Wednesday, August 26, 2009

July new US home sales up 9.6 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- New U.S. home sales surged 9.6 percent in July, rising for the fourth straight month and beating expectations as the housing market marches steadily back from its historic downturn.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000 from an upwardly revised June rate of 395,000. Sales are now up more than 30 percent from the bottom in January, but are still off nearly percent from the frenzied peak four years ago.

The median sales price of $210,100, however, was off 11.5 percent from year-ago levels and down slightly from $221,400 in June.

Last month's sales pace was the strongest since September and exceeded the forecasts of economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who expected a pace of 390,000 units.
In a kind of Cash for Clunkers effect, homebuyers are rushing to take advantage of a federal tax credit that covers 10 percent of the home price, or up to $8,000, for first-time owners. Home sales must be completed by the end of November for buyers to qualify.

Builders and real estate agents are pressing Congress for that credit to be extended. If it isn't, sales could reverse their upward trend.
As sales rise, that's likely to make builders more confident about getting going on new projects, and that's likely to lead to more jobs ins the construction industry. "These are crucial elements of a sustainable recovery," David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities, wrote in a research note.

Each new home built creates, on average, the equivalent of three jobs lasting one year and generates about $90,000 in taxes paid to local and federal authorities, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

There were 271,000 new homes for sale at the end of July, down more than 3 percent from May. At the current sales pace, that represents 7.5 months of supply - the lowest since April 2007. The decline means builders have scaled back construction to the point where supply and demand are coming into balance.

Courtesy of:
AP Real Estate Writer Aug 26, 11:19 AM EDT
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mortgage Applications Rise on Falling Rates

Mortgage applications bounced back last week with the Mortgage Bankers Association market index rising 5.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the previous week.

On an unadjusted basis, the index increased 4.8 percent and was up 25 percent compared with the same week a year ago.

The recent seesaw of mortgage rates has affected refinances more than purchases. The refinance index rose 6.9 percent last week after falling 7.2 percent the previous week, reflecting declining mortgage rates. The purchase index, which has trended upward gradually, rose 3.9 percent.

Here are the average performances of mortgage rates this week:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.15 percent from 5.38 percent.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.52 percent from 4.71 percent.
1-year ARMs decreased to 6.66 percent from 6.71 percent.

Source: Mortgage Bankers Association (08/19/2009)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

$8000 1st Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Deadline is Near

The deadline is approcahing and will be here before you know it. 1st Time Home Buyers have just a little over 100 days before the $8000 tax credit is gone.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 authorizes a tax credit of up to $8,000 for qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.

Don't miss out on this government housewarming gift.