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Tag Archives: Home Sales

Aug New Home Sales Recover From July Plunge

Builders lowered prices and buyers responded in August, pushing new home sales up 7.9 percent to 421,000, reversing almost half of July’s 64,000 drop in sales, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected June sales to rise to 425,000 from July’s originally reported 394,000.

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August Existing Home Sales At Pre-Recession High

Existing home sales rose an unexpected 6.5 percent in to an annual sales rate of 5.48 million, the highest level since August 2007 ten months before the onset of the Great Recession -- the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected existing home sales to drop to 5.

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No Change in FOMC Policy; Slower Growth

While noting improvement in economic activity and labor market conditions, the Federal Open Market Committee voted Wednesday to continue its policy of near-zero interest rates and its $85-billion-per-month bond-buying program. At the same time, the Fed’s own economic projections suggested the economy might not grow this year as fast as it expected just three months ago.

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Single Family Starts, Permits Gain in August

Led by the strongest gain for single-family construction this, year, the pace of housing starts edged up 0.9 percent in August, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Wednesday. Total housing permits though declined 4.8 percent despite a surge in filings for single-family homes.

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September Builder Confidence Falters

The Housing Market Index (HMI), a measure of builder confidence, stalled at 58 in September, unchanged from August’s downwardly revised reading, the National Association of Home Builders reported Tuesday. The August confidence reading had originally been 59. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the index to remain at that level. But a dip in one of the three index components--the outlook for new home sales six months out--pulled the reading down slightly.

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Consumers Respond to Housing Trends with Cautious Optimism

Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey for August shows more people are optimistic about price gains over the next year (55 percent, up from 53 percent), though the average expected gain has pulled back slightly to 3.4 percent (compared to July's high of 3.9 percent). The share of people expecting prices to fall bounced up to 7 percent from July's low of 6 percent. The company explained that consumers' attitudes have hit a plateau ""due to concerns regarding the potential tapering of the Federal Reserve's asset purchases.""

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Commentary: Truth… and Consequences

While August's employment situation report was less than robust (with a staggering reduction in July's revised payrolls), it wasn't the first set of data to suggest trouble on the horizon for the housing recovery. The Case-Shiller home price index for June--the most recent--showed continuing, albeit slower, house price gains, pushing affordable homeownership still further from low paid workers. That is, until the numbers change again.

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Study Finds 8.3M Homeowners on Verge of Positive Equity

Home prices have rebounded so rapidly that industry data show 8.3 million borrowers who've been underwater are on track to have enough equity to sell their home within the next 15 months--without resorting to a short sale. Metro markets that boast the highest percentage of homes with resurfacing equity include Omaha; Colorado Springs; Tulsa; Little Rock; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Rising Rates Prompt Cash Buyers to Act

While higher mortgage rates have been blamed for the slowdown in pending home sales, they may be contributing to an increase in cash purchases, RealtyTrac suggested in a recent report. In July, about 40 percent of residential property sales were all-cash transactions. The share presents an increase from 35 percent in June and 31 percent compared to July 2012. Short sales also accounted for a bigger share of sales in July, increasing to 14 percent, up from 13 percent in the prior month and 9 percent from a year ago.

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