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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Housing Affordability Takes a Hit, Still Looks Favorable

Housing affordability took a hit in the second quarter but remains historically high, according to the Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo. However, the decline in affordability is nothing to worry about, according to NAHB.

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Home Price Moderation Continues in Second Quarter

According to a quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors, median existing single-family home prices increased in 71 percent of measured markets last quarter, with 122 out of 173 metros posting annual increases from Q2 2013. Nineteen of those areas reported double-digit increases. Those numbers reflected a slowdown from the first quarter, when prices rose in 74 percent of metros, and 37 areas saw gains higher than 10 percent.

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Home Affordability Below Average in 34% of U.S. Counties

As the U.S housing market climbs back to healthy, a third of it is less affordable now than it's been all century, according to RealtyTrac. The firm's latest housing affordability report, released Thursday, found that 34 percent of the 1,200 U.S. counties it surveyed are at their least affordable, on average, since 2000.

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Mortgage Closing Costs Up 6% as Fees Climb

According to data from finance site Bankrate.com, closing costs in 2014 are up 6 percent over last year, rising to an average $2,539 on a $200,000 loan (assuming a 20 percent down payment). "New mortgage regulations are the biggest reasons why closing costs went up over the past year," said Holden Lewis, senior mortgage analyst for Bankrate. "The good news is that some lenders have not increased fees."

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June Existing-Home Sales Reach Eight-Month High

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a 2.6 percent month-over-month rise in existing-home sales last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million. May sales were revised slightly upward to a rate of 4.91 million. June sales were at their highest pace since October 2013, though they remain 2.3 percent down from the 5.16 million pace set a year ago.

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Pending Home Sales Surge 6.1% in May

Pending home sales surged in May, spurred by lower interest rates and increased inventory, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Monday. The group's Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), which measures contract signings as an indicator of future sales figures, jumped 6.1 percent month-over-month to 103.9. It was the largest one-month increase since April 2010.

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May Inventory Surges; Lower Price Tier Still Struggling

The inventory of for-sale homes nationwide spiked in May, but the latest improvement isn't expected to do much for first-time homebuyers and other shoppers challenged by housing affordability concerns. According to Zillow, after dropping in 2012 and remaining low throughout 2013 and the start of 2014, the available stock of for-sale homes climbed 4.3 percent from April to May, marking the third straight month of gains.

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Report Highlights Price, Affordability Trends

Pro Teck Valuation Services released this week its May Home Value Forecast, concluding that most metros remain very affordable for housing despite ongoing price gains. "With some modest improvement in employment and still historically low mortgage rates, housing as a whole is affordable," said Pro Teck CEO Tom O'Grady. "The real problem for many potential home buyers is other debt such as student loans for first time buyers and tight credit."

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