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Tag Archives: Housing Supply

Zillow report: Median Rent Prices on the Rise as Home Values Drop

While homes prices continue to be on the decline, rent prices are actually on the rise and showed a 3 percent increase from January 2011 to January 2012, as opposed to home values, which dropped 4.6 percent during that same period, according to the January Zillow Real Estate Market Reports. Zillow data also showed year-over-year gains for 69.2 percent of metropolitan areas covered by the index while only 7.3 percent of metros saw increases in home values. Based on the Zillow Rent Index, the states with the greatest increases in median rent over a year were New Jersey (+16.5), New York (+13.7), Kansas (+10.2), Indiana (+10), and Michigan (+10.0).

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Pending Home Sales Index Up in January, Reaching 20-Month High

The pending home sales index (PHSI) rose in January to 97.0 from a downwardly revised 95.1 in December. At 97.0, the index is at its highest level since April 2011, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday. The index rose for the third time in the last four months and the January reading was 8 percent above January 2011 levels, but 26.5 percent below the April 2005 peak. The index began in January 2005. The PHSI has been trending upward, albeit modestly for most of the past two years. Despite the 20-month high, the index is relatively subdued.

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Nearly 1 in 4 Households Use Over 1/2 of Income for Housing Costs

Even with falling home prices, a study from the Center for Housing Policy found affordability is becoming increasingly out of reach for homeowners and renters. According to the Center's report, the share of working households paying more than half their income for housing between 2008 and 2010 went up from 21.8 percent to 23.6 percent. As home prices dropped between 2008 and 2010, working homeowners also dealt with shrinking paychecks as incomes dropped twice as much as housing costs over the two-year period.

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January Home Sales Up Again

Existing-home sales rose in January for the third time in the last four months, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). January sales completed transactions were up 4.3 percent from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million. January sales – completed transactions – were up 4.3 percent from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million. December's total was revised downward to 4.38 million from 4.61 million. The January 2012 sales pace was up 0.7 percent from January 2011.

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Homeownership and Vacancy Rates Drop

The percentage of single-family homes sitting empty fell to 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. That's down from 2.7 percent at the beginning of last year, and the lowest homeowner vacancy rate since early 2006. Analysts say it's a sign that excess inventory - at least the visible inventory - is slowly but surely beginning to clear. The Census Bureau also reported that the nation's homeownership rate dropped to 66.0 percent - its lowest level in nearly 14 years.

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Wells Fargo Aims to ‘Lift’ Neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Atlanta

Wells Fargo announced the launch of a new program, Neighborhood LIFT, which aims to bring reluctant buyers off the sidelines to help absorb excess inventory in two major cities. The bank established a goal of lending $10.5 billion to Los Angeles homebuyers and $1.3 billion to Atlanta buyers. In addition, Wells designated $15 million to assisting homeowners with down payments in Los Angeles and $8 million in Atlanta. The company chose to launch Neighborhood LIFT in Los Angeles and Atlanta because the two have high inventories of bank-owned homes.

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Housing Inventory Down 22% From Year-Ago Levels

At the national level, the inventory of for-sale single-family homes dropped by 22.29 percent over the last year, according to new statistics released by Realtor.com. The site concludes that at the close of 2011, there were 1.89 million single-family homes on the market, down 6 percent from just one month prior. Realtor.com views the development as a positive sign the market is holding its own at the national level, but notes that the weight of foreclosures is keeping the market in a fragile state.

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Rise in Home Sales Signifies Strengthening Market: Economists

The long-awaited housing recovery is beginning to blossom, according to industry experts taking a look at recent existing-home sales data. While admitting home sales are ""still very low,"" the chief economist at Capital Economics says it is clear the housing recovery is now well underway. The evidence: home sales have been on the rise for the past three months, posting a 5 percent increase in December, according to the latest market study released by the National Association of Realtors.

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Freddie Mac Approaches 2012 with ‘Cautious Optimism’

Freddie Mac expects a 2 percent to 5 percent increase in home sales in 2012 amid moderate economic growth over the year, according to the GSE's U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for January. Approaching the year with ""cautious optimism,"" Freddie Mac's chief economist Frank Nothaft says there are some positive signs in the job market and consumer confidence levels, and even housing is starting to raise hopes for a continuing, gradual economic recovery.

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Las Vegas Breaks Yearly Home Sales Record

Despite a decade-long trend making winter the slowest homebuying season for the Las Vegas area, the region saw an increase in existing home sales for the month of December, finishing the year strong enough to break the metro's yearly existing-home sale record from 2009, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. The 2009 record was set with the sale of 46,879 homes, and 2011 surpassed this milestone with 48,186 sales. REOs made up 46 percent of December's transactions. Short sales accounted for nearly 27 percent.

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