Morning Briefing: US pending home sales rebound to 9-year high

by Steve Randall30 Jun 2015
US pending home sales rebound to 9-year high
The housing market south of the border continues to show growth with new data showing that pending home sales have hit a nine-year high. The National Association of Realtors reported that its index of contracts to purchase homes is at its best level since 2006, rising 0.9 per cent to 112.6 in May. Year-over-year the index rose 10.4 per cent.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says contract activity rose again in May for the fifth straight month, increasing the likelihood that home sales are off to their best year since the downturn: "The steady pace of solid job creation seen now for over a year has given the housing market a boost this spring," said Yun. "It's very encouraging to now see a broad based recovery with all four major regions showing solid gains from a year ago and new home sales also coming alive." However he warned that strong sales have pushed prices higher and increasing issues of affordability.

The pending sales index in the Northeast increased 6.3 per cent to 93.9 in May, and is now 10.6 per cent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index declined 0.6 per cent to 111.4 in May, but is still 7.8 per cent above May 2014. In the South the PHSI decreased 0.8 per cent to 127.8 in May but are still 10.6 per cent above last May. The index in the West rose 2.2 per cent in May to 104.5, and is 13.0 per cent above a year ago.
Michelle Williams to buy Brooklyn mansion
Hollywood actress Michelle Williams is in contract to buy a Brooklyn mansion for $2.4 million. The New York Post says that the star is buying the colonial style home on Arbermarle Road which features 8 bedrooms, six bathrooms and leaded stained-glass windows. It may be something of a project for the actress as the home is in need of repair and is likely to be converted from its current two-family residence into a single home. Williams has a good pedigree when it comes to Brooklyn properties; having sold a previous home for $8.8 million, 17 per cent above asking price.
Real estate firm tops Fortune workplaces list
The 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials has been published by Fortune magazine and real estate firms rank highly. The number one spot on the list goes to Pennsylvania-based Power Home Remodeling Group, just ahead of Houston’s David Weekley Homes. Standard Pacific Homes, Camden Property Trust, Quicken Loans, Transwestern, Power Design and Annie Mac Home Mortgage are also in the top 50. 



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