For May, 2013

Pending home sales hit three-year high


Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rose to their highest level in three years in April, but a shortage of properties for sale could slow down the momentum.

The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, rose 0.3% to 106.0, the highest reading since April 2010.

Contracts, which become sales after a month or two, had increased 1.5% in March.

Although mortgage rates spiked last week to their highest level in a year amid heightened speculation the Fed will soon start to scale back monetary stimulus, economists do not believe higher borrowing costs would derail the housing recovery.

About a third of home resales are cash transactions.

Contracts were up 10.3% compared to April last year.

Last month, home resale contracts rose in the Northeast and Midwest. Contracts fell in the South and West.

US home prices rise 10.9 pct., most since 2006


U.S. home prices jumped 10.9% in March compared with a year ago, the most since April 2006. A growing number of buyers are bidding on a tight supply of homes, driving prices higher and helping the housing market recover.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday also showed that all 20 cities measured by the report posted year-over-year gains for the third straight month.

And prices rose in 15 cities in March from February. That’s up from only 11 in the previous month. The monthly figures aren’t seasonally adjusted and may reflect the beginning of the spring buying season.

Prices rose in Phoenix by 22.5% over the past 12 months, the biggest gain among cities. It was followed by San Francisco (22.2%) and Las Vegas (20.6%).

New York City had the smallest year-over-year increase at 2.6%, followed by Cleveland at 4.8%.

The supply of available homes jumped in April, but was still 14% below its level a year earlier.

Prices have been increasing steadily since last summer. Still, they are about 29% below the peak reached in July 2006.

US rate on 30-year mortgages rises to 3.59 pct.


Average rates on fixed mortgages rose for the third straight week, hitting their highest levels since mid-March.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 30-year loan increased to 3.59% this week. That’s up from 3.51 % last week. And it is above the rate of 3.31% reached in November, the lowest on records dating to 1971.

The average on the 15-year loan jumped to 2.77%. That’s up from 2.69% last week. The record low of 2.56% was hit on May 2.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage edged up to 2.63 percent from 2.62 percent.

Mortgage rates rose sharply this week because they tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note.

详细历史记录请参看:Rates History

US new home sales up 2.3 percent in April


U.S. sales of new homes rose in April and nearly matched the fastest pace in five years, driving the median price to a record high.

New-home sales increased 2.3% in April from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That’s only slightly below January’s pace of 458,000, which was the fastest since July 2008.

Steady job creation and near-record-low mortgage rates are spurring more Americans to buy homes. Sales have risen 29% over the past year.

The median sales price jumped 8.3% in April from March to $271,600. That’s highest on records going back to 1993.

The supply of new homes for sale increased 3.3% in April to 156,000. That’s the most in 18 months.

Still, builders are growing more confident in the housing recovery and have started to ramp up construction. In April, they requested permits to build homes at fastest pace in nearly five years.

Sales of new homes increased 10.8% in the West in April and 3% in the South. They fell 16.7% in the Northeast and 4.8% in the Midwest.

The  sales of previously owned homes rose in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million, the highest level in 3 1/2 years.

Prices for re-sales are also rising, although they remain well below peak levels reached before the housing bubble burst.

Home prices rise, seen helping economic recovery


Home prices rose in February at their fastest rate in almost seven years.

The S&P/Case Shiller index of 20 metropolitan areas released on Tuesday showed single-family home prices rose 9.3% in February from a year earlier.

Still, there appears to be a growing risk that weakness in the labor market and broader economy could dial down the housing recovery’s strength.

Other recent data has pointed to less steam building in the housing market, and the Commerce Department said on Tuesday that the U.S. home ownership rate slipped to 65.2% in the first quarter, a 17-year low.

Still, rising home prices could give construction firms more incentive to build new homes and increase inventories. A dearth of homes on the market has held back sales.

The S&P/Case Shiller index showed prices gained 1.2% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis from January, topping forecasts for a  0.9 % gain.

Following a spectacular collapse that fueled the 2007-09 recession, the housing sector appears to have turned a corner and prices have been rising since February 2012.

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