Home sales hit fastest rise in more than a year

Home sales hit fastest rise in more than a year

buying-a-home11Sales of existing-homes rose by 1.5% in October according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Last October previously-owned homes reached its highest annual pace of the year as buyers continue to be encouraged by interest rates at lows not seen for a long time.

This numbers also represents the first yearly gain since October 2013. The median existing-home prices posted as well an increase compared to October 2013. From the previous year, October’s median price of $208,300 was up 5.5%, marking the 32nd straight month of yearly improvement.

The National Association of Realtors tracks completed transactions of single family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops each month, dubbing this group “existing-home sales.” As the housing market crashed back in 2008, NAR also began tracking the share of home sales that were distressed (foreclosures and short sales).

In October distressed home sales declined to 9% of the total, hitting the single digits for the third month in 2014. One year ago, distressed sales accounted for 14% of the market. Foreclosures account for 7%, and short sales 2% total average. The share of homes purchased for all-cash buyers in October accounted for 27%, compared to a 31% in October 2013.

First-time buyers remain a smaller slice of the market than the historic norm, at 29% in October for the fourth straight month. First-time buyers have represented less than 30% of the buyer pool in 18 of the past 19 months.

Inventory levels declined by 2.6% in October to a supply of 2.22 million existing-homes available for sale the lowest level since March, but 5.2% higher than a year ago, when there were only 2.11 million existing-homes for sale.

We still need an increment on housing inventory. However, Government-sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac has projected a 20% gain for inventory between 2014 and 2015, which will help supply. Let’s make it happen.

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Opening Doors for Homebuyers!

Opening Doors for Homebuyers!

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is the first of six financial regulators to release the final version of the long-awaited qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule. The National Association of Realtors applauds this action because it will make possible to incorporate rules that include a broad definition for Qualified Mortgage standards implemented earlier this year.

Got your House?

Got your House?

Under the QRM rule, loans are generally considered qualified if the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio is 43 percent, among other things and there is not onerous down payment requirement, as regulators had originally proposed.

The NAR strongly opposed earlier versions of the rule that included 20 and 30 percent down payment requirements, which would have denied millions of Americans access to the lowest-cost and safest mortgages

For lenders, having these two rules in alignment provides the clarity they’ve long been asking for, widening and deepening loan eligibility and availability, which has been one of the main stumbling blocks to increased home sales.

Homebuyers will have now more credit availability reflecting an increase in home purchases, and refis. Way to go!