Business Outlook Archive
Pending home sales are on an upward trend, which has been uneven but meaningful since reaching a cyclical low last April, and are well above a year ago, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 2.0 percent to 97.0 in January from a downwardly revised 95.1 in December and is 8.0 percent higher than January 2011 when it was 89.8. The data reflects contracts but not closings.
The January index is the highest since April 2010 when it reached 111.3 as buyers were rushing to take advantage of the home buyer tax credit.
Regional Spotlight—Florida's housing market reported gains in median sales prices and a reduced inventory of homes for sale in January, according to the latest housing data released by Florida REALTORS®.
Regional Spotlight—Not only were central Ohio housing sales up in January, but they showed the highest activity for that month since 2008. The 1,125 sales showed a 6.0 percent increase over January of 2011 according to the Columbus Board of REALTORS®.
Regional Spotlight—Illinois Home sales in January were the strongest for the month since 2007, according to data released today by the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.
Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in January 2012 totaled 6,435 homes sold, up 16.1 percent from 5,543 home sales in January 2011. The statewide median price in January was $122,500, down 9.3 percent from $135,000 in January 2011. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.
Freddie Mac (OTC:FMCC) recently released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for February showing cautious signs of the economy and housing market moving in a positive direction fueled by an environment of low interest rates and more favorable job prospects for Americans. ...
(MCT)—The regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wants to shrink the seized housing-finance giants gradually and create a new market for mortgage-backed securities to help the private sector.
The recommendations came in a new strategic plan for Fannie and Freddie submitted to lawmakers Tuesday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which has overseen the companies since they were put into government conservatorship in 2008 to avoid their failure.
Fannie and Freddie have almost single-handedly kept the housing finance market afloat in recent years.
According to recent data, investors are becoming an increasingly important part of real estate’s recovery. But is that a good thing? This month’s Power Broker Roundtable, brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS®,
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco recently sent to Congress a strategic plan for the next phase of the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises).
The plan builds on the Acting Director’s February 2010 letter to Congress on the conservatorships and sets forth objectives and steps FHFA is taking or will take to meet FHFA’s obligations as conservator. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed into conservatorships Sept. 6, 2008 and have since received more than $180 billion in taxpayer support.
The 2012 outlook is improving modestly from a disappointing 2011. Economic growth picked up in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 2.8 percent and is expected to come in at 2.3 percent for 2012, up from 1.6 percent growth for all of last year, according to Fannie Mae’s (FNMA/OTC) Economic & Strategic Research Group. However, the year-end growth rate was due largely to a positive swing in business inventory growth, which is not indicative of underlying consumer demand or the overall health of the economy. Nevertheless, consumer spending improved modestly and manufacturing and services activity expanded at a strong pace.
(MCT)—Residential contractors are hoping that tight-fisted consumers will decide they need a new bathroom.
Or maybe it’s time for those old kitchen counters to go.
Perhaps it would be better to add another bedroom than move?
After three years of slumping business, builders anticipate that the home remodeling and improvement sector will pick up in 2012.
Posting your video on YouTube is only the beginning if you want it to attract a serious following. The real secret is to leverage it with other forms of social media to grow your audience.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, fixed-rate loans accounted for more than 95 percent of refinance loans, based on the Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) Quarterly Product Transition Report released recently. Refinancing borrowers clearly preferred fixed-rate loans,
The RE/MAX of New England January Monthly Housing Report shows that year-over-year, the number of unit sales in every state in New England, except Vermont, is slightly higher than January 2011. New Hampshire and Rhode Island experienced the highest change in units
Home builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes increased for the fifth consecutive month in February, rising from 25 to 29 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. It is the highest level the index has reached in more than four years.
“Builder confidence has doubled since September as measured by the HMI,” says NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “Given the recent improvements in new home starts and the increasing number of markets included in the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index, this consistency suggests that the housing market is moving toward more sustainable growth.”
Mortgage applications decreased 1.0 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 10, 2012.