Entries in National Association of Realtors (7)


Existing Home Sales Drop 1.5% in May

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In yet another sign that the housing market is still struggling, existing home sales dropped last month by 1.5 percent, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors.

Sales were down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million units in May, compared to 4.62 million in April.

The decline is attributed to "limited supplies of housing inventories, especially at the lower end," says Walter Maloney, a spokesperson for the National Association of Realtors.

But it's not all bad news, as Maloney points out.

"Even with the decline the market has moved notably higher, with 11 months of consecutive gains over the same month a year ago," he says.  Existing home sales last month were 9.6 percent higher than in May 2011.

And, he notes, the outlook for the housing recovery is still positive.

"Given the underlying fundamentals, existing sales this year should rise 9 to 10 percent, the national median price is projected to increase 2 to 3 percent, and we're looking for more improvements in both sales and prices in 2013," Maloney says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Home Sales Jump 3.4% in April

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The long-suffering housing market is showing new signs of life, with Americans buying more previously owned homes in April.  The report is another hopeful sign the housing market is at long last improving.

“Prices rose strongly. The improvement in sales and prices is broad-based across all regions,” said Walter Maloney of the National Association of Realtors.  The realtors survey found that home sales rose 3.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million.

“Consumer confidence is up with more job creation — it’s less than we’d like but nonetheless, steady job creation is creating demand, rents are rising, that’s giving some incentive to buyers who’ve been on the sidelines of the rental market,” Maloney told ABC News.

Total sales are well below the nearly 6 million per year sales considered normal for a healthy housing market.

“The thing that is working against the market is the abnormally tight credit conditions: that is a headwind,” says Maloney.  In other words, it’s tougher for people to qualify for loans to take advantage of the record-low interest rates.

Distressed homes accounted for a smaller percentage of overall sales in April.

Another plus: “First-time homebuyers are slowly making their way back,” said Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets.

“That is still below the 40 percent-to-45 percent range during healthy times, but the highest in almost half a year.”

Builders have grown more confident since last fall, in part because more people have expressed an interest in buying a home.

Shares in PulteGroup, KB Home and other big homebuilding firms rallied today on the stock market.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Existing Home Sales Rose 3.7 Percent in March

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Existing home sales rose 3.7 percent in March to an annual pace of 5.1 million, according to the latest figures released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors.

NAR spokesman Walter Molony says the latest report is a good for the housing market.

"Buyers are responding now to very affordable home prices and low interest rates.  And home sales have risen now in six out of the past eight months so we're on a recovery path, even with tight mortgage credit," Molony says.

Molony adds that an improving economy and projected increases in rents are playing a role in moving buyers back into the housing market.

"We've been seeing them come back on their own without a tax stimulus," he says.  "And some renters now are looking to home-ownership as a hedge against inflation."

Despite the progress last month, Molony notes that existing home sales are "still 6.3 percent behind a year ago when we had a tax credit."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Housing Market on the Rise

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- More Americans signed contracts to buy homes last month, a hint the housing market might be coming off the bottom. The National Association of Realtors' pending homes index rose in most parts of the country. Contract signings are now more than 19 percent up on the record low which was last June. Completed sales of new and existing homes have been way below normal levels, but despite that, stock averages are up after a strong gain last week.

Consumer spending rose in February, but most of that rise went for higher gas prices. The Commerce Department says spending rose seven-tenths of one percent. There was also a strong gain in January as earnings were also up, but oil prices slipped from their recent highs to about $104 a barrel. Gold is down $6 an ounce and the ten year treasury is at 3.43 percent.

The airlines latest attempt to hike domestic fares has crumbled. United and Continental pushed fares up last week, but discount carriers refused to go along, despite high fuel costs. ´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Existing Home Sales Dropped 9.6 Percent in February

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Following three straight monthly increases, sales of previously-owned homes fell by 9.6 percent last month, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

Existing-home sales dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February, down from the rate of 5.4 million in the previous month.  February's sales are also 2.8 percent lower than the 5.02 million pace set during the same time the year before.

The National Association of Realtors also said that the national median sales price for all housing types fell by 5.2 percent from February 2010 to $156,100.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


December Home Sales Hit Milestone Pace

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sales of previously-owned homes hit  a milestone pace in December, providing a bit of good news to end a year in real estate that’s been short on positives.

The National Association of Realtors says people purchased existing homes at an annual pace of 5.28 million units. It’s the first time the pace has been above the five million mark since the government’s tax incentive program ended in June.

Economists were surprised by the strong sales of homes in December; they’d been expecting sales at around a 4.8-million-unit pace.

Some experts say a recent uptick in mortgage rates might be pushing some buyers to move quicker than they expected to so they can lock in lower interest rates.

About 4.9 million existing homes were sold during the 2010 calendar year. That’s the lowest number of annual sales since 1997 and is about five percent fewer homes sold than 2009. Housing analysts say the expiration of the Federal government’s tax credit program for home purchases slowed things down in 2010.

But December’s strong performance is giving people confidence that the housing market might stabilize in the next year.

“The December pace is near the volume we’re expecting for 2011, so the market is getting much closer to an adequate, sustainable level,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the realtors group. “The recovery will likely continue as job growth gains momentum and rising rents encourage more renters into ownership while exceptional affordability conditions remain.”

The median price of a home sold in December was $168,800, down one percent from the price a year ago.

Prices will likely start showing a little stability in the next few months as the supply of homes for sale is ticking lower. Realtors say there were 3.6 million “For Sale” signs on yards at the end of December. That’s 8.1 months supply given the current pace of sales and is getting really close to the six month supply economists say we need to see to get historically normal home price appreciation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Existing Home Sales Dip in October

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After a two month bounce, sales of pre-owned homes took a dip in October, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors.

The group says sales of existing homes dropped 2.2 percent last month -- bigger than the 1 percent economists were expecting -- to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 4.43 million units.

"The housing market is experiencing an uneven recovery, and a temporary foreclosure stoppage in some states is likely to have held back a number of completed sales," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the realtors group.

Sales are off by almost 26 percent compared to a year ago.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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