Existing-home sales jump in January

Existing-home sales stepped out to a fast start in 2017.  Total existing-home sales 1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, expanded 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million in January from an upwardly revised 5.51 million in December 2016. January’s sales pace is 3.8 percent higher than a year ago (5.48 million) and surpasses November 2016 (5.60 million) as the strongest since February 2007 (5.79 million).

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Home prices are up to new highs

Home price appreciation picked up speed in the final three months of 2016, prompting the majority of metro areas to soar to new record highs with home prices, the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest quarterly report reveals. Of the 150 markets NAR has tracked since 2005, 52 percent – or 78 – now have a median sales price that is at or above its previous all-time high. The fourth quarter of 2016 proved to be a strong one for home price appreciation. The median existing single-family home price rose in 89 percent of the measured markets. Thirty-one metro areas out of 178 saw double-digit gains. In the fourth quarter, the national median existing single-family home price was $235,000 – up 5.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015 ($222,3000).

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Pending home sales bounce back

Pending home sales bounced back in December, despite ongoing inventory challenges and mortgage rate increases. Solid gains in contract signings in the South and West last month offset weakening activity in the Northeast and Midwest, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Tuesday.  NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index – a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings – rose 1.6 percent to 109 in December over November’s reading. The index is just 0.3 percent higher than last December.

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Existing-home sales rebounded in September

Existing-home sales rebounded in September as first-time home buyers flooded the market. Sales to first-time home buyers topped a 34 percent share in September, the highest in more than four years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.  Total existing-home sales – which are completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops – rose 3.2 percent in September month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million, NAR reported Thursday. Sales are now at the highest pace since June (5.57 million) and are 0.6 percent higher than a year ago (5.44 million). All major regions across the U.S. saw a pick up in closings last month, NAR reports.  First-time home buyers were behind most of that sales momentum last month, NAR reports.

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New homes sales plunged after 9-year high

Single-family new homes sales posted the largest drop in nearly a year in August, but builders say they’re not alarmed.  Sales of newly built, single-family homes plunged 7.6 percent in August to an annual rate of 609,000 units, according to data released by the Commerce Department this week. Despite the drop, it is the second consecutive month that new-home sales have topped a 600,000 annual pace since the Great Recession, the National Association of Home Builders reports. In July, new-home sales had surged to a nine-year high.

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Existing-home sales soften on inventory an pricing woes

Existing-home sales softened in August, the second consecutive month of declines despite mortgage rates hovering near record lows. Not enough homes for sale and higher home prices are curtailing sales, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Thursday. The Northeast – where inventory levels are more balanced – was the only region in the U.S. to see a bump up in closings in August. Existing-home sales – which are completed transactions on single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops – dropped 0.9 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million, according to NAR’s report.

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Pending home sales surge to highest rate in 10 years

Pending home sales were up in most areas of the country in July, reaching the second highest reading in more than a decade, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ Pending Home Sales Index. Last month the Midwest was the only region of the U.S. to see a drop in pending sales.  The index increased 1.3 percent in July to a reading of 111.3. Pending home sales are now 1.4 percent higher than a year ago.

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Existing-home sales lose momentum in July

Existing-home sales lost momentum in July because of stubbornly low inventory on the market across the country, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Last month, existing-home sales posted their first year-over-year drop since November 2015.  Total existing-home sales, which includes completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, dropped 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in July. Sales are 1.6 percent below a year ago.

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July new homes starts beat expectations

U.S. new homes starts unexpectedly rose in July as building activity increased across the board, supporting the view that investment in residential new homes construction will rebound after slumping in the second quarter.  Groundbreaking increased 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.2 million units, the highest level since February, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. June’s starts were largely unchanged at a 1.19 million-unit rate.

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First-time buyers re-emerge and drive existing-home sales up

First-time home buyers flooded the market last month, reaching their greatest share in nearly four years, according to NAR’s latest housing report. Existing-home sales climbed across the country in June, except for the Northeast, as the summer continued to see high demand. Existing-home sales rose 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million in June, NAR reported. Sales are now up 3 percent compared to a year ago and are at the highest annual pace since February 2007.

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