contributing to price growth as distressed sales--foreclosures and short sales--diminish. The association found the national median price for an existing single-family home rose to $178,900 in Q4, up 10 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. The increase marks the biggest year-over-year gain since the fourth quarter of 2005, when the median price was up 13.6 percent. Existing-home sales improved as well in Q4, rising to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.90 million.

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Analysts Address Imbalance Between Starts, New Sales

While some take it as a good sign that housing starts are again on the rise and construction is making a small comeback, some might cautiously wonder if the market is ready to handle an increase in construction and if we aren't headed for a repeat of the overbuilding that contributed to the past housing boom and bust. The Census Bureau reports new home sales have risen 9 percent over the past year, while housing starts have risen by a much higher 37 percent. However, Capital Economics insists the imbalance is actually not unusual.

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California Sees Record Number of Cash-Purchased Homes in 2012

The number of homes purchased with cash in California reached an all-time high in 2012 as the mortgage environment kept other interested buyers out, according to DataQuick, a real estate information service. The company's data shows a total of 145,797 condos and houses were bought without mortgage financing in 2012, up from 125,812 in 2011 (the previous high) and 39,731 in 2007. According to DataQuick's John Walsh, the increase comes from high investor interest and a currently difficult mortgage environment.

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Consumers More Optimistic About Housing, the Economy

Consumers are showing increased confidence in home sales and a greater sense of job security, according to the results of Fannie Mae's most recent National Housing Survey. January's findings show 41 percent of respondents believe home prices will go up in the next year, a decline of 2 percentage points from December's high. However, the share who believe prices will fall also dropped, returning to a survey low of 10 percent. The average 12-month home price change expectation in January was 2.4 percent.

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Survey: Homeownership Important to 96% of Americans

Younger generations continue to hold a more favorable view of homeownership than their elders, according to Prudential Real Estate's end-of-year Outlook Survey. The report shows homeownership remains important to 96 percent of Americans, with 77 percent of respondents ages 25-34 and 78 percent ages 35-44 agreeing it is "very important." Those percentages fall off somewhat for older generations: 73 percent for the 45-54 crowd and 72 percent for those ages 55-64.

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