Existing-Home Sales Reach Decade High

Existing-home sales in January reached their fastest pace in nearly a decade, with all major regions except the Midwest posting gains last month, the National Association of REALTORS® reports.

Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—rose 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million in January. That’s 3.8 percent higher than a year ago and marks the strongest month since February 2007, according to the NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

The REALTORS® Affordability Distribution Curve and Score, a new measurement of homebuying activity created by NAR and realtor.com®, revealed that the combination of higher mortgage rates and home prices made active listings less affordable for households in more than half of all states last month.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

 

‘Home Foreclosures Fall’ to 5-Year Lows!

National foreclosure pre-sale inventory is at its lowest point since 2008, Lender Processing Services reports.

The inventory—which reflects the number of loans that are in some stage of foreclosure—represents 2.54 percent of all mortgaged homes in LPS’ October data. That marks a 3.23 percent drop month-over-month, and a nearly 30 percent year-over-year drop. LPS’ data reflects about 70 percent of the mortgage market.

The National Association of REALTORS® reported last week that distressed homes are making up fewer of the total existing-home sales recorded in the past year. Sales of distressed homes—which include foreclosures and short sales—made up 14 percent of October sales, down 25 percent year-over-year.

Distressed sales tend to sell at a discount. NAR reported that foreclosures sold for an average discount of 17 percent below market value in October. Short sales were discounted 14 percent below market value.

Source: “Foreclosure Inventory Falls to 5 year Low,” Mortgage News Daily (Nov. 22, 2013) andNational Association of REALTORS®