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Pending Home Sales Slip in July but Up Strongly From One Year Ago

How's the market?

Pending home sales declined in July but remain well above year-ago levels, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All regions show monthly declines except for the West, which continues to show the highest level of sales contract activity.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, slipped 1.3 percent to 89.7 in July from 90.9 in June but is 14.4 percent above the 78.4 index in July 2010. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said sales activity is underperforming. “The market can easily move into a healthy expansion if mortgage underwriting standards return to normalcy,” he said. “We also need to be mindful that not all sales contracts are leading to closed existing-home sales. Other market frictions need to be addressed, such as assuring that proper comparables are used in appraisal valuations, and streamlining the short sales process.”

The PHSI in the Northeast declined 2.0 percent to 67.5 in July but is 9.7 percent above July 2010. In the Midwest the index slipped 0.8 percent to 79.1 in July but is 18.8 percent above a year ago. Pending home sales in the South fell 4.8 percent to an index of 94.4 but are 9.5 percent higher than July 2010. In the West the index rose 3.6 percent to 110.8 in July and is 20.6 percent above a year ago.

“Looking at pending home sales over a longer span, contract activity over the past three months is fairly comparable to the first three months of the year, and well above the low seen in April,” Yun said. “The underlying factors for improving sales are developing, such as rising rents, record high affordability conditions and investors buying real estate as a future inflation hedge. It is now a question of lending standards and consumers having the necessary confidence to enter the market.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales; it coincides with a level that is historically healthy.

NOTE: Existing-home sales for August will be reported September 21 and the next Pending Home Sales Index will be released September 29; release times are 10:00 a.m. EDT.

 

 

For more information on this article, please contact me at ADucroshomes@gmail.com, or go to www. AshlieDuCros.com

 

 

 

The Economy: Why All the Panic?

by Ashlie DuCros

The Economy: Why All the Panic?

 

For the last couple of weeks, all we have heard is how bad the current economic situation is. “The markets are going to crash and interest rates are going to skyrocket.” Panic has definitely engulfed the entire country.

Consumer confidence, as measured by theUniversity of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Survey, has fallen to a number not seen in thirty years. This panic has actually had a negative impact on the economy.

It was said best by Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy:

“Confidence normally reflects economic conditions; it doesn’t shape them…

Yet at times, particularly during economic turning points, cause and effect can shift. Sentiment can be so harmed that businesses, consumers and investors freeze up, turning a gloomy outlook into a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is one of those times.”

What does the data actually show?

We decided to look at certain economic indicators and compare them to the numbers from a year ago. Here is what we found:

We are not making the argument that the current numbers are worth celebrating. We are only suggesting that the sky is not falling.

Bottom Line

Conditions aren’t as dire as some are professing. Make good sound financial decisions based on your own economic conditions. There is no need to panic.

For more information on this article, please contact me at ADucroshomes@gmail.com, or go to www.AshlieDuCros.com

Mortgage Rates Reach Record Lows

by Ashlie DuCros

Mortgage Rates Reach Record Lows

 

Mortgage rates dropped sharply this week, possibly improving the purchasing power of many home buyers. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular choice among buyers, averaged 4.39 percent this week, its lowest average for 2011, Freddie Mac reported in its weekly mortgage market survey. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage and the 5-year adjustable rate-mortgage also both reached new historical record lows. 

Rates mostly dropped across the board amid signs of a weakening economy, Freddie Mac says. 

"Treasury bond yields fell markedly after signs the economy was weaker than what markets had previously thought allowing fixed mortgage rates to follow this week with the 15-year fixed and 5-year ARM setting new historical lows,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

Nothaft also noted some improvement in the housing market, however. "There were indications that the housing market is firming,” he says. (see Pending Home Sales Rise in June)

Here’s a closer look at rates for the week ending Aug. 4:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.39 percent, downfrom last week’s 4.55 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.49 percent.  

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.54 percent, dropping from last week’s 3.66 percent average.Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.95 percent.  

5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.18 percent this week, falling from last week’s 3.25 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.63 percent.

1-year adjustable-rate mortgages: were the only ones on the rise last week, averaging 3.02 percent this week, which is up from last week’s 2.95 percent average. Last year at the time, 1-year ARMs averaged 3.55 percent.

 

For more information on this article, please contact me at ADucroshomes@gmail.com or go to www.AshlieDucros.com

 

How does the real estate inventory look? Here are the current number of homes on the market vs. home in escrow. For more information, please contact me at 714-743-9778, or email @ Aducroshomes@gmail.com

 

August 2011- Orange County Stats

August 2011 Orange County Stats: # Of Homes For Sale vs. Homes In Escrow

City:

For Sale:

 In Escrow:

Yorba Linda

355

174

Brea

94

58

Fullerton

401

224

Anaheim Hills

177

96

Newport Coast

157

26

Orange

413

245

Irvine

822

412

Laguna Beach

North Tustin

Anaheim

347

107

572

57

29

418

 

For questions please contact me at 714-743-9778 or log on to www.ashlieducros.com 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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Ashlie DuCros & Associates
Coldwell Banker Previews Global Luxury
21580 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda CA 92887
714-743-9778
Fax: 714-849-5489