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Tag Archives: Realtors

Commentary: Housing Recovery? Hold the Champagne

Recent reports from the National Association of Realtors and the Census Bureau/HUD showed sharp increases in unit sales and prices, as well as increases in the inventory of homes for sale for April. Has housing turned the corner? Look again. Sales up, prices up, what's wrong with this picture? The last time both prices and sales of new homes increased in the same month was last September. In all of 2012, sales and prices moved in opposite directions in seven of the 12 months. What of course is missing from the two data sets is any indication of demand.

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NAR: Metro Area Home Price Gains Stay on Course in Q1

Metro areas continued to post price gains in the first quarter, rising alongside national median price increases, the National Association of Realtors reported. Out of 150 metro areas the NAR tracks, 133 displayed price growth in the first quarter of this year compared to the same quarter a year ago. The association also provided first quarter data on national median prices and found the median price for an existing single-family home rose 9.3 percent year-over-year.

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NAR: Prices Up, Existing-Home Sales Down in March

With a sharp jump in prices, existing-home sales fell 0.6 percent in March--the steepest drop since December--to 4.92 million units, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Monday. Economists had expected a 1.0 percent increase to 5.03 million from February's original report of 4.98 million sales. The median price of an existing single-family home jumped to $184,300, the highest level in seven months. The inventory of homes for sale edged up to 1.93 million units--a 4.7 month supply, both the highest level since November.

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Weak Prices Drop Builder Confidence for 3rd Straight Month

With the price of a new home barely above year-ago levels, builder confidence fell for the third straight month in April, dropping two points to 42, the lowest level since October, the National Association of Home Builders reported. Economists had expected the Housing Market Index (HMI), the measure of confidence, to improve to 45 from March's reading of 44. It was the second straight month the index fell when economists had expected it to improve.

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NAR: Inventory Shortage Brings Down Pending Home Sales in Janaury

The National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) fell 0.4 percent to 104.8 in January, the third month-over-month decline in the last four months, the association reported. Economists had expected a 0.7 percent drop to 105.2 from January's originally reported 105.9 The January index reading was revised to 105.2. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun attributed the drop in the PHSI to weak inventory of existing homes for sale.

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Case-Shiller Indices Post Strongest Gain Since 2006

Home prices posted their strongest year-year gain in almost seven years in January according to the Case-Shiller 10- and 20-city Home Price Indexes released Tuesday. Home prices rose year-year in all 20 of the cities in the Case-Shiller survey. Month-over-month, the 10-city index improved 0.2 percent in January, while the 20-city index was up 0.1 percent. Year-over-year, the 10-city index was up 7.3 percent, and the 20-city index rose 8.1 percent. Prices rose in nine cities in January over December while falling in eight.

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Commentary: Headlines and Bottom Lines

One of the most interesting results of poring through economic data reports is that the details often tell a different story than the headline. The recent report on retail sales is a case in point. While the vast majority of commentators were impressed with a strong 1.1 percent month-over-month increase in overall sales, those who scratched the surface were rewarded for their efforts by learning more than half of the month-over-month increase came from an increase in gasoline station sales as prices. In addition, coverage of the recent report on housing permits and starts was dominated by the increase in both permits and starts. A closer look at the permit-starts data revealed another important phenomenon: a shift from single-family to multifamily construction.

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Existing-Home Sales Up in February; Inventory Rises from Prior Month

Existing-home sales rose 0.8 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Economists had expected the sales pace to climb to 5.01 million from January's originally reported 4.92 million. January sales were revised up to 4.94 million. The inventory of homes for sale rose for the first time since last July, up 9.6 percent to 1,940,000. At the reported sales pace, that represents a 4.7-month supply of homes for sale, up from the 4.3-month supply reported for January.

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Commentary: Let Them Eat…Nothing

The disagreement over the nation's borrowing limit took a back seat to gun control and perhaps lost some urgency when House Republicans floated the idea of a temporary extension, which would do what Washington seems to be famous for--kicking the can down the road. But, the controversy and its impact on the nation's financial credibility demands a solution that will last for more than just a few months. Just a week after unveiling new rules for mortgage originations, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stepped up its game by turning to the other end of the mortgage business, collecting on loans.

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November New Home Sales at 31-Month High

New home sales jumped 4.4 percent in November to 377,000, the highest level since April 2010, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the report to show a sales pace of 375,000.

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