For September, 2013

US new-home sales jump 7.9% in August


US new home sales jump 7.9% in August to 421K, biggest one-month gain since January.  That comes after sales plunged 14.1% in July to a 390,000 annual rate.

The rebound in sales could ease worries that higher mortgage rates have started to dampen sales. Home builders remain more confident in the market than they’ve been in 8 years.

New-homes sales were 12.6% higher in August than a year ago. The number of new homes available for sale rose 3.6% from July to 175,000.

The median price of a new home sold in August fell 0.7% from July to $254,600.

Sales rose in all but one region of the country in August, increasing 19.6% in the Midwest, 15.3% in the South and 8.8% in the Northeast. Sales plunged 14.6% in the West, the second straight month of double-digit declines.

Many economists say the housing recovery should withstand the recent rate increase. Mortgage rates are still quite low by historical standards.

Mortgage Loan Rates Encourage More Purchase Applications


The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 5.5% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index, following a rise of 11.2% for the previous week. Mortgage loan rates once again fell slightly across the board last week.

The average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.75% to 4.62%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 4.83% to 4.66%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 3.81% to 3.68%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan dropped from 3.54% to 3.39%.

Interest rates came down slightly last week and purchase applications rose sharply. This is the second consecutive weekly gain in applications and the second consecutive drop in mortgage loan rates.

详细历史记录请参看:Rates History

U.S. existing home sales rise to 6-1/2 year high


U.S. home resales hit a 6-1/2 year high in August as buyers flocked back to the market to lock in cheap borrowing costs amid rising mortgage rates, a signal of continued strength in the housing market recovery.

The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales increased 1.7% to an annual rate of 5.48 million units last month.

The Federal Reserve cited tighter financial conditions as one reason for its decision this week not to taper its stimulus program aimed at supporting growth, a surprise to investors and economists who had expected it to scale back bond-buying. Slower asset purchases would have pushed mortgage rates even higher.

The months’ supply remained below the 6.0 months that is normally considered as a healthy balance between supply and demand. The U.S. housing market had been impacted by tight supplies in some parts of the country.

Investors bought 17% of homes in August, with first-time buyers accounting for 28% of the transactions.

The Exchange The Buyer’s Market in Housing Is Over


You don’t usually find clearance sales on real estate. But the last two years are beginning to look like the deal of a lifetime for anybody who bought a home.

That dynamic may now be changing as home prices surge by double-digits, interest rates rise and the whole housing bust recedes into the past. The latest sign that the buyer’s market is ending is a convincing improvement in foreclosures. Sales of foreclosed homes now account for about 12% of home sales. That’s down from 17% a year ago and 37% in 2009, the low point of the housing bust.

With fewer foreclosures, there’s less of a discount on distressed homes, and firmer prices overall. In 2009, foreclosed homes sold for about 25% less than their estimated value. Today, they sell for about 8% less than their estimated value. Prices bottomed out in the first half of 2012 and are now rising by about 12% year over year.

There’s some evidence now that trade-up buyers are finally, well, trading up. Sales of lower-priced entry-level homes that might typically appeal to first-time buyers are falling, possibly because new buyers are still struggling to get credit. But sales of higher-priced homes that would typically appeal to second- or third-time buyers are rising.

This comes at the same time that 30-year mortgage rates have spiked from about 3.5% in April to more than 4.5% now. The median sales price of a home, around $214,000, is now high enough for the typical seller to turn a small profit on the sale, which comes in handy for families that are turning around and buying another house.

That’s why the end of the buyer’s market isn’t the end of the housing recovery. Rising prices ought to lure more sellers to put their homes up for sale, increasing the supply of homes and putting a check on rising prices.

Blue Taste Theme created by Jabox