Jul 28, 2011 1
Jul 28, 2011 0
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages climbed to 4.57 percent last week from 4.54 percent the week before. The Market Composite Index, which measures total loan application demand, dropped 5.0 percent, following the previous week’s more than 15 percent surge. The MBA’s four-week moving averages for purchase and refinance activity were flat. Also, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that June marked the third consecutive month mortgage rates declined. According to the FHFA, rates haven’t been above 5.0 percent since April 2010. More here and here.
Jul 27, 2011 0
Sales of new single-family homes fell in June but declining inventory and rising prices suggest the market for new homes is beginning to stabilize. According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, new home sales fell 1.0 percent from the month before, though they were 1.6 percent above June 2010. The number of new homes for sale at the end of the month was 164,000, which represents a 6.3-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price for new houses was up 7.2 percent from a year earlier. More here and here.
Jul 26, 2011 0
Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller Home Price Indices, the most closely followed of the many price indexes, showed a second consecutive month of price gains for both their 10- and 20-city composites in May. The 10-city composite index was up 1.1 percent and the 20-city composite rose 1.0 percent. David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices, said that the improvements in May were partly due to expected seasonal gains, as there is typically stronger demand for houses in spring. Prices rose month-over-month in 16 of the 20 cities tracked. The past two months of price increases follow an eighth-month period of declines. More here.
Jul 25, 2011 0
According to an economic outlook from Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan, there are a number of positive signs emerging that indicate the housing market recovery will begin to accelerate later this year. Pending home sales rose 8.2 percent in May, which suggests a rebound in existing-home sales in the coming months. Also, the percentage of distressed sales continues to decline. A larger share of distressed property sales distorts prices downward and as that percentage falls, so does pressure on prices. Duncan says supply-demand conditions in the new home market have become more balanced and new-home sales will remain relatively flat for 2011. Home prices and sales will improve in the third quarter of this year and see more meaningful gains in 2012, according to Fannie Mae’s forecast. More here.
Jul 21, 2011 0
Sales of previously owned homes were flat in June, according to The National Association of Realtors. Existing-home sales declined 0.8 percent, despite sales gains in the Midwest and South. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said home sales had been trending upward but a variety of issues are weighing on the market. Still, the national median existing-home price for all housing types was $184,300 in June, which is 0.8 percent above last year. The percentage of distressed-home sales dropped from 31 percent in May to 30 percent in June. More here.
Jul 20, 2011 0
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, mortgage application activity for both refinancing and purchase jumped 15.5 percent last week from the week before. It was the largest increase in four months. The spike in demand was driven by a 23.1 percent increase in the Refinance Index. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said mortgage rates were back to their lowest levels of the year and refinance applications surged in response. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.54 percent from 4.55 percent the week before. More here and here.
Jul 19, 2011 0
Construction estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development show privately-owned housing starts up 14.6 percent, with single-family home construction rising 9.4 percent. The increase, which surpassed economists expectations for the month, brought new residential construction to a six-month high. Also in the report, building permits, which are an indicator of future activity, were up 2.5 percent above May’s rate and 6.7 percent above last June. More here and here.
Jul 18, 2011 0
Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes rose two points in July, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Bob Nielsen, chairman of NAHB, said the improvement is a positive sign that the outlook isn’t quite as bleak as was feared in June. The component of the survey which gauges sales expectations for the next six months rose seven points and the component measuring current sales conditions was up two points. Gradual improvement and rising expectations are good signs that, despite continued difficulty in the market for newly built homes, consumers are beginning to take advantage of favorable buying conditions. More here.