This Week in Real Estate: Sept. 6, 2016


The West, in particular the Pacific Northwest, continues to lead the upward trajectory among all U.S. regions This Week in Real Estate with respect to home prices, pending home sales and rent appreciation. Below are a few highlights from the final week of August that influence our business:

* Pending Home Sales Near 10-Year High. Pending home sales expanded in most of the country in July and reached their second highest reading in over a decade, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) rose 1.3 percent to 111.3 in July from a downwardly revised 109.9 in June and is now 1.4 percent higher than July 2015 (109.8). The index is now at its second highest reading this year after April (115.0). Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says a sizable jump in the West lifted pending home sales higher in July. The index in the West last month was the highest in over three years largely because of stronger labor market conditions. The PHSI in the West surged 7.3 percent in July to 108.7, and is now 6.2 percent above a year ago.
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* Case-Shiller: Home Prices Continue Upward Trend. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index reported an annual increase of 5.1% in June. “Home prices continued to rise across the country led by the west and the south,” says David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices Index Committee managing director and chairman. “In the strongest region, the Pacific Northwest, prices are rising at more than 10%.” Portland, Seattle and Denver posted the highest annual gains over each of the last five months.
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* Optimistic Consumers in August: The Consumer Confidence Index for August rose to 101.1, from 96.7 in July. The present situation index rose to 123.0, from 118.8, and the expectations index increased 86.4, from 82.0. Unlike the mixed assessments last month, consumers’ assessments of current business conditions were very clear in August. Assessments shifted to the extreme of “good” from “bad” and “normal.” Consumers became more optimistic about business conditions over the next six months. The share of respondents planning to buy a home rose to 6.4%, from 5.1%.
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* Rent Growth: In August, for the eighth consecutive month, the U.S. apartment rent average reached an all-time high. The new average, $1,220, topped July’s average by $3, according to the latest edition of Matrix Monthly. A familiar list of metros lead year-over-year rent growth in August: Sacramento, Seattle, California’s Inland Empire, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Portland, Dallas, Phoenix, Nashville/Knoxville and Orlando rounded out the top 10 metros.
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Have a productive week!

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