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Pending home sales rose sharply in May, with lower mortgage rates and increased inventory accelerating the market, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. All four regions of the country saw increases in pending sales, with the Northeast and West experiencing the largest gains.â€¨ The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 6.1 percent to 103.9 in May from 97.9 in April, but still remains 5.2 percent below May 2013 (109.6). May’s 6.1 percent increase was...Continue Reading!
The latest Census estimate of total private residential construction spending is 7.5 percent higher than one year ago. In particular, the release shows significant improvement in construction spending for the single-family and multifamily categories. From May 2013, on a 3-month moving average basis, single-family construction spending increased by 12.3 percent and multifamily construction spending increased by 33.0 percent. The current seasonally adjusted annual rate for total private residential construction spending is $354.8 billion. The current reading, however, is 1.5 percent lower...Continue Reading!
The kitchen is the center of our lives at home, serving needs way beyond its intended culinary purpose. With so much activity on a daily basis, it’s important that kitchens are equipped with functional features. Make improvements with these five smart upgrades: Quartz countertops – Move over, granite! Quartz countertops are gaining popularity due to a wide variety of styles and low maintenance costs. They don’t need to be sealed, and are naturally resistant to spills and stains. Smart faucets – Gone...Continue Reading!
Average fixed mortgage rates were lower this week than the same time last year, according to the recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), put out by Freddie Mac. "Mortgage rates were down following the release of first quarter real GDP final estimate, which fell at a 2.9 percent annualized rate, a steeper than expected decline and the worst reading since the first quarter of 2009,” says Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. “Also, the seasonally-adjusted S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city...Continue Reading!
Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 18.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 units in May, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the highest rate since May 2008. “These numbers are in line with our recent builder surveys, which indicate that more consumers are getting off the fence and coming back into the marketplace,” says Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association...Continue Reading!
Declines in both single- and multifamily starts pushed nationwide housing production down 6.5 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of just over 1 million units, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. However, single-family permits, which can be an indicator of future building activity, rose 3.7 percent. “The dip in single-family production shows builders continue to move carefully in adding inventory,” says Kevin Kelly, chairman of...Continue Reading!
New and existing home sales are on the up and up, according to a recently released housing scorecard from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The May edition of the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard—a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market-- shows positive overall trends in the housing market. “May’s Housing Scorecard shows that the housing market recovery is picking up after the harsh winter months,” says HUD Assistant Secretary for...Continue Reading!
The overall economy slowed at the start of 2014, which took a toll on housing and economic activity. According to the Bureau of Economic of Analysis, real GDP contracted at a 1 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate during the first quarter. Growth would have been slightly positive absent a decline in business inventory investment. However, this drawdown sets the stage for more stable growth for the rest of 2014. An example of improved economic news from the second quarter was the...Continue Reading!
By Keith Loria If a home purchase is on the horizon, you more than likely know exactly what you’re looking for. Whether you desire stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors throughout or a pool in the backyard, letting your agent know what’s on your must-have list is one of the best ways to ensure you find your dream home. As you go through the process of searching for homes, it’s important to remember that your agent is trained in locating the best properties...Continue Reading!
By Keith Loria When it comes time to move, sellers are typically interested in two things: getting their home sold for top dollar and getting it sold quickly. Whether your timeline is being cut short due to a job relocation or a change in your personal life, the following tricks of the trade will go a long way toward keeping your home from languishing on the market. 1. Price It to Sell: The most obvious way to sell a house quickly is...Continue Reading!