Friday, January 25, 2008

USA Real Estate Round Up for 2007 from NAR


This is what NAR just reported: 2007 Existing-home Sales Fifth Highest


Existing-home sales declined in December following several months of stable activity, with total sales in 2007 still at the fifth highest on record, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Existing-home sales including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – slipped 2.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units in December from a pace of 5 million in November, and are 22 percent below the 6.27 million-unit level in December 2006.

For all of 2007 there were 5,652,000 existing-home sales, the fifth highest year on record. However, the total was 12.8 percent below the 6,478,000 transactions recorded in 2006.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the market is experiencing uncharacteristic weakness.

"Home sales remain weak despite improved affordability conditions in many parts of the country, but we could get a quick boost to the market if loan limits are raised in combination with the bold cut in the Fed funds rate," he says. "Home prices are lower, mortgage interest rates continue to decline and incomes are higher, but many potential buyers are delaying a purchase."

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 6.10 percent in December from 6.21 percent in November; the rate was 6.14 percent in December 2006. Last week, Freddie Mac reported the 30-year fixed rate dropped to 5.69 percent.

"Although interest rates on jumbo loans have fallen somewhat, they remain well above conventional mortgage rates," Yun says. "It isn't surprising that the share of single-family homes selling for more than $500,000 fell to 12.4 percent of transactions in December from 14.2 percent a year ago."


Read about our marketplace: Price Trends


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Mark


A. Mark Argentino
P. Eng. Broker
Specializing in Residential & Investment Real Estate


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