Texas Mortgage Market Update - For the week of October 22, 2012 - If Apollinaire were alive today (he died in 1918), he might suggest we pause now and be happy, given that September Housing Starts were up 15% (11% for single-family starts) to an 872,000 annual rate. From a year ago, starts are up 34.8%, as builders are starting homes at the fastest pace since July 2008. Building permits for future construction were up 11.6% in September to an 894,000 annual rate. The total number of homes under construction is up 21% over a year ago, gaining 13 months in a row, which hasn't happened since the building boom of 2003–2004.
Texas Mortgage Market Update - For the week of October 15, 2012 - Opportunity is finally popping up all over the U.S. housing market. Confirmation of that fact came last week in the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, which contains anecdotal findings on the state of the economy in the Fed's 12 districts across the country. The Beige Book noted that even though economic activity has only modestly improved in recent months, the housing market has shown "widespread improvement."
Texas Mortgage Market Update - For the week of October 8, 2012 - Many observers feel we should be totally prepared for the housing recovery to continue. A major real estate portal reports list prices UP 2.5% in September versus a year ago, the biggest year-over-year boost since the housing recession started. Excluding foreclosures, list prices were UP 3.5% from a year ago. From July to August, those prices were UP 0.5%, their eighth straight month of gains. These numbers are causing experts to predict that 2012 will likely record the first calendar year list price increase since 2006, as gains were seen in 74 of the top 100 U.S. metros.
Texas Mortgage Market Update - For the week of October 1, 2012 - You could say New Home Sales fell on its face in August, as it was down 0.3% to a 373,000 annual rate. But confirming the sentiment of the above quote, New Home Sales are in fact moving forward--UP a nice 27.7% from a year ago and remaining near a two-year high, with every region up in the last year. Even better, the months' supply of new homes is at 4.5 and the median price of new homes sold hit $256,900, UP 11.2% for August, the largest monthly increase since 1963!
Texas Mortgage Market Update - For the week of September 17, 2012 - Today's home buyers seem to be in the right place at the right time, as our already super low mortgage rates may go even lower. The impetus for this comes from the Fed's announcement last Thursday that they will purchase $40 billion a month of mortgage backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is to keep downward pressure on interest rates to help boost the housing recovery. One observer expects to see "the lowest 30-year rates ever." Smart buyers will no doubt do something about that.
Texas Mortgage Market Update - For the week of September 10, 2012 - One of the key things remaining to be done to achieve a housing market recovery is a return to appreciating prices. Many observers feel prices have stabilized nationally and now we're seeing the first signs of some increases. A national real estate website reports the asking prices for homes for sale were up in August for the seventh month in a row. This put them UP 2.3% versus a year ago, the largest year-over-year gain since the housing downturn began.
Texas Mortgage Market Update - For the week of September 3, 2012 - It wasn't that long ago when some pundits were saying hope was all we had in the housing market. But now our hope is being justified by some solid facts. Last Tuesday, the Case-Shiller S&P 500 index of home prices in the 20 largest metros posted a 0.9% gain (seasonally-adjusted) for June. For the month, 18 of the 20 metro areas showed gains; in the last three months, prices were up in all 20. Overall, prices are UP 0.5% compared to a year ago.
Texas Mortgage Market Update - For the week of August 27, 2012 - Home prices have certainly been marked down from their highs of a few years ago, and buyers seem to be finally realizing there are some very nice homes out there at some very nice prices. The latest evidence came when Existing Home Sales shot UP 2.3% in July to a 4.47 million unit annual rate. Sales of these homes are now UP 10.4% from a year ago. But those contemplating a purchase should not dally. The median price of an existing home is UP 9.4% over a year ago, the largest gain since the peak in early 2006!
Texas Mortgage Market Update - For the week of August 20, 2012 - Home builders last week showed plenty of evidence they are both hopeful and confident. July new Building Permits came in UP 6.8%, to an 812,000 annual rate. In fact, July saw the most single-family building permits filed since August 2008, the month before the Lehman collapse and the financial market meltdown. Versus a year ago, permits for single-family homes are now UP 23.0%.
Texas Mortgage Market Update - For the week of August 13, 2012 - Some of the actions we're seeing in the housing market should lead us to a better destiny. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported median sale prices for single-family homes posted year-over-year gains in Q2 in 110 of 147 markets. This is up from 74 markets showing annual price appreciation in Q1. The national median sale price of existing single-family homes in Q2 was up 7.3% over a year ago, the biggest annual increase in six years!