Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rose far less than expected in June, another sign that a lack of inventory is crimping activity despite mortgage rates being at near-record lows. The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its pending home sales index, based on contracts signed last month, nudged up 0.2 percent to 111.0. The housing market has continued to strengthen amid historically low mortgage rates and almost six years of monthly job gains.
"Solid, but hard to see significant further gains until mortgage demand rises," Ian Richardson of Pantheon Macro wrote in a research note. "Sustained job growth as well as this year's descent in mortgage rates is undoubtedly driving the appetite for home purchases," he said.
U.S. home resales unexpectedly rose in June to their fastest pace in more than nine years as low mortgage interest rates drew buyers into the market, a positive sign for the economy. The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales increased 1.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.57 million units last month, the highest level since February 2007. U.S. mortgage rates fell in June to their lowest levels since 2013 on bets the Federal Reserve would be cautious about raising short-term rates.
Just as mortgage bankers were preparing for the end of a historic boom driven by low interest rates, borrowers have begun knocking at their doors again. In earnings reports last week, JPMorgan Chase & Co , Wells Fargo & Co and Citigroup Inc said they originated $94 billion worth of new mortgages during the second quarter in their core mortgage operations, an increase of $23 billion, or 31 percent, over the first quarter. Mortgage rates have dropped to lows not seen since 2013 after the U.S. Federal Reserve dashed expectations for near-term rate hikes.
U.S. home resales rose in May to a more than nine-year high amid low mortgage rates, pointing to sustained housing market strength that should keep the economy on solid ground. The fairly strong existing home sales report on Wednesday added to retail sales and international trade data in painting an upbeat picture of the economy in the second quarter. "The housing market recovery is truly back on track ..., which should reinforce confidence that the economic recovery is moving in the right direction," said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York.
U.S. housing starts slipped in May as the construction of multi-family housing units dropped, but further gains in building permits signaled a rebound that would support economic growth in the second quarter. Building permits rose 0.7 percent to a 1.14-million unit rate in May. "Another month of gains in building permits coupled with near record low mortgage rates provide opportunity for a bounce back," said Bill Banfield, vice president at Quicken Loans in Detroit.
Steady buying and tight supplies pushed US home prices solidly higher in March, with the gains largest in the West, according to fresh data Tuesday. Twelve-month gains were weakest in New York, Washington and Chicago. "The economy is supporting the price increases with improving labor markets, falling unemployment rates and extremely low mortgage rates," said David Blitzer of S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Annualized U.S. single-family home prices rose more than expected in March, a survey showed on Tuesday. "The economy is supporting the price increases with improving labor markets, falling unemployment rates and extremely low mortgage rates," said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. Home prices in three U.S. cities, Denver, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, showed the highest year-over-year gains, the survey showed.
U.S. home resales rebounded more than expected in March as supply improved, suggesting the housing market recovery remained intact despite signs that economic growth probably stalled in the first quarter. The sales surge at the start of the spring selling season was a sign of confidence in the economy, and the momentum is expected to be sustained given low mortgage rates, recent stock market gains and a firming labor market, analysts said. It shows confidence," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week after three straight weeks of increases. The decline could be a spur to prospective buyers as the spring home buying season gets started.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week as anxiety over the global economy persisted. Long-term rates resumed their decline after being unchanged last week following six straight weeks of easing.
US home price gains picked up in November with the market still supported by cheap credit and tight supplies, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index released Tuesday. "Home prices extended their gains, supported by continued low mortgage rates, tight supplies and an improving labor market," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement.
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home resales rebounded strongly in December from a 19-month low and prices surged, indicating the housing market recovery remained intact despite signs of a sharp deceleration in economic growth in recent months. The National Association of Realtors said on Friday existing home sales jumped a record 14.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.46 million units, after being temporarily held back by the introduction of new mortgage disclosure rules, which had caused delays in the closing of contracts in November. Sales were also boosted by unseasonably warm weather and buyers rushing into the market in anticipation of higher mortgage rates.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A robust U.S. economy and job market, plus low mortgage rates, should help keep the recovery in the new-home market going at a modest pace this year, but a return to pre-housing boom sales and construction levels isn't imminent.
Applications for U.S. loans to refinance and buy homes booked their biggest weekly rise in three months as mortgage rates fell from their highest in over five months, data released from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed on Wednesday. The mortgage industry group said its gauge on overall mortgage application activities rose 21.3 percent to 398.5 in the week ended Jan. 8 on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier. The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages on conforming loans declined to 4.12 percent from the prior week's 4.20 percent, which was the highest since mid-July.
By David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - They have pocketed some of the most lucrative returns available to investors in recent decades and been a staple of newspapers' personal finance pages, but tougher times now lie ahead for Britain's army of small-time landlords. Overall, there are nearly 2 million private landlords in Britain, owning almost 20 percent of homes. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is squeezing more tax from buy-to-let (BTL) investments, partly to help fund incentives for new homeowners, while the Bank is seeking powers to limit the size of BTL mortgages in order to reduce risky lending.
By David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - They have pocketed some of the most lucrative returns available to investors in recent decades and been a staple of newspapers' personal finance pages, but tougher times now lie ahead for Britain's army of small-time landlords. Overall, there are nearly 2 million private landlords in Britain, owning almost 20 percent of homes. Chancellor George Osborne is squeezing more tax from buy-to-let (BTL) investments, partly to help fund incentives for new homeowners, while the Bank of England is seeking powers to limit the size of BTL mortgages in order to reduce risky lending.
"Generally good economic conditions continue to support gains in home prices," said David Blitzer, head of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement. Blitzer said that the Federal Reserve's decision two weeks ago to begin raising interest rates was not expected to push up historically low mortgage rates quickly.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged higher this week following three straight weeks of declines, amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise its key short-term interest rate next week.
The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 5.5 percent in September on a year-over-year basis compared with 5.1 percent in the year to August. With unemployment at 5 percent and hints of higher inflation in the CPI, most analysts expect the Federal Reserve to raise its fed funds target range to 25 to 50 basis points, the first increase since 2006," said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "While this will make news, it is not likely to push mortgage rates far above the recent level of 4 percent on 30 year conventional loans.
(Reuters) - Austin Kiplinger, a journalist who took over the financial publishing firm founded by his father and helped create the first magazine devoted to personal finance for U.S. families, has died at age 97, his company said in a statement on Saturday. Austin Kiplinger's father, W.M. Kiplinger, in 1920 founded Kiplinger Washington Editors Inc, which today produces the magazine Kiplinger Personal Finance, the business forecast publication The Kiplinger Letter and the Kiplinger Tax Letter.