A new estimator of existing-home sales landed recently, and it's calling for a slight pickup in transactions for October. With help from Internet giant Google, Auction.com announced the launch of Nowcast, a new housing report designed to combine industry data, proprietary company transaction data, and Google Trends findings to predict market trends as they're happening. The result is a statistical report released monthly, weeks before other closely watched real estate data—such as the National Association of Realtors' existing-home sales survey—comes out.
Based on data collected for this month, Auction.com predicts existing-home sales will fall between seasonally adjusted annual averages of 4.97 and 5.38 million units, with a targeted prediction of 5.19 million, just ahead of September's rate of 5.10 million. Nowcast's development comes more than half a year after Google's growth equity fund, Google Capital, invested $50 million into Auction.com. Using that support and Google's access to data and analytics, the company says it hopes to expand its monthly forecast to also predict new home sales and home pricing trends.
While zombie foreclosures in the U.S. declined overall in the third quarter, they continue to be a problem in some areas, according to RealtyTrac's Q3 2014 Zombie Foreclosure Report released earlier this week. RealtyTrac reported that the number of zombie foreclosures increased year-over-year in 60 out of 212 metropolitan areas and in 16 states in Q3, going against the overall national trend of decline. New Jersey had the largest increase among states with 75 percent, while Trenton, New Jersey, led metro areas with an increase of 106 percent from the same quarter last year.