“inventories are at their highest level in over a year, and price gains have slowed to much more welcoming levels in many parts of the country,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “This bodes well for rising home sales in the upcoming months as consumers are provided with more choices.”
But supply shortages in certain areas, particularly the West, means that construction of new homes needs to increase before housing makes a full recovery, he said.
Plus, while the economy is adding jobs at a healthy clip, wage growth is stagnant. This “is leaving a large pool of potential homebuyers on the sidelines who otherwise would be taking advantage of low interest rates,” Yun said.
Okay so even though June's existing home sales are up, they are still below where they were this time last year. The good news is that all signs point to a continuing rise. According to a study from NAR (National Association of Realtors), who counts single family, condo, town homes and Co-ops in the total numbers. Existing home sales are up over 2.5% for the month of June, topping an annual rate of 5 million for the first time since October of last year.
According to Freddie Mac's primary mortgage market survey, mortgage rates have slowed, moving toward historic lows. In the past couple of weeks a 30 year FRM (Fixed Rate Mortgage) was hovering around 4.15%, compared to last weeks 4.13%. It might not seem like much, but trust me if you run the numbers it really can make a difference. These low interest rates are keeping the buyers happy in this competitive market. If you have the means of going with a 15 year FRM, you can really save some money. 15 year FMRs are about a point lower than the 30 year. Compare these numbers to the 2013 averages, the 30 year FMR was around 4.37%. Buy now to save money! Once Freddie and Fannie stop buying up secondary market loans the averages are going to go up!
“Mortgage rates were little changed amid a week of light economic reports. Of the few releases, industrial production rose by 0.2% in June, below the market consensus forecast. Also, the producer price index for final demand rose 0.4% in June, rebounding from a 0.2% decline the prior month,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist with Freddie Mac.
The U.S. housing recovery is still happening and international buyers are giving a huge boost with the Chinese leading the charge. There is a lot of cash out there these days and much of it is coming from China. The Chinese are second only to Canadians in buying real estate in the US but the Chinese are spending a lot more than any other group, on average spending nearly 600,000 per property. Real estate prices in China are sky high making the US market much more safe and affordable. The other reasons can range from buying condos for the kids to live in while attending college; to buying homes to use a couple of times a year for vacations. Because of proximity to China the west coast is being bought up more rapidly than other states with California being the most popular.
Chinese buying was up more than 70% to $22 billion -- nearly 1 in 4 dollars of all foreign purchases, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Monday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, increased 6.1 percent to 103.9, the highest level since September of last year. The number of contracts went up in all regions of the country, with the Northeast and West experiencing the largest gains.
"The housing market is likely to continue recovering lost ground following its weather-induced stumble earlier this year," said Gennadiy Goldberg, an economist at TD Securities in New York. "We look for the stronger pending home sales report to help put fears of 'flattening' housing market momentum to rest in the near-term."
Different states and counties across the US are rated with classifications such as very high, high, medium, low and very low "Risks" of being hit by a natural disaster such as hurricanes, tornados, or earthquakes. With over half of the homes in the US located in a "very high risk" to "high risk" areas there seems to be no change in the pricing or appreciation in the most populous areas. This is according to reports done by Realty Trac.
“The higher median home prices in many counties with a high risk for natural disaster indicates that other location-based factors such as weather and access to jobs override concerns about home damage as a result of earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a statement.
Jason Moon Real Estate Broker with ColdWell Banker Bain. Seattle, WA