Seattle's HomeStreet bank starts to finance condo projects again

By Marc Stiles, Source: Puget Sound Business Journal

With the inventory of new urban condos in Seattle all but gone, developers are ready to build again but are hamstrung by the lack of financing.

Now a Seattle bank, HomeStreet, is turning that around and getting back into offering construction loans — with a couple of deals in the works.

New-Home Sales Jump 8.3 Percent in June

WASHINGTON, July 24 - Sales of newly built, single-family homes surged 8.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted, annual rate of 497,000 units in June, their fastest pace in the last five years, according to data released today by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.

"New-home buyers are returning to the market in larger numbers as firming prices, shrinking inventories of homes for sale and improving local economies convince them that now is the time to make their move," said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "Meanwhile, the very low supply of new homes on the market is indicative of the difficulty that builders are having in keeping up with demand due to availability issues with regard to materials, credit, labor and lots for development."

Builder Confidence Rises Six Points in July

WASHINGTON, July 16 - Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose six points to 57 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for July, released today. This is the index's third consecutive monthly gain and its strongest reading since January of 2006.

"Today's report is particularly encouraging in that it shows improvement in builder confidence across every region as well as solid gains in current sales conditions, traffic of prospective buyers and sales expectations for the next six months," noted NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. However, he cautioned that "This positive momentum could be disrupted by threats on the policy side, particularly with regard to the mortgage interest deduction and federal support for the housing finance system."

Boost in Thurston Co. housing market rippling through industry

By Rolf Boone, Source: The Olympian

The Thurston County residential housing market is off to its best start in years through June, with sales ahead of last year’s pace by more than 20 percent, the result of an improving economy and still-low mortgage interest rates.

The difference from last year, though, which at times showed only a flicker of improvement in the housing market, is that this year’s gains appear to be sustained, showing steady month-over-month improvement, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data.

Majority of Americans expect housing fundamentals to rise

By Christina Mlynsk - Source: Housing Wire

It seems Americans are growing more optimistic about the state of housing, as more than half of potential homebuyers now expect the nation’s home prices and mortgage rates to appreciate within the next year, Fannie Mae reports.

Those results came from Fannie Mae’s June 2013 National Housing Survey, which revealed the share of respondents who anticipate a mortgage rate increase rose 11 percentage points, bringing the June total to 57% — the highest level since the survey’s creation in 2010.

Olympia Listed as one of 255 Improving Housing Markets in July

WASHINGTON, July 8 - A total of 255 metropolitan areas across 49 states and the District of Columbia qualified to be listed on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for July, released today. This is down slightly from the 263 metros that made the list in June, but is more than triple the number of metros that were on it in July of 2012.

The IMI identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. Six new markets were added to the list and 14 were dropped from it in July. Newcomers include the geographically diverse metros of Cumberland, Md.; Saginaw, Mich.; Farmington and Las Cruces, N.M.; Kingston, N.Y.; and Olympia, Wash.

New-Home Sales Rise 2.1 Percent in May

WASHINGTON, June 25 - Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose for a third consecutive month in May, posting a 2.1 percent gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 476,000 units, according to data released by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau today. This is the fastest sales pace recorded since July of 2008.

"Builders are reporting increased demand for new homes as buyers seek to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates while they remain so favorable," observed Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C.  "Consumers in markets nationwide are definitely becoming more confident about making a home purchase as firming prices and tighter inventories provide further evidence of the ongoing housing recovery."

Builder Confidence Hits Major Milestone in June

WASHINGTON, June 17 - Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes hit a significant milestone in June, surging eight points to a reading of 52 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. Any reading over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

"This is the first time the HMI has been above 50 since April 2006, and surpassing this important benchmark reflects the fact that builders are seeing better market conditions as demand for new homes increases," said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder and developer from Charlotte, N.C. "With the low inventory of existing homes, an increasing number of buyers are gravitating toward new homes."

More buyers than sellers push King County home prices up

(Source: Seattle Times)

By Marissa Evans, Seattle Times

Peter and Myrna Hillyer opened their North Seattle home of 45 years to potential buyers Wednesday.

One was Meaghan Frisbee. She and her husband are trying to decide between adding a second floor to their house in Phinney Ridge or moving. They’ve seen 20 homes in the last month.

“All the houses are getting snapped up,” said Frisbee, cradling her 3-month-old daughter in her arms. “It’s hard to find a house.”

Homebuyers clueless about mortgages

Source: CNNMoney

The housing market is heating up, yet many house hunters are not prepared to take on the biggest purchase of their lives.

When it comes to mortgages, homebuyers answered basic questions about terms, how to choose a lender and financing wrong nearly one-third of the time, according to an April survey of more than 1,000 current and prospective homeowners by real estate website Zillow.

Syndicate content