In this Issue:*
- Hurricane Impact Could Exceed $20 Billion
- Pending Home Sales Up in September
- August Home Prices at 2-Year High
Pending home sales up
Forecasting increases in home prices and completed transactions for the year, the National Association of Realtors is starting to report slow, but positive improvement for housing.
According to NAR, pending home sales jumped 14.5%, compared to September 2011. In comparison, August pending home sales grew 10.7%, suggesting overall improvement in 2012.
NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, stated it is the pending home sales that continue to hold a higher ground. “This means only minor movement is likely in near-term existing-home sales, but with positive underlying market fundamentals they should continue on an uptrend in 2013.”
While housing has a long road ahead before anyone can call it a full recovery, small, yet positive economic indicators in housing are slowly emerging, with the PHSI being one of them, given that it has risen for 17 consecutive months on a year-over-year basis. This September revealed a significant increase in contract activity versus the previous year in every region except the West, which struggles with a limited inventory.
It is predicted that over the next year, the conditions of housing will remain affordable, with the 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage remaining remarkably low until it’s gradual 4% rise toward the second half of 2013.
Additionally, NAR says that completed existing-home sales in 2012 will total close to 4.6 million (an increase of 9.0 percent), and are projected to rise about 9.0 percent next year to nearly 5.1 million. With notably lower housing inventory, the national median existing-home price is expected to increase 6.0 percent this year and 5.0 percent in 2013.