An interesting week on Wall Street. Investors spent the first four days trading stocks UP, as the S&P 500 hit record closing highs two days in a row. An absence of news and market-moving economic data kept global equity markets on the ascent. Then came Friday, when the release of some disappointing consumer data sent stock prices back DOWN. Although investor optimism prevailed and prices recovered a bit during the day, all three major market indexes slipped, but still ended UP solidly for the week.
Friday's unfortunate reads on the consumer included Retail Sales down 0.4% for March, way lower than expected, after being up 1.1% the month before. This was followed by Michigan Consumer Sentiment coming in with its lowest reading in nine months. Better news
Last week gave us more evidence that this housing recovery, though growing slowly, will in fact endure. According to a major online real estate portal, listing inventory rose 3.5% from January to March. This beat the gains going into the 2012 Spring selling season, although inventories are still 15% off last year's levels, with only nine of 146 metros showing annual increases. Not surprisingly, the median age of inventory in March dipped to 78 days, down 12.3% from last year, and median asking prices were up 0.5% from February, gaining in 29 of the top 30 metro areas.
According to a housing consultancy, land values are up 13% on average over last year, their first annual rise since 2005. The increasing demand from builders for finished lots is driving the
about buying a home? For the first time in more than half a decade, the
economics of the market are working against you in most places.
is tight, and bidding wars are back in some parts of the country. To snag your
dream home, you'll have to pay up and contend with continuing strict loan
requirements. The bright side: Despite rising prices and mortgage rates that
are edging upward, buying a home is still cheaper than renting in the majority
of the top 100 markets.
Don't waste time with a low-ball offer.
home prices are still way down from their highs, but the days when you could
scoop up a house for 20% less than the list price are long gone. The typical
home sells for pretty close to what the owners asked for, and
Real estate has
finally started to bounce back across the country -- even roar back in some places.
Low mortgage rates
and pent-up demand have coaxed buyers back into the market, and homeowners who
list their houses are seeing more traffic. That quaint relic of the bubble, the
bidding war, has even started to reemerge in some cities.
Consider the mounting
evidence that the long national real estate nightmare is over: During the past
year, home prices increased in 92 of the country's 100 largest metropolitan
areas, according to data provider CoreLogic, with prices rising as high as 23%
in Phoenix and 17% in San Francisco. Sales volume rose in 69 of the top 100
markets, and 35 of those showed double-digit gains.
In its quarterly survey of U.S. bank risk professionals, FICO found lenders more bullish on the housing recovery than at any point in three years, with 71 percent of respondents saying home prices are “rising at a sustainable pace” in the context of mortgage lending risk. In addition, 39 percent of respondents are expecting mortgage delinquencies to decrease over the next six months, while another 45 percent expect delinquencies to remain flat, and only 16 percent expect an increase. Those are the most optimistic figures recorded in the 12 quarters since the survey was launched.
The survey, conducted for FICO by the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA), also found that a majority of bankers (59 percent) expect the supply of
Attached is this week’s rate sheet. Fixed rates remained the same with a little better pricing in the fees. The ARM’s got better in both rate and fees.
The week started off positive for Bonds with the Stock Market selling off on Monday and gold prices continuing to drop after last week’s sell off. This was in part due to Cyprus selling off gold to cover debt and the fear other countries in Europe may follow. The Consumer Price Index was reported on Tuesday and remains tame. CPI continues to be within the Fed’s tolerance so that means they will continue the bond buying program which is helping our rates remain low. Housing Starts increased 7% in March and was the largest increase since June 2008. Building
Driven by strong sales in high-end coastal areas and shrinking inventory, California's median home price hit its highest level in March since May 2008, according to the California Association of Realtors.
The median price for a single-family home increased 13.7 percent to $378,960 in March from $333,380 in a February, after a shift from a previous two-month decline. The month-to-month increase was the highest recorded by C.A.R.
The median price in March was 28.2 percent above the $295,630 median price in March 2012 and the 13th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.
Higher sales in the coastal areas of Marin, Orange, San Diego, and San Luis Obispo helped push up the median price, C.A.R. vice president and chief economist Leslie
Over the last several years, most homeowners selling their home did not have to compete with a new construction project around the block. As the market is recovering, more and more builders are jumping back in. As an example, the National Association of Realtors revealed, relative to last year, year-to-date new home sales are up 19%.
These ‘shiny’ new homes will again become competition as they can be an attractive alternative to many of today’s home purchasers.
Here are the numbers regarding new construction about to come to market from the Census Bureau:
Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 600,000. This is 25.5% above February 2012.
HOUSING UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of
A seller’s ability to sell their home in today’s real estate market will be determined by both the supply of homes for sale and the demand for that housing. In real estate, supply is represented by the current month’s supply of homes for sale (the number of homes for sale divided by the number of homes sold in the previous month).
While there is no steadfast rule that will apply to pricing in every category of housing, here is a great guideline:
1-4 months’ supply creates a sellers’ market where there are not enough homes to satisfy buyer demand. Appreciation is guaranteed.
5-6 months’ supply creates a balanced market. Historically home values appreciate at a rate a little greater than inflation.
When selling anything, owners can only hope there is a strong demand for that which they are selling. The great news for today’s home sellers is that the current housing market is experiencing a stronger demand than we have seen in some time.
The spring housing market of 2013 is projected to be one of the best in years.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports monthly on both pending sales (houses going into contract) and existing home sales (actual closed sales).
In the first quarter of 2013, pending sales have consistently outperformed the numbers reported in 2012. Contract activity has been above year-ago levels for the past 22 months. Before this year, the last time the index showed a higher reading was in April 2010,