For the second straight year, real estate stocks ended the year with gains twice as high as the general stock market, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to Dow Jones, REITs were up 27 percent as of Dec. 28. And while that figure is down slightly from last year’s gains of 28.5 percent, it more than doubled the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
A study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia shows that 20 percent of homeowners that go into foreclosure on their first mortgage continue to make payments on a second-lien mortgage. The story was reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index continued to increase in November, rising 3.5 percent since October.
U.S. home prices declined in October as the growth rate continues to decelerate, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report released today. Each of the 20 metropolitan areas measured showed declines between September and October. Only the 10-city composite and four metropolitan areas showed increases over October 2009.
Small home builders are the mainstay of the nation’s housing industry, including a sizable number of self-employed mom-and-pop operations, according to a new study by NAHB economists. Slightly more than 65 percent of all home building establishments had annual receipts below $1 million.
Homes prices across the U.S. rose between September and October, although prices remain lower than in October 2009.
Existing home sales were up again in November, hitting their highest level since the expiration of the tax credit in June. At an annual pace of 4.68 million, sales were up 5.6 percent from October's 4.43 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Rising mortgage interest rates have reignited first-time home buyers’ interest in purchasing a home over the last several months, UPI reported. The rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages began to rise from record lows this fall, increasing from 4.17 percent to 4.83 percent between November and December.
Despite the recent housing crisis, most Americans still desire to own a home, but their attitudes may not line up with financial realities, CNN reported. A survey by Fannie Mae found that more 51 percent of people polled said the housing crisis did not change their desires to buy a home. Twenty-seven percent said that they were even more likely to buy because of the crisis.
Construction material prices have risen in the last year, while finished-building price indexes remained flat, adding additional financial stress to builders and contractors already facing the effects of high unemployment. An analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America reported that material prices rose 0.5 percent in November and 4.8 percent in the last year. The producer price indexes rose 0.4 percent in November, and 3.5 percent in the last year.