November Pending Home Sales rise for 19th straight month

The NAR estimates that sales should increase 8-9% in 2013 to about 5.1 million, with the median price rising 4%.
National Association of Realtors December 28, 2012
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Case-Shiller: prices rose 4.3% in year to October, above estimates

It is clear that the housing recovery is gathering strength.
Last week’s final revision to third quarter GDP growth showed that housing represented 10% of the
growth while accounting for less than 3% of GDP.
S&P/Case-Shiller December 26, 2012
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November Existing-Home Sales and Prices Maintain Uptrend

Existing home sales in November were up 14.% from a year ago and reached the highest level since November 2009.
The median price rose rose for the 9th consecutive month and is up 10.1% from a year ago.
Housing inventory fell to 4.8 months of supply, the lowest level since September 2005.
National Association of Realtors, December 20, 2012

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Improving Housing Trends likely to continue into 2013.

A combination of factors, including declining time-on-market, a drop in distressed properties and rising average home prices, are all pointing to a strengthening housing market in the months ahead.
Campbell/InsideMortgage Housing Pulse, December 21, 2012
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Foreclosures drop 28% in year, lowest since December 2006

The latest data offers “more evidence that we are past the worst of the foreclosure problem brought about by the housing bubble bursting six years ago,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac
National Association of Realtors, December 13, 2012
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Foreclosure crisis finally appears to be ebbing

Jay Fitzgerald, Boston Globe, December 1
As a result of an improving economy and successful loan modification programs, the foreclosure crisis both in MA and nationally finally seems to be ebbing.
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Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Rose 3% in Year to September

“Every Single Thing About Housing Is Flashing Green”

These were the words used by J.P.Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon, in a recent interview with CNBC. Dimon pointed out that housing formation was up, inventory down and housing affordability was at an all-time high.

In my mid-year 2011 Marblehead Reporter review I wrote: The biggest restraining factor today is probably confidence, or the lack thereof.”

The following news items indicate that confidence is returning to the real estate market across the country. (more…)

Housing starts unexpectedly increase to 4 year high

Shobhana Chandra, Bloomberg, November 20,2012
New-home construction unexpectedly climbed to a four-year high in October, more evidence of a revival in the industry that’s helping propel the U.S. economy.

Housing starts rose 3.6 percent to a 894,000 annual rate, the fastest since July 2008 and exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 82 economists called for an 840,000 pace.

Permits for the construction of single-family homes also advanced to the highest in four years. Full Story

First Fannie and Freddie: next up FHA?

The Editors, Bloomberg View, November 18,2012 The Federal Housing Administration may report this week that it could exhaust its reserves because of rising mortgage delinquencies, a development that could result in the agency needing to draw on taxpayer funding for the first time in its 78-year history. This would follow the $137 billion spent on bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Just like Fannie and Freddie, the FHA has played an important role in stabilizing the housing market, but the three agencies are now backing almost 90% of new mortgages. As my daughter would say, it’s complicated. Read Bloomberg View article