Orange County Real Estate Thoughts - Pending home sales are still up
by Tony Leocadio
on Monday, September 30th, 2013 at 2:38pm.
The Latin bard offers good advice in the wake of last Thursday's Pending Home Sales, down 1.6% for August. Observers said rising interest rates were partially to blame for the dip in this measure of contracts signed but not yet closed on existing homes. But national average mortgage rates have dropped the last two weeks with the Fed's announcement it would continue buying mortgage bonds, which should boost bond prices and keep rates low. Also helping us persevere is the fact Pending Home Sales are still up 5.8% for the year.
Further encouragement came from single-family New Home Sales, up 7.9% in August and 12.6% year-over-year. They're now at a 421,000 annual rate, not where they need to be, but rebounding strongly. There were also signs of continued success for home prices. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index was up 0.62% in July, its 18th consecutive monthly gain, with all 20 metros ahead. Its 12.39% annual gain was its biggest since early 2006. The FHFA price index of homes financed with conforming loans was up 1% in July, also gaining 18 months in a row, and up 8.8% annually.