For the seventh straight quarter, housing affordability hovered around its highest level in decades, HousingPredictor.com reported. In the third quarter, 71.1 percent of all homes sold were affordable for families earning the median income of $64,400. The record high was set in the first quarter of 2009, when it hit 72.5 percent.
More than 7 million mortgages in the United States are either at least 30 days past due or in the process of foreclosure, according to Lender Processing Service. Although the delinquency rate essentially remained the same, foreclosures are on the rise.
The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported today that new single-family home sales October were down 8.1 percent, to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 283,000, from the previous month. This rate was 28.5 percent lower than October 2009, which boasted 396,000 sales.
Existing home sales went down 2.2 percent in October, dropping to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.43 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales went down 25.9 percent compared to October 2009, when home sales were high due to the approaching deadline for the first-time buyer tax credit. Each of the four NAR regions reported drops in existing home sales.
The housing market’s “shadow inventory”—unlisted bank-owned homes and potential foreclosures—rose compared to 2009, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. A report by CoreLogic, a real estate research firm, estimated that there were 2.1 million units in the shadow inventory in August, or about an eight-month supply. The number increased by 10 percent over August 2009.
The Obama administration’s monthly Housing Scorecard for November indicated that although the housing market remains fragile, home prices continue to stabilize and home affordability is up. The report noted that both new and existing home sales decreased compared to the first half of 2010, but this was expected following the expiration of the home buyer tax credit.
A survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed a major increase in the number of first-time home buyers in 2010. The 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers surveyed consumers who purchased a home between July 2009 and June 2010. Fifty percent of purchasers during that period were first-time buyers, up from an average of around 40 percent during the last decade.
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes improved slightly in November, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released last week. The HMI rose one notch to 16 from a downwardly revised level of 15 in the previous month.
After gaining ground for two straight months, pending home sales dipped slightly in September, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Nearly half of the metropolitan areas tracked by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed modest increases in single-family home prices compared to last year. NAR’s latest survey showed that 77 of 155 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) had higher median existing home prices in the third quarter of 2010 than the third quarter of 2009. Eleven of those had increases in the double digits.