Home sales updates through the years

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On this page we have gathered a majority of our articles written on the subject home sales dating back to 2006, here you can read about the latest home sales prices for different states and city's in the U.S. Use the links below to navigate to articles that you want to read more about.

Home sales yearly

Misconceptions Persist About Home Buying: Wells Fargo

July Home Prices Show Strong Gains

Higher Rates Pushing Buyers to Act?

Big Home Price Gains in Western States

Rapid Climb in New Home Sales

Tight Supply Restrains Home Sales

Pending Home Sales Flatten Out

Pending Home Sales Keep Rising

New Home Sales Start the Year Strong

New Home Demand Keeps Rising

Home Price Gains Pick Up Speed

No Housing Recovery Until 2013

No Time Like Now to Buy Your Dream Home


Misconceptions Persist About Home Buying: Wells Fargo

Submitted on September 16, 2014

Consumers say they understand the financial process of buying a home, but there are widespread misconceptions about what it takes to qualify for a mortgage, according to a new Wells Fargo survey.

Among the biggest errors - nearly half of those surveyed - 44 percent - said they think a 20 percent down payment is required to get a mortgage. In reality, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac approve applications with as little as 5 percent down and FHA loans require only 3 percent.

Down payment requirements were cited as among the chief obstacles to home ownership, particularly among those in the 18-34 year-old range that traditionally produces the bulk of first-time homeowners.

The survey sought to query a representative sample of U.S. adults, both renters and homeowners. Overall, three-quarters said they were knowledgeable about the financial aspects of buying a home, yet that wasn't borne out by the answers to other questions.

Many overestimate credit requirements

Nearly two-thirds said that "very good credit" is required to qualify for a mortgage. While that's generally true for conforming mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, credit scores on FHA mortgages for home purchases average in the 680s, according to the mortgage software firm Ellie Mae.

Another 30 percent said they think that only individuals with a high income can currently obtain a mortgage and that only about half think they have access to a home that meets their financial needs. By contrast, the National Association of Realtors reports that, using a figure of paying no more than 25 percent of monthly income as a guide, a median-priced home is well within reach for a sizeable majority of U.S. households based on current prices and mortgage rates.

About four out of five said they think they manage their finances responsibly, with three in five saying they keep a rainy day fund, including half of those in the Millennial group age 18-34.

The survey, conducted for Wells Fargo by Ipsos Public Affairs, queried some 2,100 adults about their personal finances and understanding of the homebuying process.


July Home Prices Show Strong Gains

Submitted on September 03, 2013

U.S. home prices continued to show strong gains in July, easing fears that recent increases in mortgage rates could lead to a slowdown in the recovering housing market.

Nationwide, sales prices for home purchases shot up 1.8 percent over June's levels, according to the July CoreLogic Home Price Index, released today. On an annual basis, home prices were up 12.4 from July 2012, the seventeenth consecutive month of year-over-year increases.

"Home prices continue to climb across the nation in July, with markets hit hardest during the downturn leading the way," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Nationally, home prices are now within 18 percent of their peak levels reached in April of 2006."

Higher mortgage rates are expected to have only a marginal impact on housing demand, according to Mark Fleming, CoreLogic chief economist, though the cooling of seasonal demand is expected to result in slower price increases through the rest of the year.

Wide disparity in price recovery

Home values have fully recovered in 11 states and are within 5 percent of their peak in nine more, according to CoreLogic figures. The five states with the weakest prices, compared to their peaks, are Nevada, still down by 43.0 percent; Florida, down 37.4 percent; Arizona, down 32.5 percent; Rhode Island, down 29.7 percent; and Michigan, down 27.7 percent.

Prices in many of the states hardest hit by the downturn remain depressed despite posting strong price increases over the past 12 months. The five states with the largest annual price gains through July were Nevada, up 27.0 percent; California, up 23.2 percent; Arizona, up 17.0 percent ; Wyoming, up 16.6 percent; and Oregon, up 15.0 percent since July 2012.

Excluding distressed sales, such as foreclosures and short sales, all states saw annual price gains for the 12-month period ending in July. With distressed sales included, only Delaware saw a price decline, of 1.3 percent.


Higher Rates Pushing Buyers to Act?

Submitted on August 21, 2013

Existing home sales posted strong gains in July, posting a 6.5 percent monthly increase despite the recent runup in mortgage rages.

Sales of previously owned homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in July, according to figures released today by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), up from a downwardly revised rate of 5.06 million in June.

On an annual basis, sales were up 17.2 percent from their July 2012 level of 4.60 million. It was the 25th consecutive month of annual price gains in the NAR survey.

Buyers responding to rate increase?

The recent increase in mortgage rates, which have more than a full percent since early May, may have been a motivating factor for some buyers, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

"Mortgage interest rates are at the highest level in two years, pushing some buyers off the sidelines," Yun said. "The initial rise in interest rates provided strong incentive for closing deals."

While continued rate increases could discourage potential buyers, Yun said other underlying factors in the economy should continue to drive a strengthening housing market.

"Although housing affordability conditions will become less attractive, jobs are being added to the economy, and mortgage underwriting standards should normalize over time from current stringent conditions as default rates fall," Yun said.

Distressed sales at pre-crash levels

Distressed sales, including foreclosures and short sales, accounted for only 15 percent of all existing home sales in July, unchanged from June and matching the lowest rate since 2008. One year ago, distressed sales were accounting for nearly one in four existing home purchases.

The declining rate of distressed sales has contributed to an increase in median home prices, which was $213,500 for all home types last month, a 13.7 percent increase over July 2012. Home prices have now seen 17 consecutive months of annual price increases.

Homes continue to sell briskly, though a bit slower than in June. Homes purchased in July had been on the market for a median of 42 days, up from 37 days in June. Forty five of all previously owned homes that sold in July had been on the market less than a month.


Big Home Price Gains in Western States

Submitted on July 03, 2013

Home prices are showing strong gains across the Western United States, with double-digit annual increases reported in nearly all of the states in the mountainous west, with no end in sight.

Through May, home prices showed 12-month gains of 26.0 percent in Nevada and 20.2 percent in California, according to figures released today by the real estate data firm CoreLogic. Nationally, home prices showed a 12.2 percent annual gain through May, a figure that is expected to increase when June's data is released next month.

"Home price appreciation, particularly in much of the western half of the U.S., is increasing at a torrid pace," said Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic CEO. "Across the country, pent-up demand and continued low interest rates are fueling strong demand for a limited inventory of properties. We expect that trend to continue to drive up prices throughout the balance of the summer months."

From the Rocky Mountains west, only New Mexico and Colorado failed to post double-digit gains among the continental states, with Colorado nearly joining the group at 9.4 percent annual growth. New Mexico was the major outlier for the region, with only 3.2 percent growth for the year.

Biggest annual gain in 7 years

The national 12.2 percent annual gain was the biggest since February 2006 and included a 2.6 percent increase for the month of May alone. Excluding distressed home sales, no state showed a decline in home prices over the previous 12 months.

Despite the increases, home price in just under half of all states remain at least 15 percent below their pre-crash highs, while five - Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, and Rhode Island - remain at least 30 percent down, with Nevada topping the list at 45.6 percent below pre-crash highs.

At the same time, another six states - Texas, Oklahoma, Alaska, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, plus the District of Columbia - have recently seen home prices return to and even exceed their pre-crash highs, while several others are approaching that mark.


Rapid Climb in New Home Sales

Submitted on June 25, 2013

Sales of new homes continue to show strong gains, posting a 29 percent annual increase in May, according to figures released today by the Census Bureau.

New home sales in May were at an annual rate of 476,000 units, up from 466,000 in April for a 2.1 percent monthly increase and up by more than 100,000 from the May 2012 rate of 369,000.

The median sales price for a new home in May was $263,900, up from 239,200 in May 2012.

Home prices keep rising

Meanwhile, overall home prices continue to rise for a 15th consecutive month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) home price index for April, released today. The seasonally adjusted index was up 0.7 percent from March, while March's figures were adjusted upward to show a 1.5 percent increase over February, rather than the 1.3 percent previously reported.

On an annual basis, national home prices were up 7.4 percent from their April 2012 level, according to the FHFA, but remain 11.7 percent below their April 2007 peak. The FHFA's index has overall home prices at their January 2005 level, though regional pricing varies greatly.

The strongest housing markets by far continue to be in the Pacific and Mountain census regions, where prices showed annual gains of 17.1 percent and 14.8 percent, respectively. The weakest annual price increases were in the Mid Atlantic states, showing a 2.9 percent gain, and the New England region, where prices were up 3.8 percent over the previous 12 months.

Annual prices increases for the other five Census divisions were as follows, ranked by strength: South Atlantic, 6.6 percent: West North Central, 5.3 percent; East North Central, 5.2 percent; East South Central, 4.9 percent; West South Central, 4.6 percent.


Tight Supply Restrains Home Sales

Submitted on May 23, 2013

Existing home sales were up slightly in April, but still remained stubbornly below the 5 million annual sales rate that typically is seen as the threshold of a healthy housing market.

April's annual sales rate of 4.97 million previously owned homes reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) this week marked a 9.7 percent annual increase over the April 2012 rate of 4.53 million.

It's the highest rate reported since late 2009, when home sales spiked in advance of the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit, but NAR officials say sales would be much higher if there were more homes available to buy.

"The robust housing market recovery is occurring in spite of tight access to credit and limited inventory" said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Without these frictions, existing-home sales easily would be well above the 5-million unit pace."

Shopper traffic up strongly

Yun noted that traffic among potential homebuyers is running nearly one-third ahead of last year's levels, but the gain in sales is far lower than that. He said higher levels of new home construction are needed to increase supply and keep the current increase in home prices to a healthy level.

What homes are available are selling rapidly. Homes sold in April had spent a median time of 46 days on the market, a big drop from 62 days in March and 45 percent faster than the 83 days reported for homes sold in April 2012.

Underwater mortgages continue to limit supply

Although there have been large numbers of properties that have come on the market due to foreclosure in recent years, many of those have been bought up by investors and converted to rentals, while many homeowner who might be looking to sell their current homes and move up are unable to do so because they remain underwater on their mortgages.

Existing-home sales have now increased on a year-over-year basis for 22 consecutive months, according to NAR figures, while home prices have shown annual gains for 14 consecutive months. The last time home prices showed a comparable streak of consecutive annual increases was at the peak of the housing bubble, from April 2005 to May 2006.


Pending Home Sales Flatten Out

Submitted on April 29, 2013

The housing market may be bogging down, suggested by only weak improvement in pending home sales in recent months, according to figures released today by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Signed contracts for home purchases increased a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent in March, according to today's NAR pending home sales index, following a slight decline in February's figures. While March's figures represent a 7.0 percent annual gain over their March 2012 level and the 23rd consecutive month of annual gains for the index, it appears the market may be leveling out, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

"Contract activity has been in a narrow range in recent months, not from a pause in demand but because of limited supply," Yun said. "Little movement is expected in near-term sales closings, but they should edge up modestly as the year progresses."

Yun said he expects that rising employment and household wealth should continue to support housing demand through the year.

West slips; Midwest showing strength

The NAR is forecasting that existing-home sales will increase from 6.5-7.0 percent this year, to a total of nearly 5 million units, with median home prices expected to rise approximately 7.5 percent nationally.

The housing market in the West region of the country is showing some weakness, with the pending sales index for that region down 4.3 percent from one year ago, despite showing some monthly improvement in March. The strongest annual gains were posted in the Midwest, where pending sales are up 13.7 percent from one year ago.

Pending home sales in the South are up 10.7 percent from their March 2012 levels, while the Northeast s up 6.3 percent on an annual basis.


Pending Home Sales Flatten Out

Submitted on April 29, 2013

The housing market may be bogging down, suggested by only weak improvement in pending home sales in recent months, according to figures released today by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Signed contracts for home purchases increased a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent in March, according to today's NAR pending home sales index, following a slight decline in February's figures. While March's figures represent a 7.0 percent annual gain over their March 2012 level and the 23rd consecutive month of annual gains for the index, it appears the market may be leveling out, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

"Contract activity has been in a narrow range in recent months, not from a pause in demand but because of limited supply," Yun said. "Little movement is expected in near-term sales closings, but they should edge up modestly as the year progresses."

Yun said he expects that rising employment and household wealth should continue to support housing demand through the year.

West slips; Midwest showing strength

The NAR is forecasting that existing-home sales will increase from 6.5-7.0 percent this year, to a total of nearly 5 million units, with median home prices expected to rise approximately 7.5 percent nationally.

The housing market in the West region of the country is showing some weakness, with the pending sales index for that region down 4.3 percent from one year ago, despite showing some monthly improvement in March. The strongest annual gains were posted in the Midwest, where pending sales are up 13.7 percent from one year ago.

Pending home sales in the South are up 10.7 percent from their March 2012 levels, while the Northeast s up 6.3 percent on an annual basis.


FHFA: Home Prices Keep Rising

Submitted on 24 April 2013

U.S. home prices continue to rise, increasing a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent from January to February, according to figures released today by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

On an annual basis, prices were up 7.1 percent from their February 2012 level. Prices have now risen or held steady for 13 consecutive months. Overall, home prices nationally are down 13.6 percent from their pre-crash peak in April 2007 and are now at the roughly the same level they were in October 2004.

West remains strong

Nationally, the strongest housing markets continue to be in the Pacific and Mountain West regions, which saw annual price gains of 15.3 and 14.0, respectively. Those were the only regions among the nine U.S. Census divisions to show double-digit increases for the preceding 12 months. On a monthly basis, both showed 0.9 percent gains from January to February.

The softest housing markets continue to be in the Middle Atlantic and New England states, where home values showed annual increases of only 1.9 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively, through February. The Middle Atlantic was the only region to show a monthly decline in February, with prices down 0.6 percent for the month. Prices in the New England region edged up 0.3 percent during the same period.

Figures are based on thz purchase prices of home sales financed by mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac during the periods in question.


Pending Home Sales Keep Rising

Submitted on February 27, 2013

Pending home sales rose in January, reaching their highest level in nearly three years and continuing an ongoing trend of annual increases. Contracts signed for home purchases were up a seasonally adjusted 4.5 percent from December, according to figures released today by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That put the NAR's Pending Sales Index at 105.9, its highest reading since April 2010, when sales were getting a temporary boost from the homebuyer tax credit.

Excluding the tax-credit period, it was the highest the index has been since February 2007. January's figures represented a 9.5 percent annual increase over the January 2012 level, marking the 21st consecutive month the pending sales index has risen on an annual basis. Limited inventory could boost prices

"Favorable affordability conditions and job growth have unleashed a pent-up demand, said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. Most areas are drawing down housing inventory, which has shifted the supply/demand balance to sellers in much of the country. It's also why we're experiencing the strongest price growth in more than seven years."

Despite the strong start to the year, Yun says he expects home sales in 2013 will increase at a slower pace than in 2012, while prices should rise due to a tightening inventory. He said he expects existing home sales to total 5.0 million this year, down from the NAR's previous prediction of 5.1 million. Yun said home prices could rise by 7 percent in 2013 if inventories do not increase.

The figures are for purchases where a Contract has been signed, but the sale not yet closed. Pending sales typically precede actual sales figures by about one to two months.


New Home Sales Start the Year Strong

Submitted on February 26, 2013

New home sales picked up sharply in January, rising 15.9 percent over December's rate to their highest level since before the crash.

Sales of newly built, single-family homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 437,000 in January, the Census Bureau reported today, their best monthly showing since July 2008. December's sales figures were also revised upward to 378,000, up from 369,000 originally reported last month.

On an annual basis, January's sales represent a 28.9 percent increase over the January 2012 figure of 339,000. The median price for a new single-family home was $226,400, up from $221,700 one year ago.

Home prices show improvement

Meanwhile, home prices ended the year on a strong note, with the S&P/Case Shiller index of home prices in 20 major U.S. housing markets rising 0.9 percent in December, it was reported today. For the year, the national composite index showed an increase of 7.3 percent.

"Housing and residential construction led the economy in the 2012 fourth quarter" said David Blitzer, chair of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. He noted that for the year, home prices rose in all but one of the 20 metropolitan areas covered by the S&P/Case Shiller survey.

The exception was New York City, where prices posted a 0.5 percent annual decline. The biggest annual price increase was posted by Phoenix, where prices rose 23.0 percent during 2012, while double-digit annual gains were also reported for San Francisco, Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Miami and Los Angeles.

Overall, U.S. home prices are back to their fall 2003 levels, although there is significant variation among different housing markets around the nation.


New Home Demand Keeps Rising

Submitted on February 20, 2013

Demand for newly built single-family homes continues to rise, with both building permits and construction starts for such properties increasing in January.

The Census Bureau reported today that building permits issued for construction of single-family rose a seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent in January, marking the 10th consecutive month where they have either risen or held steady. The annual rate of 584,000 permits reflects a 29.2 percent increase from the January 2012 rate of 452,000.

Construction starts on single-family homes rose 0.8 percent in January, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 613,000 units. For the year, that represents a 20.0 percent increase from the January 2012 rate of 511,000 units.

Apartments, condos skew figures

Overall construction starts on housing of all types was down 8.5 percent for the month, owing to a sharp decrease in new construction of multiunit buildings such as apartments and condominiums. However, monthly data for multiunit construction is volatile, and January's decline appears to be due to a reporting anomaly the month before.

Construction starts on housing properties of five or more units fell to an annual rate of 260,000 units in January, down from December's rate of 352,000. However, December's figures represented a spike from 261,000 in November, which is more in line with the pattern since last fall. For the year, January's rate still represents a 34.7 percent increase in multiunit construction starts from the January 2012 level of 191,000 units.

Multiunit permits up

Figures for building permits issued for multiunit residences have been somewhat more consistent than construction starts, increasing 1.0 percent in January to an annual rate of 311,000. For the year, permits issued for residences of five or more units were up 46.7 percent from their January 2012 level of 212,000.

Overall housing construction starts of all kinds were up 23.6 percent from their January 2012 levels, while total building permits are up 35.2 percent over the same period.


Home Price Gains Pick Up Speed

Submitted on January 30, 2013

U.S. home prices are rising at a quickening pace, with November home values showing their biggest annual gain in more than six years, according to the newest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, released today.

November's index of home values in 20 major metropolitan areas showed a 5.5 percent increase over the preceding 12 months, the biggest annual gain reported since August 2006. That's up from a 4.3 percent annual increase in October.

The report marks 11 consecutive months of improving annual price changes in the S&P indices, dating back to January 2012, when prices began to pull out of a downward trend.

"Clearly recovering"

"Housing is clearly recovering," said David Blitzer, chair of the S&P Index Committee. "Prices are rising, as are both new and existing home sales. Existing home sales in November were 5.0 million, highest since November 2009. New home sales at 398,000 were the highest since June 2010. These figures confirm that housing is contributing to economic growth."

Prices were up over the preceding 12 months in 19 of the 20 metropolitan areas surveyed, with the only decline being in the New York market, where prices were down 1.2 percent compared to November 2012.

5 cities post double-digit gains

The biggest gains in home values were seen in the Phoenix market, which posted a 22.8 percent 12-month increase in November. It was the seventh consecutive month of double-digit annual price gains for the Phoenix market, which saw some of the nation's biggest declines in home prices during the crash.

Double-digit annual price increases were also reported for San Francisco, Detroit, Minneapolis and Las Vegas, though none approached Phoenix's pace.

On a month-to-month basis, only 10 cities saw price increases from October to November, while 10 saw declines. Blitzer attributed the mixed performance to seasonal factors, noting that winter is usually a weak period for the housing market and saying that the continuing improvement in annual price changes point to an ongoing recovery.


No Housing Recovery Until 2013

Submitted on March 25, 2011

Home prices are likely to continue sliding for two more years, before beginning only a weak recovery in 2013, a major panel of economists is predicting.

A survey of over 100 leading economists, many associated with major banks, universities and financial services companies, shows a prevailing sentiment that the housing market will continue to deteriorate over the next two years. Nearly half foresee that the market will experience a "double-dip" a new post-crash low in housing prices sometime this year.
That's the most pessimistic outlook to date, according to Terry Loebs, managing director of MacroMarkets, which conducts the monthly Home Price Expectations Survey on which the results are based. He noted that home prices are now less than 1 percent above a new post-crash low, following a weak final quarter of 2010.

"In December, only 15 percent of our panelists were projecting that a new post-crash low would materialize for national home prices," Loebs said. "Now, just three months later, almost 50 percent foresee a double-dip happening this year, and not a single panelist expects national home prices to recover to the pre-bubble trend in the coming five years."

Robert Schiller, MacroMarkets co-founder and chief economist, attributed the dismal outlook to some basic problems that continue to dog the housing market high unemployment, excess housing supply, an ongoing foreclosure crisis and tight credit for mortgages.

On average, the 111 economists surveyed predict that home prices will decline another 1.4 percent this year, then make back most of that loss in 2012. They don't expect prices to rise above current levels until 2013, and even then foresee a gain of only 2.7 percent overall. By 2015, the consensus calls for less than a 10 percent gain over current prices.

Even so, there is considerable disagreement among the panel over what the next few years will look like. About one-fifth of the group expect a significant recovery over the next five years, in the range of 15-20 percent gains, although they are balanced out by a significant number who see only sluggish growth and a handful who even see continued declines through 2015.

The monthly survey asks the panel to make predictions about the direction of the Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which is considered one of the leading measures of U.S. home values.

No Time Like Now to Buy Your Dream Home

Submitted on December 06, 2006

The media is filled with headlines that can strike fear in a home seller's heart. Real estate prices are falling, houses are languishing on the market, and adjustable mortgage rates continue to climb. If you've been waiting to find your dream home, this market represents a golden opportunity.

Whether you dream of buying a brand new home from a builder or an existing home from a homeowner, this is a powerful buyer's market. As the residential real estate market continues to weaken, the inventory of unsold property expands. And the absence of demand, coupled with an overabundant supply, is causing sellers to pull out the stops in an effort to encourage home purchases.

Weak market equals buyer opportunities

Adjustable rate, interest-only, and other mortgage loans that become expensive when mortgage rates rise are contributing to the pressure to sell, as homeowners face monthly payments that they can no longer manage. But fixed-rate mortgage quotes remain attractive, and offer predictable and affordable options for those considering buying a home.

Meanwhile, new homebuilders are enticing buyers with discounts, upgrades, and giveaways. This is not only good news for people shopping for a new home, but also bodes well for those looking at older houses. When new home sellers attract the attention of buyers, sellers of existing homes need to up the ante and offer their own perks and incentives. Potential buyers in the middle of this tug-o-war have tremendous leverage, which translates into ever-attractive deals at the closing table.

The median price of new construction in 2006 has dropped about 10 percent since last year, and builders are still experiencing twice as many cancellations than they saw in 2005. Cancellations of existing home purchases are also rising, according to the National Association of Realtors. To keep deals from falling apart, sellers are offering all sorts of bonuses, from free vacations and cases of rare wine to assistance with buyers' closing costs. Plus, they're more inclined to accept lower offers, rather than hold out for a better price that they may never get.

Carpe Diem!

If interest rates stabilize, as many economists expect, the buyer's market will quickly end. Current conditions are ideal for buyers; but they won't last forever. This fact makes the present moment an ideal time to get a good mortgage rate and buy the home of your dreams. Remember Hamlet's quote when considering purchasing a home in the city or hamlet of your choice: "Readiness is all!"

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