Buyers are writing contracts at a furious pace nationwide.
On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the Pending Home Sales Index rose 2 percent last month to reach its highest level since March.
A “pending home sale” is a home under contract to sell, but not yet closed.
The forward-looking Pending Home Sales Index is up 11 percent from its low of the year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, and well ahead of its rolling 6-month average.
Unfortunately, national data isn’t always helpful for buyers and sellers in Leominster and nationwide. To help make data more relevant, therefore, the official Pending Home Sales Index report includes a region-by-region breakdown.
Between May and June 2011, results were mixed:
- Northeast Region: -0.4%
- Midwest Region : -3.7%
- South Region : +4.4%
- West Region : +6.4%
However, even the value of regional data may be dubious. (more…)
Standard & Poors released its May 2011 Case-Shiller Index this week. The index measures change in home prices from month-to-month, and year-to-year, in select U.S. cities.
May’s Case-Shiller Index showed a 1 percent increase from April 2011. Home values rose in 16 of the Case-Shiller Index’s 20 tracked markets. Only Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa fell. Phoenix was flat.
Don’t look too far into the findings, though. Like the FHFA’s Home Price Index, the Case-Shiller Index is rife with flaws.
The first flaw of the Case-Shiller Index is its limited geography. Despite being positioned as a national housing index, Case-Schiller Index is sourced from just 20 cities nationwide. There are more than 3,100 municipalities nationwide.
The Case Shiller Index’s second flaw is that it ignores all home types excepts for single-family, detached homes in its findings. Condominiums, multi-family homes, and new construction are not included in the Case-Shiller Index.
In some markets, these excluded home types outnumber the included ones. (more…)
Home builders are slowly reducing inventory.
According to Census Bureau data, the number of new homes slid 1 percent from May. On a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis, home buyers bought 312,000 newly-built homes last month.
It’s the third straight month of falling sales and the headline data casts the Fitchburg housing market in a negative light.
Upon closer inspection, however, the numbers appear quite strong.
First, sales are down marginally. Total units sold have dropped just 2 percent from the highs of the year. And, second, the number of newly-built homes for sale is down markedly from last year
There are 22% fewer new homes for sale today as compared to June 2010
At today’s sales pace, the complete new home inventory would be sold in 6.3 months — the quickest sell-out window since the expiration of the 2010 federal home buyer tax credit.
Builders are feeling better about their business, too. (more…)
The FHA is insuring a greater percentage of loans than during any time in recent history. In 2006, it insured roughly 5 percent of the purchase mortgage market. Today, it insures one-quarter. “Going FHA” is more common than ever before — but is it better?
The answer — like most things in mortgage — depends on your circumstance.
Like its conforming counterpart, an FHA-insured mortgage is available as a fixed-rate loan and as an adjustable-rate one. Payments are made monthly and come without prepayment penalties.
That’s where the similarities end, however, and decision-making begins. For homeowners and buyers across Worcester , FHA mortgages carry a different set rules as compared to conforming loans through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac that can render them more — or less — attractive for financing. (more…)
In today’s Leominster homes, front-loading washing machines are a popular choices as compared to traditional, top-loading machines for 3 main reasons:
- They wash more clothes per cycle, lowering household energy costs
- They’re environmentally-friendly, using less water per cycle
- They’re gentler on clothes, preserving colors and fabrics longer
They also require more care in the “cleaning” department.
Because of the way most front-loading washers are built, they tend to pool water in their drums, which can be a breeding ground bacteria and mildew.
Whether your front-loading washer smells “dirty” or not, you’ll want to follow proper procedures to keep it clean.
First, only use High Efficiency detergent. High Efficiency detergent is super-concentrated and creates fewer suds than traditional laundry detergent. Fewer suds means more soap is drained in the rinse cycle, leaving fewer chemicals and fragrances to sit in the drum. (more…)