U.S. existing home sales rise in December but down for 2014

24 01 2015

U.S. home resales rose slightly in December but fell overall for the year, the first annual drop since 2010 and another sign that the housing market recovery remains uneven amid expectations of a pick-up in 2015.

The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales increased 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.04 million units last month. That was slightly below economists’ expectations for a 5.06-million-unit pace.

“The still-tight mortgage credit conditions and more challenging first-time homebuyer affordability that were revealed by the failure of home sales to continue recovering last year remain serious concerns as we head into 2015,” said Ted Wieseman, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.

First-time buyers made up 29 percent of transactions in December as well as for the year as a whole, well below the level needed to boost growth in the housing market.

For all of 2014, existing home sales fell 3.1 percent, the first annual drop in four years. The housing market has struggled to maintain momentum since stagnating in the second half of 2013 following a run-up in mortgage rates.

At December’s sales pace it would take 4.4 months to clear all available houses from the market, down from 5.1 months in November and the lowest since January 2013.

However, a decline in mortgage rates, an easing of lending standards and the resurgent health of the U.S. economy over the last few months has spurred optimism that sales could strengthen this year.

And the outlook for the economy remains upbeat. In a separate report the Conference Board said its Leading Economic Index rose 0.5 percent last month after a 0.4 percent increase in November.

December’s jump was driven by gains in most of the index’s components, suggesting the short-term outlook is getting brighter and the economy continues to build momentum, the Conference Board said.

Source: Reuter





2014 Northeast Florida Housing Market Report

23 01 2015

The 2014 Annual Report on the Northeast Florida Housing Market is out.  The sales price and inventory showed improvement but the market recovery was not as strong as in 2013.  We saw moderate inventory gains.

Overall, pending sales increased 10.3 percent. That’s the 5th consecutive year of sales gains. Median Sales Price of single-family homes were up 3.0 percent while condos and townhouses increased 4.8 percent.

In almost every community, foreclosure and short sale activity is declining and is near multi-year lows.

In 2015, watch for stronger seller activity to increase inventory levels.

The report is available for download at http://www.nefar.com/filebin/2014MktStatsAnnlRpt.pdf








%d bloggers like this: