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Home values increase at slower pace
The Standard&Poor's/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 U.S. cities increased 4.9% from September 2013, the smallest gain since October 2012. Prices were up 5.6% in the year ended in August. For more, click here...

Fixed mortgage rates dip
Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 3.99% for the week ending November 20, down from last week's average of 4.01%, according to Freddie Mac. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.22%. The 15-year FRM averaged 3.17% this week, down from last week's average of 3.20%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.27%. The one-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.44% this week, up from last week's average of 2.43%. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 2.61%. For more, click here...

Existing home sales post October gain
Existing-home sales rose in October for the second straight month and are now above year-over-year levels for the first time in a year, 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, rose 1.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.26 million in October from an upwardly-revised 5.18 million in September. Sales are at their highest annual pace since September 2013 (also 5.26 million), and are now above year-over-year levels (2.5% from last October) for the first time since last October. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market this year has been a tale of two halves. “Sales activity in October reached its highest annual pace of the year as buyers continue to be encouraged by interest rates at lows not seen since last summer, improving levels of inventory and stabilizing price growth,” he said. “Furthermore, the job market has shown continued strength in the past six months. This bodes well for solid demand to close out the year and the likelihood of additional months of year-over-year sales increases.” For more, click here...

October housing starts dip
U.S. housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,009,000 units in October, 2.8% below the revised September estimate but 7.8% above the October 2013 rate of 936,000 units, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Single-family starts in October were at a SAAR of 696,000 units, 4.2% higher than the revised September figure. Housing units authorized by building permits in October were at a SAAR of 1,080,000 units, 4.8% higher than the revised September rate and 1.2% higher than the October 2013 estimate. For more, click here...

Builder confidence rises
Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes rose 4 points to a level of 58 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. “Growing confidence among consumers is what’s fueling this optimism among builders,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “Members in many areas of the country continue to see increasing buyer traffic and signed contracts.” “Low interest rates, affordable home prices and solid job creation are contributing to a steady housing recovery,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “After a slow start to the year, the HMI has remained above the 50-point benchmark for five consecutive months, and we expect the momentum to continue into 2015.” For more, click here...

Homes became less affordable in Q3, according to NAHB index
Firming home prices in markets across the country contributed to a slight dip in nationwide housing affordability in the third quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. In all, 61.8% of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of July and the end of September were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $63,900. This is down from the 62.6% in the second quarter. The national median home price increased from $214,000 in the second quarter to $221,000 in the third quarter. Meanwhile, average mortgage interest rates decreased from 4.44% to 4.35% in the same period. For more, click here...

New Housing Price Index in Canada inched up in September
The New Housing Price Index in Canada rose 0.1% in September, following a 0.3% increase in August. Increases in Ontario and Alberta offset declines in Quebec and Manitoba. For more, click here...

Housing survey shows gain in purchases of new homes
The Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Application Survey data for October showed mortgage applications for new home purchases increased by 8% from September. MBA’s Builder Application Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the country. For more, click here...

American Wood Council offers guide to meet conservation code
The American Wood Council has published a new Design for Code Acceptance, "Meeting Residential Energy Requirements with Wood-Frame Construction." It provides ways to meet residential requirements of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code using wood framing. The guide is offered for free on the AWC website. For more, click here...

Canadian housing starts trend lower
The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 195,763 units in October, compared to 197,763 in September, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts. The stand-alone monthly SAAR was 183,604 units in October, down from 197,355 in September. The decline was concentrated in multiple urban starts, which decreased to 98,673 in October, while single-detached urban starts increased to 66,010 units. For more, click here...

Home price gains hold steady in most metro areas in Q3
Home prices showed continued growth in a majority of metropolitan areas in the third quarter, but all four major regions saw increases at or below 5% from a year ago, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors®. The median existing single-family home price increased in 73% of measured markets, with 125 out of 172 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) showing gains based on closings in the third quarter compared with the third quarter of 2013. Forty-seven areas (27%) recorded lower median prices from a year earlier. For more, click here...

September building permits jump in Canada
Canadian municipalities issued building permits worth $C7.5 billion in September, up 12.7% from August, following a 27.3% decrease the previous month. Statistics Canada reported that the September increases resulted primarily from higher construction intentions for both non-residential and residential buildings in Ontario. In the residential sector, the value of permits nationwide rose 6.1% to $C4.4 billion in September. Gains were posted in seven provinces, led by Ontario and followed by Quebec and British Columbia. For more, click here...

Housing markets inch toward full recovery
Markets in 59 of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity in the third quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), released today. This represents a year-over-year net gain of seven markets. The index’s nationwide score moved up slightly from .89 in the second quarter to .90, meaning that based on current permit, price, and employment data, the nationwide average is running at 90 percent of normal economic and housing activity. Meanwhile, 66 percent of markets have shown an improvement year-over-year. For more, click here...

Remodeling index showed strong growth in third quarter
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s third-quarter Remodeling Business Pulse indicated strong growth in the third quarter with a rating of 6.41. The index gauges current and future remodeling business conditions. Quarter-over-quarter increases were evident in all sub-components measuring remodeling activity. This is the second quarter of growth in 2014. For more, click here...

Construction spending edged down in September
The U.S. Census Bureau announced that construction spending during September was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $950.9 billion, 0.4% below the revised August estimate of $955.2 billion. The September figure is 2.9% above the September 2013 estimate of $924.2 billion. During the first nine months of this year, construction spending amounted to $710.1 billion, 6.1% above the $669.3 billion for the same period in 2013. For more, click here...

Share of first-time home buyers hits three-decade low
The share of first-time home buyers fell to its lowest point in nearly three decades, according to an annual survey by the National Association of Realtors. The share of first-time buyers dropped 5 percentage points from a year ago to 33%, representing the lowest share since 1987 (30%). The survey also showed that an overwhelming majority of buyers search for homes online and then purchase their home through a real estate agent. For more, click here...

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014


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