Existing Home Sales shot up 5.6% in November, to a 5.81 million annual rate, their fastest sales pace since 2006. Demand stays strong (44% of homes sold in less than a month), though supply in many areas is tight. November New Home Sales exploded up 17.5% to a 733,000 annual rate, and are now up 26.6% the past year, to their highest rate in ten years. Housing Starts grew 3.3% in November, to a 1.297 million annual rate, up 12.9% for the year.

Builders are upbeat–the latest National Association of Home Builders confidence index is at its highest level since 1999. Donald Trump, the POTUS signed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. For homeowners, the capital gains exclusion on home sales, and the mortgage interest deduction on existing mortgages were left unchanged. But the interest deduction on new mortgages is only available up to $750,000 (down from $1 million), and all state and local tax deductions are capped at $10,000.


Last week we got the good news that both New and Pending Home Sales are heading in the right direction–UP. October New Home Sales rose 6.2%, to a 685,000 annual rate, soundly beating forecasts for the second month in a row. That puts sales of new single family homes up 18.7% over a year ago, at their highest level since 2007. And this isn’t just an artificial rebound from the hurricanes. All major regions saw sales gains, with the smallest actually coming from the south. The average sales pace for the past three months is also the highest since 2007.

For October, the Pending Home Sales measure of contracts signed on existing homes rebounded to a 3.5% gain following the 0.4% dip in September. This suggests existing homes sales should move up in November and December. Prices in many markets edge higher, as national measures continue to go up. Consequently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are increasing the conforming loan limits in 2018 for most of the mortgages they insure. The baseline limit will go to $453,100, while the limit in “high-cost areas” will be $679,650. These conforming loan limits vary by county, so check with your mortgage professional.

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ShareTweet We keep hearing concerns that tight existing home inventories and rising prices will shrink sales, but the latest data lays those worries to rest. October Existing Home Sales increased 2.0%, to a 5.48 million annual rate. Sales grew in every major region, with single family homes leading the way, although condos/coops went up a […]

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January 2017 Phoenix Home Sales Continuation

ShareTweet     Existing Home Sales shot up 3.3% in January to a 5.69 million unit annual rate–their fastest sales pace since 2007! The National Association of Realtors chief economist commented, “challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start.” Indeed, existing home sales are up a healthy 3.8% over last year. […]

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ShareTweet Pending Homes Sales closed out 2016 up 1.6% in December and comfortably ahead of a year ago. This National Association of Realtors (NAR) index of contracts signed on existing homes bodes well for the level of those closings a couple of months out. As reported last week, existing home sales finished the year at […]

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ShareTweet We believe we have found one of the primary reasons why entry-level home buying has not recovered—and why homeownership has been plunging. For decades, homeowners benefitted from both the financial and psychological benefits of paying less taxes. Homeownership came with income tax savings because mortgage interest plus property taxes easily exceeded the standard deduction […]

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ShareTweet May 2015 saw a 41% jump in new home permit activity from May 2014 while new home closings showed a 10% jump from last May and resale housing increased by 10.48% from the same month last year. Great news indeed! The year-to-date numbers in total were also encouraging, with new home closings up 5.8% […]

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