Friday, July 20, 2012

POSITIVE TRENDS FOR HOUSING

There’s a lot of good news that affects the housing market. Let’s take a look at the positive trends that impact residential real estate’s growth. Unemployment is Dropping - “We're actually seeing some better news on the U.S. jobs front,” said Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, in a note to clients. Unemployment aid applications have fallen for two straight weeks and is the largest two-week decline since February, she noted. ASSOCIATED PRESS, JULY 5, 2012 Interest Rates are at Record Lows - The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage stayed this week at the lowest level on record. Freddie Mac says the average on the 30-year loan was 3.66 percent and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s. ASSOCIATED PRESS, JUNE 28, 2012 Rents are Rising - As rents continue to rise, owning a home is making more financial sense, according to recent surveys that show it’s cheaper to own a house than rent in the majority of metro areas nationwide. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates that rents will rise 4 percent, on average, this year and another 4 percent in 2013. DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS, JUNE 25, 2012 Home Affordability Index is at Record High - Housing affordability conditions for all buyers reached a milestone. The quarterly Housing Affordability Index rose to a record high of 205.9 in first quarter, based on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate. The higher the index, the greater the household purchasing power. This is the first time the quarterly index broke the 200 mark; record keeping began in 1970. NAR, MAY 16, 2012 First Time Buyers Get off the Fence - Low interest rates are prompting some first time home buyers to purchase sooner than they planned. Sellers are being more realistic with pricing, making it easier for buyers to get into areas that would normally be off limits. WASHINGTON POST, JUNE, 25, 2012 Inventory Levels are Down - As sales go up, inventories go down. New listings came in slower than last year but buyer activity has increased over year-ago levels. Buyers are confident in the current affordability picture, and some rents have increased to levels above comparable mortgage payments. Absorption rates, negotiating leverage and market times are all still metrics worth watching carefully. Some agents are reporting that more than half of their clients are in multiple offers. MAAR, JULY 2, 2012 Sales up, Prices Rising, New Construction Up • The housing market is looking better. Home sales are up from last year, home prices are rising in most cities and homebuilders are planning to break ground on more projects in the next 12 months. ASSOCIATED PRESS, JUNE 28, 2012 • Pending home sales climbed 5.9% in May 2012 and was 13.3% above May 2011 levels. MARKETWATCH, JUNE 27, 2012 As always, we appreciate your business and your trusted referrals of friends, family and business associates. www.thebasilgroup.com ~ Dan & Lisa Basil

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