Housing Market Snapshot

New Home Sales were down 7.0% for December, to a 414,000 annual rate. But dips sometimes occur in winter and December was snowier and colder than usual. Many observers expect a rebound in new home sales when the weather gets back to normal. Looking longer term,sales are up 4.5% over a year ago, with builders selling 430,000 new homes in 2013, the most since 2008. The 12-month moving average for new homes sales is at its highest level since February 2009.

Harsh weather in much of the country was also blamed for December's Pending Home Sales drop of 8.8%. This measure of contracts signed on existing homes foretells a dip in those sales when December's deals close a few months out. But some observers discovered in the numbers signs of a healthier housing market. There were fewer distressed sales, fewer pending short sales, and fewer investor purchases, all indicators of a return to normalcy for real estate. The National Association of Realtors is still forecasting 5.1 million existing home sales for 2014. Finally, the Mortgage Bankers Association purchase loan index was up 2% over the week before.

Margaret Allen

Margaret Allen

Broker Associate
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