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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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 bit too. Yes, sales are down (less than 1%) versus a year ago, but we’re still seeing the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which sidelined home buyers. Once we start getting reports not colored by these storms, many expect an upward sales trend.

Nearly half the homes sold In October were on the market less than a month, indicating demand is there. This is put to increasing incomes, a strengthening economy, near historically low mortgage rates and a growing appetite for home ownership. Freddie Mac’s November 2017 Outlook expects this to be the best year for housing in a decade, with 6.13 million homes sold and 1.2 million housing starts. Their chief economist said, “construction will gradually pick up, helping to supply more homes in inventory-starved markets.” The Fed’s latest data reveals home equity hit $13.9 trillion in mid-2017, an all-time high.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK… If there aren’t enough hours in the day for everything you want to

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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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2017 starts slightly better than 2016

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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Phoenix Metro Real Estate Sales Report

ShareTweet Here’s a quick summary of the October 18th report. This report reflects sales activity for September 2016. Summary of October 18, 2016 Report: *Monthly sold units (7,328 for September) up 5.7% year over year *New inventory (9,612 for September) up 4.0% year over  year *Total inventory (24,087 for September) up 3.3% year over year […]

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Homeownership No Longer Has Tax Savings

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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May Home Sales Phoenix Metro Area

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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April Home Sales Phoenix Metro Area

ShareTweet When measured against the same month last year new-home permits were up over 35%, new home closings saw a 12.3% increase, and existing home activity was up 10.6% over the same month last year. When measured against new-home closings for March, April fell slightly shorter. NEW HOME CLOSINGS April 2015 Sales for Month – […]

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