Pending Home Sales Hit 6-Year High

New contracts made to purchase previously owned homes jumped 6.7% last month, the highest level seen in six years according to the National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index. Additionally, contracts have increased 12.1% from last year and are expected to continue to increase while mortgage rates still remain lower than normal. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said, “even with limited choices, it appears some of the rise in contract signings could be from buyers wanting to take advantage of current affordability conditions before mortgage interest rates move higher.” More here

Housing Market Showing More Signs Of Success

Home prices in the United States continue to jump, increasing 12.1% in April 2013 from April 2012. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index has shown growth as well, increasing 2.5% from March to April 2013, the largest month-over-month increase since 2000. Low but growing mortgage rates and job growth have helped the housing market expand over the past several months although, experts worry that rising mortgage rates may hinder further growth. David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee said, “home buyers have survived rising mortgage rates in the past often by shifting from fixed rate to adjustable rate loans.” More here

Foreclosure Rates Decrease

According to Lender Processing Services, the foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate averaged 3.05% in May 2013, decreasing 26.98% from May 2012. The United States delinquency rate has also fallen to the lowest rate seen in five years averaging 6.05%. Additionally, the number of U.S. homes, not in foreclosure, but 30 or more days late hovered around 3.043 million. Foreclosures 90 or more days late hit 1.335 million. The average number of properties listed as in-foreclosure or delinquent is 4.569 million and is expected to continue to fall. More here

Interest Rates Continue To Rise

Mortgage rates are starting to increase, showing signs of a strengthening housing market and a growing economy. Mortgage rates have jumped three-tenths of a point over the last week, increasing the payment amount on a $220,000 30-year fixed mortgages by approximately $38 a month. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said, “if interest rates go up for the right reasons, that’s a good thing… that’s not a bad thing.” Additionally, higher rates will encourage banks to lend more money to homebuyers. More here

Foreigner Housing Searches Account for 4.3%

According to Trulia, foreigners from lower to middle-income countries are searching for more homes in the United States with the most popular neighborhoods being in South Florida, Los Angeles, and Manhattan. From April 1st, 2012 to March 31, 2013 home searches from locations other than the U.S. accounted for approximately 4.3% of all searches, down just 0.01% from last year. The countries from which the most foreign home searches originate are the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany. More here

Mortgage Rates Fall But Are Expected To Rise Again

Mortgage rates fell slightly for the first time in seven weeks, but are expected to increase next week. 30-year loans dropped 0.05% from last week, and the 15-year mortgage decreased 0.06%. Additionally, the 10-year note jumped in early trading to 2.39%, up 1.63% from last month. Many experts are suggesting that rates will surge next week as they generally follow the yield on the 10-year treasury note. More here

Homebuilder Confidence Index Exceeds 50

Homebuilder confidence has increased to 52 this month, the highest level seen in seven years according to the National Association of Home Builders. When the index average is above 50, it is an indication that homebuilders view sales conditions to be good. New employment and low mortgage rates have also influenced an increasing number of people to invest in new homes or to build. NAHB’s chief economist, David Crowe said, “builders are experiencing some relief in the headwinds that are holding back a more robust recovery.” More here

Housing Starts Jump 6.8%

Private residence home starts increased 6.8% averaging 914,000 last month. Housing starts overall have been growing year-over-year, jumping 28.6% from last May according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the  U.S Census Bureau. Housing permits and completions have also grown from last year. Analysts at Econoday said, “housing appears to still be on a moderate uptrend-but the numbers have been volatile and monthly averaging seems like a good idea.” Additionally, multifamily and single-family components are on the rise as well. More here

Mortgage Rates Grow Slightly Higher

According to the Bankrate.com national survey of large lenders, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.14%, growing 0.13%  from last week while the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage jumped 0.05%. This week’s benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgages jumped to 3.32%, a 0.04% increase from last week and the  benchmark 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 5.93%, the highest level seen since June of 2012. Additionally, this week’s mortgages averaged 0.32 discount and origination points. More here

Economy Expected To Continue Growth Into 2014

Fannie Mae stated in a new report that the United States economic growth is expected to continue to strengthen into next year increasing energy production and rising many household incomes. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Chief Economist said, “At the outset of the year, we forecasted that 2013 would witness sustainable but below-par growth as the economy begins its transition to more normal levels. Halfway through the year, our view is little changed. ” Additionally, the economy is expected to grow by 2.1% in 2013. More here#img1#