Report: US Home Sales Increased Sharply in May

US Home Sales InformationIt’s certainly a headline we like to see around here: “US Home Purchase Contracts Have Seen a Significant Increase.”

And in fact, that’s exactly what The Associated Press recently reported.

This is great news, especially given that – so far this year – the pace of buying is slower than in 2013. A lot of this can be attributed to the harsh winter that kept many home buyers inside.

But as the recent report indicates, spring and summer sales activity may ultimately compensate for those sluggish winter months.

It’s Not Just Sales Contracts Enjoying Favorable Conditions

Here’s a full report of what the National Association of Realtors recently revealed:

  • Its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index increased 6.1 percent to 103.9 in May.
  • That marks the sharpest month-over-month gain since April 2010.
  • The index is still, however, 5.2 percent below the level it was at a year ago.
  • Experts believe that lower mortgage rates and an increased home inventory drove much of May’s gains.
  • All four U.S. regions (the Northeast, Midwest, South and West) saw increases in signed purchase contracts

Meanwhile, in a different report released by the Association, completed sales of existing homes increased 4.9 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million homes.

Still, it’s worth noting that sales are down 5 percent year over year.

The association predicts that sales of existing homes will decrease 2.8 percent this year to 4.95 million. That’s compared to 5.1 million in 2013.

In terms of new homes, sales increased 18.6 percent in May to an annual rate of 504,000. That’s the highest level since May 2008.

Why Are Things Showing Improvement Now?

Of course, it helps that we’re still in the spring and summer home buying market.

But another key factor is the removal of two previous obstacles: Rising mortgage rates and a low supply of available homes for sale.

Average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.17 percent recently. Before, it had been at 4.20 percent and higher. Still, rates are roughly 0.25 percent higher than they were at this time last year.

Meanwhile, the supply of homes has increased. By 2.2 percent in May to 2.28 million. That’s 6 percent higher than a year ago, helping to fuel increased activity on the market!

How Can You Expect This to Affect You?

If you’re a home seller, the recent flurry of activity should give you confidence that you too will be able to sell your property and in a reasonable amount of time as well.  But one things that will decide that is working with an experienced real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the market.

And if you’re a home buyer purchasing a property on the local housing market, the recent activity suggests that you’re in good company – with more and more people entering the market to invest in property!

Always Here To Give You The National Real Estate 411!

What other valuable information would you like to learn about the real estate market in order to make your transaction easier? We will be happy to supply you with all of the insight you need!

Contact us today for valuable real estate advice today!

And make sure to check back to our website soon for more pertinent information that affects you!

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US Home Sales See Second Consecutive Month of Increases in May

US Home SalesOne month of positive real estate sales is encouraging, but sometimes it can be a fluke.

That’s why we’re always so thrilled when positive numbers one month carry over into the next month.

And that’s just what we saw with the recent release of May sales numbers.

According to a recent USA Today article, existing home sales increased for the second straight month in May, increasing to their strongest rate since the fall.

More Details Emerge About the Current State of the US Housing Market

Here’s what the most recent data from the National Association of Realtors revealed: Sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million, which marks a 4.9 percent increase from April’s rate of 4.66 million.

This was the highest monthly percentage gain since August 2011!

And this wasn’t the only indicator that the market is improving. In fact, metrics across the board hinted at growth on the national housing market:

  • Sales prices also showed marked increases. Specifically, the median existing home price was $213,400 in May, up 5.1 percent from a year earlier.
  • Meanwhile, sales of homes priced at $1 million and above increased everywhere but the Midwest
  • Total housing inventory at the end of May increased 2.2 percent to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale. That’s 6 percent higher than a year ago.
  • At May’s sales rate, there’s a 5.6-month supply of homes for sale, which is close to the 6-month inventory that’s considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

Of course, some obstacles still remain on the market.

For instance, sales are still weaker than they were a year ago, when the annualized sales rate was 5.15 million.
And through May, sales were down 8.2 percent from the first five months of last year.

What’s more, the market continues to be difficult for those home buyers with modest financial resources, particularly first-time buyers. Consequently, these home buyers’ share of sales decreased to 27 percent in May, down 2 percent from April 2013.

And although single-family home sales rose 5.7 percent from April, they’re also down 5.7 percent from a year ago.

Still, real estate experts across the country remain optimistic.

They agree that at least three factors will continue to encourage growth and improvement on the national housing market:

  • More homes are being listed on the market
  • Home prices are rising more slowly than in 2013
  • Mortgage rates have declined recently

All of these factors will drive more and more home buyers to the market, further encouraging a healthy and stable real estate market.

Count on Us for Reliable National Real Estate Data!

We hope you ‘ve learned something useful about recent  national real estate trends and how they may affect you locally.

Check back here on July 15 as we continue to provide you with useful and up-to-date housing market information that is relevant to you!

Baby Boomers Setting New Trend on National Real Estate Market: All Cash Deals

Baby Boomer home buyers As more Baby Boomers retire, real estate experts all across the United States are seeing more cash deals, according to a recent report from Bloomberg.

Evidently, these Baby Boomers (defined as anyone born between 1946 and 1964) are opting to purchase their homes with all cash instead of taking out a mortgage.

Experts credit this in part to the fact that US home price gains have restored $3.8 trillion in value to home owners since 2012.

This means that a record number of Americans (including Baby Boomers) are using that equity to help them pay cash for properties, avoiding a home loan altogether.

Another factor is that these Baby Boomers have more money in savings, allowing them the option to pay with cash.

This is an important trend that is sure to have an effect on all home buyers, not just those who fall in the Baby Boomer cohort.

More Revealed on This Recent National Real Estate Trend

Here’s what else the recent Bloomberg article noted about Baby Boomers affecting real estate trends:

  • In the first quarter, 29 percent of non-investment home buyers used cash.
  • Most of the people making all-cash deals are Baby Boomers, mostly because this generation is starting to retire.
  • For instance, in 2012, there were 61.8 million Americans over the age of 60, according to the Census. In 2000, that figure was 46.6 million.
  • Home mortgage lending dropped to $115 billion during the first quarter, which is the lowest it’s been in three years
  • Meanwhile, in the first three months of 2014, buyers paid $105.1 billion of their own money for properties, compared with $84.7 billion the year before.
  • And the percentage of purchases made by investors (who are typically associated with all-cash deals) fell to the lowest first-quarter level since 2010.
  • About 16.3 million Americans over the age of 60 owned their homes outright in 2012, according to Census data. In 2009, that number was 12.1 million.
  • About 39 percent of Baby Boomers want to retire to a rural community, such as a farm or a small town, according to a Better Homes poll.
  • About 27 percent want to move to an active adult community that offers activities like rock climbing and yoga.
  • And 26 percent said they want to retire to a city.

Baby Boomers have historically been considered a very influential generation, in part because of their sheer size. And their latest activity on the national real estate market is likely to have a major impact on the state of the housing market for many years to come.

After all, about 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, according to the Pew Research Center in Washington. And it’s estimated that between 2010 and 2020, Americans age 65 to 74 will jump 51 percent.

Experts are also saying that the Baby Boomer generation is expected to stay in the housing market longer than the previous generation.

Some even predict that Baby Boomers will be purchasing and selling properties well into their 80s because they have led active and healthier lives for a longer period than their parents.

Keeping An Eye on Key Real Estate Trends for You

It will be interesting to see how the Baby Boomer generation continues to shape real estate trends on a national scale.

We’ll keep you posted on this trend as well as any other trends that may affect you as a home buyer or seller.

Make sure to check back on July 1 for even more valuable information that will help you navigate the local real estate market.