Posts Tagged Percentage

Housing starts up 2.6% in April as permits fall 7% – MarketWatch


WASHINGTON — Construction on new US homes rose 2.6 percent in April to an annual rate of 717,000 units, while building permits fell seven percent to 715,000 — one month after reaching a near four-year high, the government reported Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected housing starts in April to rise to a total 690,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Housing starts in March were revised up sharply to 699,000 from 654,000, while permits were revised up to 769,000 — the highest level since September 2008 — from an original reading of 747,000.

In April, permits for single-family homes, which account for three-quarters of the housing market, edged up 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 475,000. Permits for new construction are viewed as a gauge of future demand.

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Pending home sales up 4.1% in March to 23-mo. high (Marketwatch)


By Steve Goldstein

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — An index of pending home sales climbed 4.1% in March to reach the highest level since April 2010, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. The index rose to 101.4 in March from an upwardly revised 97.4 in February, which represents a 12.8% gain from March 2011. February’s pending home sales index was initially reported to be 96.5. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing. Sales of existing homes during the first quarter were the strongest in five years, and the trade group said the pending home sales data suggests the second quarter will be equally good.

TMN Comments:  Interesting article.  We are actually seeing the same trends in the Vail Valley.  Our Under Contract properties for the 1st quarter are nearly 30% higher than the number of properties that went under contract in the 1st quarter, 2011.  I attribute this activity to 4 things:

1.  Pent up demand.  People are still getting married and having kids. 

2.  Record low interest rates.  You can get new financing (assuming you qualify) for about 4%.

3.  General perception that we have hit the bottom in the local real estate market.

4.  The large number of distressed properties hitting the market.

It is still a rough time for sellers and will continue to be difficult until we flush out the distressed properties. 

 

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New Prudential Real Estate Poll: Americans Increasingly Optimistic About Homeownership


Prudential Real Estate released a new national survey at Sales Convention showing that Americans are significantly more optimistic about homeownership than they were a year ago.

According to the second-annual Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey, a full 60 percent of Americans have favorable views toward the real estate market. That’s up 8 points since last year.

The survey shows that signs of increasing optimism are widespread:

  • With interest rates at historically low levels, 96 percent agree or somewhat agree that now is a good time to buy.
  • A full 70 percent of respondents have some degree of confidence that property values will improve over the next two years; with an 8 point increase in those very confident or confident compared to last year.
  • 63 percent believe that real estate is a good investment despite the recent market volatility; that’s up 11 points from last year.

The survey confirms that despite the recession, homeownership remains a central part of the American Dream. Eight in 10 respondents said homeownership is very important to them; only 15 percent said the economic downturn made homeownership less important.

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