All the Real Estate News That’s Fit to RE-Print™
Welcome to our weekly edition of Real Estate Investing News This Week. Highlights this week include:
- Existing-Home Sales Spike in March
- Widespread Gains in Home Prices for February
- Homes Prices Up 5.9%
- Home Ownership Lowest in 25 Years
- And Much More…
Existing-home sales jumped in March to their highest annual rate in 18 months, while unsold inventory showed needed improvement, 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 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in March from 4.89 million in February—the highest annual rate since September 2013 (also 5.19 million).
Sales have increased year-over-year for six consecutive months and are now 10.4 percent above a year ago, the highest annual increase since August 2013 (10.7 percent). March’s sales increase was the largest monthly increase since December 2010 (6.2 percent).
According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months.
Both the 10-City and 20-City Composites saw larger year-over-year increases in February compared to January. The 10-City Composite gained 4.8% year-over-year, up from 4.3% in January. The 20- City Composite gained 5.0% year-over-year, compared to a 4.5% increase in January.
The S&P/CaseShiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 4.2% annual gain in February 2015, weaker than the 4.4% increase in January 2015.
On Tuesday, Corelogic released its March 2015 CoreLogic Home Price Index which shows that home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased by 5.9 percent in March 2015 compared with March 2014.
This change represents 37 months of consecutive year-over-year increases in home prices nationally.
Including distressed sales in March, 27 states plus the District of Columbia were at or within 10 percent of their peak prices. Seven states, including Colorado, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, reached new home price highs since January 1976 when the CoreLogic HPI started.
From Diana Olick, CNBC:
“The homeownership rate in the first quarter of this year fell to 63.7 percent, the lowest since 1990, according to the U.S. Census. The homeownership rate is the ratio of households that own to overall households—the remaining being rental households.”
According to Corelogic, distressed sales—real estate-owned and short sales—accounted for 13.5 percent of total home sales nationally in February 2015. That’s a 3 percentage point drop from February 2014 and a 0.8 percentage point decrease from January 2015.
Distressed sales shares typically decrease month over month in February due to seasonal factors. The February 2015 distressed sales share was the lowest for any February since 2008.
Within the distressed category, REO sales accounted for 9.7 percent of total home sales in February and short sales made up 3.8 percent.
At its peak, distressed sales totaled 32.4 percent of all sales in January 2009, with REO sales representing 27.9 percent of that share. The ongoing shift away from REO sales is a driver of improving home prices, as bank-owned properties typically sell at a larger discount than short sales.
“The nationwide mortgage delinquency rate fell to an eight-year low following its largest month-over-month decline in nine years, according to Black Knight Financial Services‘ ‘First Look’ at Mortgage Data for March 2015 released Wednesday.”
“The delinquency rate (percentage of residential mortgage loans 30 days or more past due but not in foreclosure) dropped to 4.70 percent for March (approximately 2.38 million loans), the first time the rate has been below 5 percent since August 2007. The rate fell by 12 percent since February, the largest month-over-month decline in nine years.”