Foreclosure Completions Fall By 65,000

Foreclosures dropped in the U.S. according to a report released by CoreLogic. As further proof the housing market continues to make significant strides in recovery, foreclosures fell by 65,000 in July. The number of completed foreclosures averaged around 49,000, down 4,000 from June 2013. As the year comes to an end, home prices and sales are continuing to increase while foreclosures are slowing. More here

Mortgage Rates Hit Highest Levels This Year

Mortgage applications fell for the third week in the United States as mortgage rates continue to rise. Mortgage rates have reached the highest level this year but have yet to affect purchase loan demands. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity dropped 2.5% last week. As mortgage rates begin to rise, housing market experts expect home prices to fall slightly by the end of the year in order to balance the market. More here

Home Prices And Consumer Confidence Increase

Home prices in the United States increased in June, although gains fell. Experts are suggesting that, as mortgage rates continue to jump, the housing momentum may cool down as the year comes to an end. According to the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas, home prices jumped 0.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis and are expected to continue to rise. Additionally, consumer confidence is soaring, according to recent data. More Americans are feeling secure with their financial situations and, in turn, helping the housing market and economy stay on the right track. More here

U.S. Home Sales Fall

According to data released by the United States government, new home sales dropped in July by 13.4%. Housing market experts suggest that the recent fall in home sales could be due to the rise in mortgage rates. Although mortgage rates are expected to continue to increase, many economists say that it is not expected to affect the housing market in a negative way. Senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders, Robert Denk said, “there’s still plenty of juice left in the housing recovery.” More here

Lumber Prices Rise

Housing starts have increased as the economy grows. As a result, an increasing number of Americans can afford to add-on or build homes. According to Deloitte, housing starts jumped 35% year-over-year in this year’s first quarter. As housing starts grow, along with home prices and expanded sales, lumber and material prices have also increased. Experts expect that lumber and material prices as a whole will continue to rise and may prevent potential home-builders from building. More here

Mortgage Rates Hit 2 Year High

U.S. mortgage rates increased to the highest level seen in two years as home sales pick up. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed mortgage jumped to 4.58% while the average 15-year rate increased to 3.6%, the highest levels reported since mid-2011. Chief Executive Officer, Robert Niblock said, “the rate increases will likely take some steam out of the recent housing market rebound, but shouldn’t derail it as long as job gains persist, homes continue to appreciate and rates rise more gradually going forward.” Experts say that many home-buyers are taking advantage of historically low buying rates before they increase. More here

Many Home Improvement Stores Report Large Gains

An increasing number of homeowners are able to make repairs or updates to their homes according to the surge in home improvement sales. Home improvement retailers posted large gains in the second quarter of 2013. Home Depot reported a profit of $1.8 billion, with a 9.5% jump in sales averaging $22.5 billion. Home Depot’s chairman & CEO, Frank Blake said, “the second quarter results exceeded our expectations as our business benefited from a rebound in our seasonal categories, continued strength in the core of the store and the recovering housing market in the U.S.” More here

Housing Market Remains On The Right Track

According to RealtyTrac’s recent report, over the last year the housing market went into recovery mode as foreclosures fell and home prices continued to increase. Approximately 75 large metropolitan areas reported over 100 on the housing recovery index which suggests the housing market is on the right track. Experts say the housing market is in a state of recovery, but it still has miles to travel in many locations. Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president said, “this lingering distress is creating an uneven pace of recovery across different local markets.” More here

Rising Home Prices May Decrease Housing Affordability

According to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, mortgage payments for median households passed historical averages in some major housing markets. As housing prices jump, affordability decreases. Though, affordability rates still remain higher than in years past. In 2013’s second quarter, 69% of new homes and existing homes sold at affordable prices for families or individuals who earn median incomes, compared to only 41% in 2008. Low interest rates continue to aid housing affordability, but the rise in prices may affect affordability in the coming months or years. More here

Housing Construction Picks Up Speed

Housing construction picked-up last month proving that the housing market is still actively growing. Home builders began working on apartments and homes in the U.S. at a seasonally adjusted rate of 896,000, increasing 6% from June according to the Commerce Department. Applications for future home permits also grew last month, jumping 2.7%, averaging 943,000. Builders are optimistic that this trend will continue, and the demand for home construction will continue to grow. More here.