Following a sharp drop in the months immediately after expiration of the home buyer tax credit, pending home sales have modestly risen, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator, rose 5.2 percent to 79.4 based on contracts signed in July from a downwardly revised 75.5 in June, but remains 19.1 percent below July 2009 when it was 98.1. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.
The seemingly endless run of bad housing news is discouraging some potential home buyers from considering a purchase. But the truth is that the advantages of homeownership have very little to do with investment gains. The best things about owning a home have a lot more to do with personal comfort and satisfaction.
Homeowners are more active in their communities, benefit from improved education opportunities, and report higher levels of self-esteem and happiness when compared to renters, according to leading research. A new report from the National Association of Realtors®, Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing, explores the impact of stable housing and the positive social outcomes resulting from homeownership.
McLean, VA - Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), and again, the fixed-rate mortgages reaching, along with the 5-year adjustable rate, set record lows for this survey. (The 30-year fixed-rate survey began in 1971, the 15-year began in 1991, and the 5-year adjustable in 2005.)
Rick Destito knew exactly what he was getting into when he bought a rundown, three-story Victorian house in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Syracuse. Built in the 1890s but left abandoned for years, the place was in serious disrepair: graffiti and mold stained the exterior, the windows were gone and the roof needed to be replaced. But under an innovative local housing program, he paid only a dollar for the place - plus another $60,000, and his own skilled labor, to make it suitable for his family, including a one-year old girl and a baby on the way.
Applications to purchase homes rose 1.5 percent last week compared to the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The unadjusted purchase index also rose 1.5 percent, and it was up 7.1 percent compared to four weeks ago. Compared to the same week a year ago, it was down 33.7 percent. For the third straight week, government-backed loans, especially Federal Housing Administration loans, drove the increase, with government loan volume rising 3.4 percent compared to last week.
In its Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending July 29, 2010, Freddie Mac reported the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) for the Northeast averaged 4.55 percent with an average 0.7 point, remaining the same as last week's average.
The 15-year FRM averaged 4.04 percent with an average 0.7 point for the Northeast, down slightly from last week's 4.05-percent average.