Author: Chris Speicher
If you were in the market to buy or sell a home over the past several years, congratulations on surviving the rollercoaster ride! However, as we begin to close out 2012 and head into 2013, positive signs of the market’s recovery are on the rise. Below are five great reasons for real estate consumers and homeowners to be thankful. Spread the word and happy Thanksgiving!
- According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), sales of existing homes increased in October, even with some regional impact from Superstorm Sandy. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million in October from a downwardly revised 4.69 million in September, and are 10.9 percent above the 4.32 million-unit level in October 2011.
- National home values continued their year-long climb in October, rising 1.1 percent from September, according to the October Zillow Real Estate Market Reports. The monthly increase was the largest since August 2005, when home values rose 1.2 percent month-over-month, and represents the twelfth consecutive monthly increase. Annually, home values were up 4.7 percent from October 2011, the largest gain since September 2006.
- Americans are feeling less discouraged about the housing market, according to a new national survey by FindLaw.com. The percentage of Americans who say they are sitting on the sidelines rather than considering buying a house has dropped by more than half. In 2010, 63 percent of Americans said they were less likely to buy a house because of the state of the economy. Today, that number has fallen to 30 percent in the latest FindLaw.com survey.
- Mortgage rates continue to hover near record-low territory. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell one basis point over the past week to 3.53 percent, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey. The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate fell slightly to 2.86 percent (two basis points higher than the record low), while the average jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate sank to a fourth-straight record low (4.01 percent).
- Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes posted a solid, five-point gain to 46 on the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index (HMI) for November. This marks the seventh consecutive monthly gain in the confidence gauge and brings it to its highest point since May of 2006. According to NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, builders are reporting increasing demand for new homes as inventories of foreclosed and distressed properties begin to shrink in markets across the country.