Tag Archives: economic

Rates Continue to Fall Hitting New Lows Amid Economic Concerns

Just when it seemed like rates could not fall any further, Freddie Mac reported fixed mortgage rates sunk even further for the week ending May 10.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.83 percent (0.7 point), down slightly from last week’s average of 3.84 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year was 4.63 percent.

The 15-year fixed also moved downward, ending at 3.05 percent (0.7 point) this week. Last week it averaged 3.07 percent, and last year at this time it was 3.82 percent.

The 5-year ARM dropped to 2.81 percent (0.5 point) compared to 2.85 percent last week and 3.41 percent a year ago at this time.

The 1-year ARM moved up to 2.73 percent (0.5 point). Last week the 1-year ARM averaged 2.70 percent and 3.11 percent a year ago…

Read the rest of DSNews.com’s article here: “Rates Continue to Fall Hitting New Lows Amid Economic Concerns”.

NAR: 2012 home sales will be strongest in past 5 years

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is predicting existing-home sales will jump 7 to 10 percent in 2012 to the highest level in five years, based on an “uneven but higher sales pattern” so far this year.

Pending home sales fell a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent from January to February, which was up 9.2 percent from the same time a year ago, NAR said in releasing its latest Pending Home Sales Index.

NAR also reported a similar trend for existing-home sales, which were down 0.9 percent from January to February, but up 8.8 percent from a year ago.

The pending sales data released today provides a glimpse into more recent trends, because it tracks homes that were under contract in February — deals that will in most cases be finalized within one or two months.

NAR said 31 percent of REALTORS® experienced contract failures in February, in some cases because buyers’ mortgage applications were rejected or because appraisals came in below the negotiated price.

In the Northeast, NAR’s index slipped a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent from January but was up 18.4 percent from a year ago.

The Midwest saw a month-over-month gain of 6.5 percent and a 19 percent gain from a year ago.

Pending home sales fell 3 percent in the South from January to February, but were up 7.8 percent from a year ago.

In the West, the index declined 2.6 percent from January to February and was 1.8 percent below the index rating in February 2011.

In its latest economic forecast, NAR predicts existing-home sales will total 4.65 million in 2012, up 9.1 percent from last year. That forecast assumes that the U.S. economy will grow at a 2.3 percent annual rate and add 2.7 million jobs this year.

American are becoming more optimistic about homeownership

New Prudential Real Estate Poll: Americans Increasingly Optimistic About Homeownership

Prudential Real Estate, a Brookfield Residential Property Services company…released a new national survey showing that Americans are significantly more optimistic about homeownership than they were a year ago. According to the second-annual Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey, a full 60 percent of Americans have favorable views toward the real estate market. That’s up 8 points since last year.Prudential

The survey shows that signs of increasing optimism are widespread:

  • With interest rates at historically low levels, 96 percent agree or somewhat agree that now is a good time to buy.
  • A full 70 perce3nt of respondents have some degree of confidence that property values will improve over the next two years; with an 8 point increase in those very confident or confident compared to last year.
  • 63 percent believe that real estate is a good investment despite the recent market volatility; that’s up 11 points from last year.

The survey confirms that despite the recession, homeownership remains a central part of the American Dream. Eight in 10 respondents said homeownership is very important to them; only 15 percent said the economic downturn made homeownership less important….

Read the rest of this article here: “New Prudential Real Estate Poll: Americans Increasingly Optimistic About Homeownership.”

Americans More Optimistic About Housing, Economy

Americans’ concerns over housing and the economy are subsiding, according to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey from February.

An improving job market is a big part of what’s behind Americans feeling more confident about the housing market and the direction of the economy, according to the survey.

“The pickup in the pace of hiring over the past few months has helped soothe consumer concerns, lifting their moods regarding their personal finances, the direction of the economy, and their views on the housing market,” says Doug Duncan, chief economist of Fannie Mae. “As a result, we’ve seen more potential for economic upside, creating a more balanced near-term outlook.”

The survey found that 28 percent of Americans expect home prices to increase over the next 12 months while 53 percent say prices will likely stay the same. Fifteen percent say they expect home prices to decline.

Meanwhile, the majority of those surveyed see rental prices continuing to increase over the next year.

Sixty-five percent of those surveyed say that if they were going to move they’d buy their next home; 29 percent say they would rent.

With low mortgage rates and falling home prices, 70 percent of those surveyed say now is a good time to purchase a home. Also, more Americans surveyed say now is a good time to sell, rising to 13 percent in February, which is the highest level in more than a year but still low by historic standards.

Overall, Americans expressed more confidence about their personal financial situation, with only 12 percent saying they expected their personal financial situation to worsen in the next 12 months — which is the lowest number in more than a year.

Source: Fannie Mae 

This article is by RealtorMag.org

9 Reasons to be Optimistic About Housing

housing marketThere’s a lot of negative information and news about the real estate market, but not to worry–there is a brighter side to housing! In fact, there are nine reasons to be optimistic!

There’s been a lot of positive signs for a housing (and broader economic recovery) coming out lately. Here are nine reasons we might be looking at a better 2012 than 2011 in the residential construction market:

  1. Unemployment dropped to its lowest point since 20092. Pending home sales up 10.3 percent in October
  2. Pending sales up 10.2 percent in October
  3. Housing affordability at record levels
  4. Consumer confidence up heading into year-end
  5. Existing home sales make surprising October jump
  6. Residential construction spending up 3.4 percent
  7. Construction industry adds most jobs since 2006
  8. Builder confidence at 18-month high
  9. Single-family starts increased in October

Read the article in full at HousingZone.com: “9 Reasons to be Optimistic About Housing“.

What’s in store for the housing market in 2012?

2011 was supposed to ratchet up steady, if not, robust growth in the US economy. However, several economic and geo-political events tripped up the economy during the year that have left would be home buyers dazed and confused about jumping into the housing market.
2011: A Year of Wild CardsLooking in the rearview mirror: 2011

Here’s what we know–2011 has been wrought with uncertainty and unexpected shocks that has hobbled output in the US and around the globe and caused a huge crisis of confidence for consumers, investors, and businesses alike. The list of wildcards is long: the DC midterm elections, the change of power in the House, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the Arab uprising, the oil price shocks, the European debt crisis, the battle over debt ceiling, the downgrading of the US long-term debt, and the fallout with the volatility in the stock market. All of which have left output through the first half of the year below the growth rates that accompany a recovery. The probability of a double-dip recession has gone up and has caused economists far and wide to downgrade their outlook for this year and next.

What does next year have in store for housing?

California Housing Market OutlookHere is what C.A.R. is forecasting for 2012:
  • While the probability for a double-dip recession is higher, the most likely scenario is for a continuation of the slow-moderate growth we have seen for the last few years. The outlook is for modest but positive growth with GDP coming in at 1.7% in 2011, 2.0% in 2012.
  • We are moving forward, albeit bouncing along the bottom for most of 2011 and we can expect the same for next year, with a flat sales forecast for 2011/2012 (-0.1% year-to-year loss in 2011 and 1.0% gain in 2012).
  • Prices are expected to come in 4% below 2010 levels and should show a modest gain in 2012 (+1.7% year-over-year).

Overall, we’ve seen uncertainty and a lack of urgency put a damper on the housing market in 2011.

Hopefully, 2012 will prove less uncertain and could even show signs of urgency as current prices and mortgage rates are phenomenal and will not stay this low forever.