All the Real Estate News That’s Fit to RE-Print™

Welcome to our weekly edition of Real Estate Investing News This Week. Here’s the best of this week’s real estate news:

  • Case-Shiller: Pace of home price gains slow
  • Pending home sales continue slide
  • New home sales slide to 5-month low
  • Freddie Mac: National housing market is still weak
  • And more…

We hope these real estate news items help you stay up-to-date with your real estate investing strategies and inspire some profitable real estate deals for you.

Case-Shiller: Pace of Home Price Gains Slow

Data through January 2014, released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, showed that the 10-City and 20-City Composites rose 13.5% and 13.2% year-over-year.
Twelve cities and the 20-City Composite saw their annual rates worsen.
Only seven cities – Las Vegas, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington – showed positive monthly returns in January.
Case-Shiller House Indices

Pending Home Sales Continue Slide

Pending home sales declined for the eighth straight month in February, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Modest increases in the Midwest and West were offset by declines in the Northeast and South; all regions are below a year ago.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, dipped to 93.9 and is 10.5 percent below February 2013 when it was 104.9. The February reading was the lowest since October 2011, when it was 92.2.

New Home Sales Slide to 5-Month Low

By Paul Davidson, USA Today
“New home sales fell 3.3% last month in another sign that the housing market weakened amid extreme winter weather.
Builders sold homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 in February — a five-month low — down from January’s 455,000, which was revised lower, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. Census initially estimated that homes were sold at annual rate of 468,000 in January, which would have been a five-year high.”

Freddie Mac: The National Housing Market is Still Weak

Freddie Mac is launching a new tool called the Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi), which measures the stability of the nation’s housing markets.
Every housing market has a sweet spot. The new MiMi calls this sweet spot “In Range” –  when the key ingredients needed to support a stable housing market are in balance.
According to MiMi, housing markets in 11 of the 50 states plus D.C. are “In Range” and stable:

  • North Dakota
  • D.C.
  • Wyoming
  • Alaska
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • West Virginia
  • Hawaii
  • Texas
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont

Several other states are not far behind: Utah, Oklahoma, Iowa, Idaho, and Virginia.

MiMi: Key Findings

Some interesting findings from MiMi’s inaugural release today that reflects data as of January 2014:

  • Top Ranked Stable States: Seven of the 11 state housing markets are in their long-term stable range and are benefitting from the energy boom, which is providing strong employment growth, income growth, and house price gains.
  • Top Ranked Stable Metros: The only four metros in their long-term stable range are also concentrated in the energy-related states of Texas and Louisiana: San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and New Orleans.
  • Most Improving State Markets: While still struggling, some of the states hardest hit by the housing crisis showed the greatest improvements from December to January, including Florida and Nevada.
  • Most Improving Metro Markets: Two of the five most improving metros – Miami and Orlando – hail from Florida, one of the states most impacted during the housing downturn. Looking year-over-year, this improvement trend for the hardest hit states still holds true as Miami, Orlando, Riverside, Las Vegas and Tampa showed the greatest gains from a year ago.
  • The Nation: The national housing market is still weak overall, but many markets are trending in the right direction with 25 of the 50 states plus D.C., and 35 of the 50 top metros, moving closer toward their long-term stable range.


Annual Home Sales Up 7% But Sales Activity Down 4 Consecutive Months

On Thursday, RealtyTrac® released its February 2014 Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report, which shows that U.S. residential properties, including single family homes, condominiums and townhomes, sold at an estimated annual pace of 5,083,241 in February, up 7 percent from a year ago.
February marked the fourth consecutive month where sales activity has decreased on a monthly basis.

Key Finding From the Report:

Distressed sales and short sales account for 17 percent of all sales in February
Short sales and distressed sales — in foreclosure or bank-owned — accounted for 16.9 percent of all U.S. sales in February, down from 19.1 percent of sales in February 2013. The median price of distressed properties — in foreclosure or bank-owned — was $96,606 in February, 44 percent below the median price of non-distressed properties: $172,339.
Institutional investor share down nationwide, up mostly in South, Midwest
Institutional investors — entities that have purchased at least 10 properties in a calendar year — accounted for 5.9 percent of all U.S. residential property sales in February, down from 7.2 percent of sales in February 2013.
February was the third consecutive month where the institutional investor share of sales declined on a year-over-year basis after 19 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
All-cash sales more than 35 percent of all sales for eighth consecutive month
All-cash sales accounted for 43.3 percent of all U.S. residential sales in February, up from 20.2 percent in February 2013. February was the eighth consecutive month were cash sales accounted for 35 percent or more of all sales nationwide.
Metro areas with share of all-cash sales above 50 percent included Miami (71.3 percent), Tampa (65.9 percent), Orlando (62.3 percent), Las Vegas (59.5 percent), New York (57.1 percent), Atlanta (56.7 percent) and Detroit (56.0 percent).