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Other Industry News > Housing
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Existing home sales post June increase
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, climbed 2.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million units in June, from an upwardly revised 4.91 million in May, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales are at their highest pace since October 2013, but remain 2.3% below the 5.16 million-unit level a year ago. The median existing-home price for all housing types in June was $223,300, which is 4.3% higher than the June 2013 median. This marks a 28th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. Total housing inventory at the end of June rose 2.2% to 2.30 million existing homes available for sale, representing a 5.5-month supply at the current sales pace, unchanged from May. For more, click here...
U.S. home prices up 0.4% in May
The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that U.S. house prices rose 0.4% in May from the previous month. The April index value was revised to reflect a 0.1% monthly price increase, above the original estimate of no change. The index is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From May 2013 to May 2014, house prices were up 5.5%. For more, click here...
June housing starts fall
U.S. housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 893,000 units in June, 9.3% below the revised May rate but 7.5% higher than the June 2013 estimate, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Single-family starts in June were at a SAAR of 575,000 units, 9.0% below the revised May figure. Privately owned housing units authorized by permits were at a SAAR of 963,000 units, 4.2% below the May rate but 2.7% above the June 2013 estimate. For more, click here...
Mortgage rates tick downward
Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 4.13% for the week ending July 17, down from last week when it averaged 4.15%, according to Freddie Mac. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.37%. The 15-year FRM averaged 3.23% this week, down from last week's average of 3.24%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.41%. One-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.39% this week, down from last week's average of 2.40%. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 2.66%. For more, click here...
Mortgage applications decrease
Mortgage applications decreased 3.6% from a week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 11. The previous week's results included an adjustment for the July 4th holiday. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 3.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the index increased 20% compared with the previous week. The refinance component of the index decreased 0.1% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted purchase component of the index decreased 8% from a week earlier. The unadjusted purchase index increased 16% compared with the previous week, and was 17% lower than the same week a year ago. For more, click here...
Builder confidence surpasses key benchmark in July
Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes reached an important milestone in July, rising 4 points to a reading of 53 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Any reading higher than 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor. "This is the first time that builder confidence has been above 50 since January, and an important sign that it is strengthening as pent-up demand brings more buyers into the marketplace," said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. For more, click here...
Canada's New Housing Price Index advances
Canada's New Housing Price Index rose 0.1% in May, following five months of gains ranging from 0.1% to 0.3%. The increase was largely the result of higher new home prices in the Prairie region. For more, click here...
Canadian housing starts remained stable in June
Housing starts in Canada were trending at 185,939 units in June, compared to 184,019 in May, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts. The stand-alone monthly SAAR of starts was 198,185 units in June. The SAAR of urban starts increased to 181,979 units. Multiple urban starts decreased to 118,815 units, while the single-detached urban starts segment increased to 63,164 units. For more, click here...
International buyers invest in U.S. housing market
Favorable exchange rates, affordable home prices, and rising affluence abroad continue to drive international buyers to the U.S. to purchase properties and make real estate investments, according to the National Association of Realtors. NAR's "2014 Profile of International Home Buying Activity" estimated international sales at $92.2 billion for the period April 2013 through March 2014. Sales for the same period a year earlier totaled $68.2 billion. "We live in an international marketplace; so while all real estate is local, that does not mean that all property buyers are," said NAR President Steve Brown of Dayton, Ohio. Four states accounted for 55% of the total reported purchases: Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas. Florida was the destination of choice, claiming a 23% share of all foreign purchases. For more, click here...
Canadian building permits jumped in May
Canadian municipalities issued building permits worth $C6.9 billion in May, up 13.8% from April, according to Statistics Canada. This followed a 2.2% rise in the previous month. The increase in May resulted primarily from higher construction intentions for commercial buildings in Ontario and Manitoba, as well as multifamily dwellings in British Columbia. For more, click here...
Pending home sales surge in May
The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 6.1% to a reading of 103.9 in May. The index remains 5.2% below its level of May 2013. May's increase was the largest month-over-month gain since April 2010. "Sales should exceed an annual pace of 5 million homes in some of the upcoming months behind favorable mortgage rates, more inventory, and improved job creation," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "However, second-half sales growth won't be enough to compensate for the sluggish first quarter and will likely fall below last year's total." Yun expects existing-home sales to be down 2.8% this year to 4.95 million units, compared to 5.1 million sales in 2013. For more, click here...
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