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For February, 2012

New-home sales dip after 4 straight monthly gains

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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017586174_apusnewhomesales.html

Sales of new homes dipped in January but the final quarter of 2011 was stronger than first estimated.

The Commerce Department said Friday that new-home sales fell 0.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 321,000 homes. That followed four straight months of gains in which home sales rose 10 percent.

Even with more sales, just 304,000 new homes were sold in 2011 – the fewest on records dating back to 1963. And new homes are selling well below the 700,000-per-year rate that economists equate with healthy markets.

Sales prices for new homes are rising. The median sales price of a new home rose 0.3 percent in January to $217,100.

In January, sales of previously occupied homes reached their highest level in nearly two years. And they have risen more than 13 percent in the past six months. Mortgage rates have never been lower.

Economists caution that housing is a long way from fully recovering. Builders have stopped working on many projects because it’s been hard for them to get financing or to compete with cheaper resale homes. For many Americans, buying a home remains too big a risk more than four years after the housing bubble burst.

Builders ended 2011 with a third straight year of dismal home construction and the worst on record for single-family home building. But in a hopeful sign, single-family home construction, which makes up 70 percent of the market, increased in each of the last three months.

本周固定利率

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根据Freddie Mac每周利率跟踪调查数据显示,本周的30年固定利率从上周的3.87%,上升至本周的3.95%。15年固定利率从上周的3.16%,升为本周的3.19%。5年浮动从上周的2.82%,降至本周的2.80% 。

详细历史记录请参看:Rates History

Homebuilder optimism rises for 5th straight month

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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017512280_apusbuildersentiment.html

U.S. homebuilders are gradually growing more optimistic about the depressed housing market and believe homes sales could pick up sharply when the spring buying season begins.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo said Wednesday that its builder sentiment index rose for a fifth straight month in February to 29, up from 25 in January. The index has climbed 15 points since September and is now at its highest level since May 2007.

Even with the brighter outlook, the industry has a long way to go. Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. The index hasn’t reached 50 since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.

A key reason homebuilders are more optimistic is they are seeing more people express interest in buying a home. And rising interest has occurred alongside other improvements that suggest the troubled housing market could pick up after four weak years.

But some economists have questioned the foundation for the growing optimism. The new-home sales are up just 1.7 percent from September through December, the latest government data on sales.

Sales of previously occupied homes rose in December for a third straight month. Mortgage rates have never been lower. And home construction picked up in the final quarter of last year.

Still, home prices continue to fall, and builders keep slashing their prices to stay competitive. Last year was the worst for new-home sales on records dating back to 1963.

Builders are struggling to compete with foreclosures, which have forced down prices of previously occupied homes. And many people are finding it hard to qualify for loans or meet higher required down payments.

Builders have pointed to some regional pockets of strength. New Orleans, Pittsburgh and other smaller areas of Texas, in particular, have reported increased buying.

Rate on 30-year mortgage stays at record 3.87 pct.

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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017522241_apusmortgagerates.html

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage held steady at a record low for a third straight week, offering more incentive to those looking to buy a home or refinance.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year home loan was unchanged at 3.87 percent. That’s the lowest level since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage was also unchanged at 3.16 percent. That’s up from a record low of 3.14 percent reached two weeks ago.

For the five-year adjustable loan, the average rate fell to 2.82 percent from 2.83 percent, and the average fee rose to 0.8 from 0.7.

详细历史记录请参看:Rates History

本周固定利率

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根据Freddie Mac每周利率跟踪调查数据显示,本周的30年固定利率从上周的3.98%,降为本周的3.87%。15年固定利率从上周的3.24%,回落至本周的3.14%。5年浮动从上周的2.85%,降至本周的2.80% 。

详细历史记录请参看:Rates History

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