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Displaying blog entries 11-13 of 13

The first week of March, The National Association of Realtors® reported that pending home sales have declined--with many home buyers waiting for clarity on housing stimulus provisions.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in January, fell 7.7 percent to 80.4 from a downwardly revised reading of 87.1 in December, and is 6.4 percent below January 2008 when it was 85.9.  The index is at the lowest level since tracking began in 2001, when the index value was set at 100.

According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, the downturn in the economy also weighed heavily on the data.  "Even with many serious potential home buyers on the sidelines waiting for passage of the stimulus bill, job losses and weak consumer confidence were a natural drag on home sales," Yun said.  "We expect similarly soft home sales in the near term, but buyers are expected to respond to much improved affordability conditions and from the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit."

NAR President, Charles McMillan, stated it's ironic with the weak housing market that affordability conditions have improved dramatically.  "Housing affordability is at a record high--the buying power of a typical family has risen significantly," he said.  "With the drop in interest rates, a median-income family can afford a home costing $20,000 more than a year ago for the same monthly mortgage payment.  With the strong housing stimulus, we are hopeful inventory will get trimmed and which will help prices stabilize in many areas by the end of the year."

Yun added, "Conditions have been aligning very favorably for home buyers with the exception of consumer confidence.  But I am hopeful that sales will turn around by late spring and early summer because history suggests that home sales can rise even in times of job losses when housing affordability rises."

Strong Rising Sales for Existing-Home Sales Shown in December

by Pistol Tingen

 

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales showed an unexpectedly strong rise while inventory declined.  Sales were led by a surge of sales in the West.

In 2008 there were 4,912,000 existing-home sales, which was 13.1 percent below the 5,652,000 transactions recorded in 2007.  These figures represent the lowest volume since 1997 when there were 4,371,000.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home prices continue to fall significantly.  "It appears some buyers are taking advantage of much lower home prices," he said.  "The higher monthly sales gain and falling inventory are steps in the right direction, but the market is still far from normal balanced conditions.  Buyers will continue to have an edge over sellers for the foreseeable future."

Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 11.7 percent to 3.68 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.3-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 11.2-month supply in November.

Yun said the market is underpeforming and hurting the broader economy.  "We've added 25 million people to our population over the past decade and housing affordability conditions are the best we've seen since 1973, but household formation is much lower than expected," he said.

The NAR chief economist added, "Consequently, there is a pent-up demand which could be unleashed with the right stimulus, including a non-repayable home buyer tax credit.  The Obama administration and Congress need to move fast to stimulate a spring sales upturn which will help stabilize home prices and set the foundation for a sustainable economic recovery."

If you would like more information on the current existing-home sales in the Pitt County and Greenville, NC area, please contact the top producing real estate experts--The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Mortgage Rates Drop to a 38-Year Low

by Pistol Tingen

According to a survey released January 15 by home funding company Freddie Mac, interest rates on U.S. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped for the 11th week to a 38-year record low.

Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.96%, with an average 0.7 point, for the week ended January 15, down from the previous week's 5.01%, according to Freddie Mac.  15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 4.65% the week ended January 15, up from 4.62% the previous week.

For the most current mortgage and real estate information in the Greenville, NC and Pitt County area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Displaying blog entries 11-13 of 13

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HomeServices Prime Properties,   Greenville, NC, 2625 Charles Blvd.

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