Home Sales Slow Down As Available Inventory Remains Subdued

Existing home sales declined in to their lowest rate in nine months, but the pace was higher than a year ago for the fourth straight month. All major regions experienced declines with the Northeast and West seeing the largest.SummaryTotal existing home sales fell 4.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million, the lowest since last April, from an upwardly-revised 5.07 million the month before. Despite the decline, sales are higher by 3.2% than a year ago. » [read more]

 

Housing Starts Fall But Still At Strong LevelsHousing starts fell in as ground breaking for single-family projects slipped off a 6.5-year peak, but stayed at levels consistent with a gradually improving housing market.Housing Starts Fall But Still At Strong LevelsGroundbreaking declined 2.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.07 million units. The previous month's starts were barely revised at a 1.09 million-unit pace and this month's reading was in line with economist's expectations. » [read more]

 

Distressed Sales Reach A Seven Year LowAccording to recent data the share of distressed sales recently reached a seven year low. The ongoing shift away from foreclosure sales is a driver of improving home prices, as they typically sell at a larger discount than do short sales.Distressed Sales Reach A Seven Year LowDistressed sales were 11% of sales last month but down from 15% a year ago. Eight percent of sales were foreclosures and 3% were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 15% below market value, unchanged from last month, while short sales were discounted 12%, also unchanged from last month. » [read more]

 

New Jobs Are Not Translating To New HomeownersJob growth will help housing this year. That's the prevailing opinion of housing watchers, looking hopefully to the spring selling season. A stellar January jobs report only bolstered that belief. It may not, however, turn out that way. Employment is increasing, no question, but not in the professions that typically own homes. Researchers looked at homeownership rates by profession and correlated them to the professions seeing the most and the least job growth.New Jobs Are Not Translating To New HomeownersWhat we find is that many of America's fastest growing careers, in terms of numbers of workers, have average or below average homeownership rates. At the same time, the professions with higher homeownership rates are generally headed for average or subpar growth. » [read more]

 

Home Sales Rebound In DecemberDespite low inventory conditions, home sales bounced back in December and climbed above an annual pace of 5 million sales for the sixth time in seven months. Median home prices for 2014 rose to their highest level since 2007, but total sales fell 3.1% from 2013.SummaryTotal existing home sales rose 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in December from a downwardly-revised 4.92 million in November. From a year ago, December sales were higher by 3.5% and are now above year-over-year levels for the third straight month.  » [read more]