Monthly Archives: May 2011

Austin Mortgage Market Update – For the week of May 30, 2011

Hopefully, we won’t need the patience of a Michelangelo waiting for the housing market to achieve normalcy, but most of today’s economic geniuses say we’ll have to hang in there a bit longer. On the plus side, new single-family home sales for April were UP 7.3%, beating expectations two months in a row. For the first time in nearly four years, sales were up in every region. Inventory fell to 6.5 months, its lowest level since 1963 and the median price was UP 4.6% from a year ago. On the minus side, the Pending Home Sales index was down 11.6% for April after two months of gains. April wasn’t the greatest home shopping month, with widespread severe weather, the heaviest rain in 20 years and rising oil prices slowing things down. Continue reading

Austin Mortgage Market Update – For the week of May 23, 2011

People wonder if housing is moving in the right direction, especially after April Housing Starts fell 10.6% to an annual rate of 523,000 units. But a closer look reveals the decline was due mostly to multi-family units, which are volatile month to month and actually up 6.6% from a year ago. Also, the biggest drop was in the South, which had been hit with severe tornados. Outside that region, starts were UP 5.5%! Homes under construction are at their lowest level since 1970, so some areas may rebound from shortages in the next few months. Following a March rise, Existing Home Sales were down just 0.8% in April and the seasonally adjusted annual rate is still above 5 million. Total inventory edged up to 9.2 months. Continue reading

Austin Mortgage Market Update – For the week of May 16, 2011

Our resolution to succeed in the real estate market was given a bit of a boost with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) report that existing home sales were up 8.3% in the first quarter over the fourth quarter of last year. Plus, on a quarter-to-quarter basis, sales rose in every region of the country. Year-over-year, sales were virtually flat, slipping just 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.14 million homes. Continue reading

Austin Mortgage Market Update – For the week of May 9, 2011

For those of us with a strong will to succeed in this housing recovery, the way appears to be by focusing on the extraordinary affordability of today’s residential market. Part of this affordability lies in the fact that mortgage rates fell again for the third week in a row, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of national average rates for conforming mortgages. This drop took them to their lowest point of the year. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) weekly survey reported demand for purchase loans was UP a seasonally adjusted 0.3% from the prior week. Continue reading

Austin Mortgage Market Update – For the week of May 2, 2011

Last week’s reports showed the progress of the housing market recovery is definitely on a zigzag trajectory. Zigging upward were new home sales, UP a strong 11.1% in March, hitting the 300,000 threshold annual rate. The supply of new homes dropped to 7.3 months and the inventory fell again, to its lowest level since 1967. Also zigging UP 5.1% were March Pending Home Sales, which measure contracts on existing homes and point to continued gains in existing home sales come April and May. Continue reading