Morning Briefing: Existing sales rise at fastest pace in a decade

by Steve Randall23 Feb 2017
Existing sales rise at fastest pace in a decade
January saw a strong start to the year for existing home sales with a pace not seen for almost a decade.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales increased in all major regions except for the Midwest and were up 3.3 per cent nationally to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million.

That pace is 3.8 per cent higher than January 2016 and is the strongest since February 2007.

"Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

"Market challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start as homebuyers staved off inventory levels that are far from adequate and deteriorating affordability conditions," he added.

The median existing price was up 7.1 per cent from a year earlier to $228,900.

Inventory was up 2.4 per cent from December but was still 7.1 per cent below that of January 2016 with 1.69 million existing homes available for sale.

The ‘gig’ economy set to impact our cities says JLL
Commercial real estate and the future of our cities is being challenged by the rise of the so-called ‘gig’ economy with more freelancers doing work traditionally done by permanent workers.

While this trend could mean firms requiring more flexible office spaces, Peter Miscovich, Managing Director for Corporate Solutions with JLL says they will also require a better class of workplace.

“If an employee is only going to visit the corporate office within brief intervals each week, then we really must provide the highest quality of enriched employee workplace experience," he said.

The outlook is included in a new report from CoreNet Global called “The Bigger Picture, The Future of Corporate Real Estate.”

The study reveals that 60 per cent of decision makers say the need for office space is decreasing.

"Office space is evolving to support changing business requirements," said Tim Venable, Senior Vice President of CoreNet Global. "At times, for some companies, that will mean less space.

Credit card management linked to mortgage delinquencies
The way that consumers manage their credit cards reveals how likely they are to default on mortgage payments.

A study by lender TransUnion in Canada, the US and Hong Kong, reveals that those who consistently pay more than the minimum payment on their credit card statement are less likely to be risky borrowers on other credit products.

Such findings derived from trended data could help lenders better mitigate account risks and maximize consumer opportunities.

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