The National Association of Realtors released This Week in Real Estate that the pace of existing-home sales in October was the strongest it has been since June. Below are a few highlights from the third week of November that influence our business:
* Existing Home Sales Grow 2% in October.Existing-home sales increased in October to their strongest pace since earlier this summer, but continual supply shortages led to fewer closings on an annual basis for the second straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in October from a downwardly revised 5.37 million in September. After last month’s increase, sales are at their strongest pace since June (5.51 million), but still remain 0.9 percent below a year ago. Existing-home sales in the West grew 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.27 million in October, and are now 0.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $375,100, up 7.8 percent from October 2016. The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in October was $247,000, up 5.5 percent from October 2016 ($234,100). October’s price increase marks the 68th straight month of year-over-year gains.
* Freddie Mac November 2017 Outlook. “It’s unlikely the economic environment will be much more favorable for housing and mortgage markets in 2018 and 2019. We forecast that interest rates will remain low by historical standards, but gradually creep higher over the next two years. We also forecast that housing construction will gradually pick up, helping to supply more homes to inventory-starved markets. More housing supply and modestly higher rates will lead to a moderation in house price growth. Refinance activity will drop to very low levels and the mortgage market will be dominated by purchase activity,” said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti. Modest economic growth, robust job gains, and low interest rates make for a favorable economic environment for housing and mortgage markets. But despite the favorable environment, housing markets have stalled a bit through summer and into fall. A lack of available for-sale inventory is helping to contribute to an acceleration in home prices.Full Story...http://freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com/press-releases/freddie-mac-november-2017-outlook-otcqb-fmcc-1325624?feed=429e0be3-9aef-4a3a-9775-43f8e470d510
*Once Hot Apartment Construction Cooling as U.S. Housing Engine. Faster apartment building was instrumental in pulling the U.S. housing market out of its slump a decade ago. Now, that engine is starting to throttle back. The supply of apartments and condominiums has surged in recent years as builders responded to rising demand, fueled in part by young Americans who preferred to rent rather than purchase a home in the aftermath of the recession. A surge in prices for single-family properties, as the real-estate market recovered from its 2006 plunge, also made apartments more attractive for both builders and people unable to buy. A Commerce Department report on Friday showed completions of multifamily units in October reached the fastest annualized rate in almost three decades. What’s more, the pipeline of apartments under construction is leveling off from a 42-year high reached at the start of 2017. And the number of multifamily units authorized but not yet started also is cooling as builders attempt to calibrate the supply.