Monday, June 24, 2013
Home Sales Jump 4.2%; Median Prices Jump 15.4%: Existing home sales improved in May but the supply of homes for sale remains tight — which isn't good news for buyers, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. Total existing home sales increased 4.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.18 million in May from 4.97 million in April, NAR said. That's the highest rate since November 2009 and almost 13% above year-ago levels. The inventory of homes for sale, meanwhile, dipped to a 5.1 month supply, down from 5.2 months in April. That means all the homes would sell in that time frame if no new supply was added and sales continued at May's pace. Realtors consider a 6-month supply to be a balanced market between buyers and sellers. Homes are also selling fast. The median time on market for all homes was 41 days in May, down from 46 in April. Nationwide, 45% of all homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month, NAR says.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Pending Home Sales Surge Over 10%: The National Association of Realtors reported that signed contracts to purchase a home increased 10.3% from this time a year ago. These are called "Pending Home Sales" because there is a signed contract but the home has not closed yet. On a month-over-month basis, Pending Home Sales increased 0.3%. Sales Prices continue to shoot up and the number of Pending Home Sales would have increased even more if it wasn't for a huge shortage in available quality inventory. "The housing market continues to have gains from already very positive conditions. Pending contracts so far this year easily correspond to higher closed home sales in 2013," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors. "Because of inventory shortages, higher home sales will push up home values to the highest level in five years," Yun said, adding that the national median existing-home price should increase close to 8 percent and exceed $190,000 in 2013. There are also fewer distressed homes for sale. Banks have been doing more aggressive loan modifications, and some banks are reportedly holding foreclosed homes off the market, as home prices continue to rise.