Monday, March 26, 2007

National Home Values Slip for the 7th Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Realtors® released their existing home sales report today. The report indicated that although existing Single-family home sales rose 3.7 percent from the month prior, existing home sales are still off 3.4 percent from one year earlier. The report also indicated that home values fell 1.5 percent from just one year earlier, which marks the 7th straight month that home values declined.

David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, said the strong gain is a bit of a surprise. “Some of the rise in home sales may be from mild weather that brought out shoppers in December, but fundamentals have improved in the housing market and buyers see a window now with historically-low mortgage interest rates and competitive pricing by sellers,” he said. “Even so, winter storms last month discouraged shopping, and buyers were chilled with the third coldest February on record. These unusual weather patterns mean home sales that close in March may decline before rebounding later this spring.”

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.16 percent in the last week, down from an average of 6.29 percent in February. The 30-year fixed was 6.22 percent in January, and 6.25 percent in February 2006.

Single-family home sales increased 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.88 million in February from 5.67 million in January, but are 3.4 percent below the 6.09 million-unit pace in February 2006. The median existing single-family home price was $211,100 in February, down 1.5 percent from a year ago.

On another negative note, total housing inventory levels rose 5.9 percent at the end of February to 3.75 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.7-month supply at the current sales pace compared with a 6.6-month supply in January. This rise in inventory might force home prices down further.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast surged 14.2 percent to a level of 1.21 million in February, and are 3.4 percent higher than February 2006. The median existing-home price in the Northeast was $265,900, down 1.4 percent from a year earlier.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales rose 3.9 percent in February to a level of 1.58 million, but are 1.9 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $157,000, down 1.3 percent from February 2006.

Existing-home sales in the South increased 1.6 percent to an annual sales rate of 2.58 million in February, but are 4.4 percent below February 2006. The median price in the South was $175,900, down 2.9 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West were unchanged in February, holding at an annual pace of 1.32 million, and are 9.6 percent lower than a year ago. The median price in the West was $337,100, up 2.2 percent from February 2006.

1 Comments:

Blogger Corey said...

Today's new home sales report: Demand down 1/2 million. Contractor bankruptcies loom. More at http://infohype.blogspot.com

10:45 AM  

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