March home prices were again dominated by the Northwest with Portland, Oregon posting a year-over-year gain of 12.30 percent followed by Seattle, Washington’s year-over-year gain of 10.80 percent. Continue reading
Home prices were 5.70 percent higher year-over-year in January according to S&P Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index. Top year-over-year gains were posted by Portland, Oregon at 11.80 percent, San Francisco, California at 10.80 percent and Seattle Washington posted a year-over-year gain of 10.70 percent. Denver, Colorado, which had top gains in recent months, posted year-over-year home price growth of 10.20 percent. Continue reading
Week in Review
Last week’s scheduled economic news included reports on pending home sales, construction spending and several jobs related readings including ADP Payrolls, the government’s Non-Farm Payrolls and the national unemployment rate. Continue reading
Last week’s economic news includes several reports about housing markets.
The S&P Case-Shiller 10 and 20 city housing market indices, the FHFA House Price Index, New Home Sales and Pending Home sales reports suggest that the national housing market continues to grow, but at lower rates.
Regional readings varied and suggested that winter weather was a negative influence on affected markets. Continue reading
The National Association of REALTORS reported Monday that pending home sales dropped by -0.60 percent in October after falling at a revised rate of -4.60 percent in September. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, 17 percent of real estate agents reported delays in loan closings due to the government shutdown in early October.
Lenders were unable to verify borrower income through the IRS, which was closed during the shutdown. October was the fifth consecutive month with fewer pending home sales reported. Continue reading
Pending home sales fell in September by -5.60 percent, and were 1.20 percent lower year-over-year. This is the first time in more than two years that pending home sales have fallen below year-earlier readings. September’s reading was below August’s reading of -1.60 percent.
The National Association of REALTORS®, which released the report, expects lower home sales for the fourth quarter of 2013 and flat sales into 2014. NAR provided good news in its forecast of 10 percent growth in existing home sales in 2013 as compared to 2012. Continue reading
The housing market appears headed for a strong spring season.
After a brief setback in December, the Pending Home Sales Index resumed its climb in January, posting a 2 percent gain over the month prior.
The data puts pressure on Metro Atlanta home buyers. This is because a “pending home” is a home that’s under contract to sell, but has not yet sold. It’s tracked by the National Association of REALTORS® and, among all housing statistics, it’s the only one that’s “forward-looking”.
The Pending Home Sales Index is important to home buyers throughout Georgia because 80% of homes under contract to sell close within 60 days of contract. In this way, the Pending Home Sales Index forecasts the housing market 1-2 months into the future.
This is very different from how NAR’s Existing Home Sales report works; or, how the Census Bureau’s New Home Sales report works. These two metrics tell us what’s already happened in housing.
By contrast, the Pending Home Sales Index tells us what’s coming next.
January’s Pending Home Sales Index reading lifts the monthly metric to its highest level since April 2010 — the month during which the 2010 federal home buyer tax credit expired — foreshadowing a strong housing market through March and April 2012, at least.
This should not be news, of course. The nation’s home builders have said “foot traffic” is rising and home supplies are scarce nationwide. The only wild-card for housing is the high contract cancellation rate.
As compared to last January when just 9 percent of home purchase contracts “failed”, this January saw 33 percent of contracts fail. High failure rates undermine the Pending Home Sales Index’s viability as a forward-looking housing market indicator.
Despite contract failures, though, the combination of low mortgage rates and low home prices is enticing to today’s home buyers. Expect home sales to climb in the coming weeks which will lead to a strong spring season for housing.
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