Danielle Groeneweg

Existing Home Sales up 5.6%

Housing was more affordable in November than at any time in the last 40 years. So it should come as no surprise that Existing Home Sales were UP 5.6% for November, bringing them to an annual rate of 4.68 million, a tad above the expected 4.65 million rate. Sales were up for single-family homes, although down for condos and coops, and all regions of the country registered gains.

~Courtesy of Liz Standow

Sterling Savings Bank

Short Sale Tidbit #1

i) If short sale deficiency not discharged fully by bank, there can be:

(a) Demand option for up to 6 years – what this means is that the collection agencies who purchase the short sale deficit debt can wait up to 6 years to then come after the borrower and demand repayment of the deficit

~Courtesy of Danielle

Interest Rates & New Construction

There wasn’t a ton of news impacting the housing market last week, but we did get more talk about the move up in mortgage rates. Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of conforming mortgages showed the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage back at the level it was last June. That still puts mortgage rates below where they were a year ago when everyone was happy to get in on those bargains. So none of this is bad news in the absolute sense but the trend should be noted. People who want to buy or refinance should not drag their feet!

It was encouraging to see new construction spending UP in October, now two months in a row, and the gain mostly came from a rise in residential construction. The U.S. Census Bureau put residential construction UP 2.4% in October to an annual rate of $240.3 billion. Though headed in the right direction, residential construction is still down 8% from a year ago.

~Courtesy of Liz Standow
Sterling Savings Bank

U.S Home Sales Up 10.4% in October

U.S. home sales and homebuilding also came roaring back to life in October. October pending home sales jumped a record 10.4 percent, lead by a 27 percent jump in the Midwest and a 20 percent gain in the Northeast. October construction spending also grew again in October, rising 0.7 percent, confounding analyst forecasts for a -0.3 percent monthly decline. Private residential construction alone jumped 2.5 percent in October, the biggest increase in private residential construction since April 2010.

~U.S Outlook, Wells Fargo Securities LLC

Market Report

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that home prices stayed essentially flat in the third quarter compared to the same time frame a year ago. This price stabilization is encouraging, given that sales of existing homes in the period did drop compared to both the prior quarter this year and to the same quarter a year ago. Of course, both those time periods saw buyers rushing in to take advantage of the federal tax credits.
~Inside Lending Newsletter From Liz Standow