U.S. home prices rose in June by the smallest year-over-year amount in 20 months, slowed by modest sales and more properties coming on the market.
Data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices rose 7.5 percent in June compared with 12 months earlier. That’s a solid gain but less than the 8.3 percent year-over-year increase in May and a recent year-to-year peak of 11.9 percent in February.
On a month-to-month basis, June prices rose just 1 percent, down from 1.4 percent in May. But CoreLogic’s monthly figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal patterns, such as warmer spring weather.
The slowing price gains should make buying a house more affordable. Prices had risen sharply last year, along with mortgage rates. At the same time, Americans’ paychecks haven’t risen nearly as fast, having increased roughly 2 percent a year since the recession ended — about the same pace as inflation. Many would-be buyers, particularly younger ones, were priced out of the market as a result.
Sales of existing homes fell in the second half of last year and have only modestly recovered since then. They rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in June, the third straight increase. But that was still 2.3 percent fewer than the pace a year earlier.
And a measure of signed contracts slipped 1.1 percent in June, suggesting that sales might cool in coming months. It typically takes one to two months for a signed contract to become a completed sale.
More homes have been put up for sale, though the supply remains generally tight. There were 2.3 million homes for sale at the end of June, 6.5 percent higher than a year ago.
Earlier today, HousingWire posted some coverage of the alleged circumstances around the pending resignation of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman from his professorship at Princeton University.
The main reason for Krugman’s decision?
The Forbes coverage points to Krugman being “thoroughly indicted and publicly eviscerated for intellectual dishonesty by Harvard’s Niall Ferguson in a hard-hitting three-part series in the Huffington Post, beginning here, and with a coda in Project Syndicate, all summarized at Forbes.com.”
Soon after posting, I received an email from a popular economics blogger, who took me to task for publishing the article in the first place.
“Ferguson has become a laughing stock among analysts (remember his declaration that public employment was soaring under Obama – ignoring the temporary Census hiring! ROFLOL),” they wrote.
“Ferguson has been wrong about everything from inflation to employment … one good historical book doesn’t make him an expert on everything,” they added.
A fire-damaged house in Bedford Hills is scheduled to be torn down soon.
Bedford Supervisor Chris Burdick, in an interview, outlined the options, which involve the owner. Either demolition of the house must begin by Friday, June 20, or a postponement can be given if $125,000 in performance funding is posted and the owner signs an agreement.
Burdick cited possible injury and trespassing as problems at the structure.
The home was damaged by a three-alarm fire in January 2013, and several departments provided mutual aid, Daily Voice reported in the aftermath.
In a memo, Steve Fraietta, Bedford’s building inspector, outlined several issues and recommended that the house at 109 Stone Bridge Lane be demolished.
The listed owner of the property is Ryann McCarthy. He could not be reached for comment, although his attorney, a video of the Tuesday, June 17, Town Board meeting shows, said that his client began bringing equipment.
In the video, there was also discussion about the timeline possibilities. Addressing the paid extension option at the meeting, Burdick mentioned that the completion deadline would become Aug. 15. A condition of the demolition permit, Burdick explained at the meeting, was completion by July 15.
Location: New York, N.Y.
The Skinny: Just a little under two years removed from a reno that caused a partial collapse of an upper wall—injuring several workers—this Upper East Side townhouse is on the market with a $14.2M asking price, representing a $10M increase over its pre-disaster, 2011 take. The home, which is located in the Treadwell Farm historic district in the East 60s, now sports an all-glass back wall, providing views that overlook an immaculately manicured garden, and it seems to have come through its ordeal in pretty good shape (hopefully the injured contractors can say the same). The five-bedroom, five-bathroom mansion was built in 1905 and, post-reno, has five total floors, including a penthouse and enclosed rooftop deck. The kitchen has been totally updated with all new appliances, and the place is fitted out with Nest Thermostats and Savant Audio Visual gear and, presumably, a whole lotta structural reinforcing.
magine walking into your newly built or remodeled home and seeing it exactly as you had imagined it at the start of construction: the windows are all in the right places, the flooring is the right color, and the kitchen cabinets are a perfect fit.
Now allow me to pinch you on the arm, because for most people, reality is often different from that idyllic scenario. You might see missing trim around the bedroom doors or wonder why that small change in the kitchen cost so much. Looking back, you might ask, “And why did we have to hire another subcontractor to finish the bathroom?”
Of course, there are things you just can’t plan for, but there’s plenty that you can. Costly changes and additional time-consuming work can be kept to a minimum if you fully understand what you are building before you start. By understanding the construction process, being part of the team and keeping a firm grip on the budget, your construction project can result in the home of your dreams.
Given the busy lives most of us lead, we don’t have the time to research every type of technology and material that might be used on a construction project. Use professionals to save some of the time that would otherwise be spent learning and perfecting the process.
Architects are trained not just to make a project pretty but to match building systems, thermal envelopes and other properties to the client’s needs. They have a broad, up-to-date knowledge of these systems as well as of materials and processes for a wide variety of project areas.
Now, I sympathize with the awful feelings associated with a project’s going over budget. I’ve been there; I’ve gotten that dreaded call from the contractor that the structural and mechanical designs are in conflict. And dealt with preexisting conditions that the contractor hadn’t anticipated.
A design pro can provide guidance on what team members will likely be required for the project. And not just for the big ones, like a full custom home construction. Smaller projects like additions and remodels also can benefit from a pro’s expertise.
Architects can usually recommend other team members, too, such as engineers.
From some angles, it looks like the housing recovery has brought an urban resurgence: for instance, the most urban counties are growing faster now than during the housing bubble, and many dense cities are having a boom in apartment construction. However, the most recent data show that asking prices in urban neighborhoods are rising only slightly faster than in the suburbs, and the suburbs actually have higher population growth.
The Trulia Price Monitor and the Trulia Rent Monitor are the earliest leading indicators of how asking prices and rents are trending nationally and locally. They adjust for the changing mix of listed homes and therefore show what’s really happening to asking prices and rents. Because asking prices lead sales prices by approximately two or more months, the Monitors reveal trends before other price indexes do. With that, here’s the scoop on where prices and rents are headed (see note #1 below).
Asking Prices Continue to Rise as Spring House Hunting Season Begins Despite declining investor purchases and more inventory coming onto the market, asking home prices continued to rise at the start of the spring housing season. Month-over-month, asking prices rose 1.2% nationally in March 2014, seasonally adjusted. Quarter-over-quarter, asking prices rose 2.9% in March 2014, seasonally adjusted, reflecting three straight months of solid month-over-month gains.
Year-over-year, asking prices are up 10% nationally and up in 97 of the 100 largest metros. Albany, NY, Hartford, CT, and New Haven, CT, are the only three large metros where prices fell year-over-year, albeit slightly.
A week after a big spike of almost 10%, mortgage applications fell 1.2%, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly mortgage applications survey for the week ending March 14, 2014.
The MBA’s measure of mortgage loan application volume fell 1.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week ending March 7.
The refinance index decreased 1% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index also decreased 1% from one week earlier.
The refinance share decreased for the sixth straight week to 56.5% of total applications, down from 57% the previous week. ARMS stayed the same share of activity at 8% of total applications.
The MBA said the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.5% from 4.52%, with points decreasing to 0.26 from 0.29 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) decreased to 4.39% from 4.41%, with points decreasing to 0.19 from 0.20 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 4.13% from 4.18%, with points decreasing to 0.18 from 0.21 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.52% from 3.53%, with points decreasing to 0.25 from 0.28 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.