Morning Briefing: Pending homes sales lower in June

by Steve Randall30 Jul 2015
Pending homes sales lower in June
Pending home sales slipped slightly in June but were not too far off May’s level. The National Association of Realtors’ index fell 1.8 per cent to 110.3 in June but is still 8.2 per cent above June 2014 (101.9). Despite last month's decline, the index is the third highest reading of 2015 and has now increased year-over-year for ten consecutive months. Modest gains in the Northeast and West were offset by larger declines in the Midwest and South.

Lawrence Yar, NAR chief economist commented: "Competition for existing houses on the market remained stiff last month, as low inventories in many markets reduced choices and pushed prices above some buyers' comfort level. The demand is there for more sales, but the determining factor will be whether or not some of these buyers decide to hold off even longer until supply improves and price growth slows."

The national median existing-home price for all housing types in 2015 is expected to increase around 6.5 percent to $221,900, which would match the record high set in 2006. Total existing-home sales this year are forecast to increase 6.6 percent to around 5.27 million, about 25 percent below the prior peak set in 2005 (7.08 million).
Refinance applications higher last week
The Mortgage Bankers’ Association says that mortgage applications for the week ending July 24 were up from the previous week. The Market Composite Index, increased 0.8 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis it was 1 per cent higher.  The Refinance Index increased 2 per cent; the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.1 per cent; the unadjusted Purchase Index increased 0.2 per cent. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 50.6 per cent of total applications from 50.3 percent the previous week; ARM’s decreased to 6.6 percent of total applications; FHA’s decreased to 13.7 per cent (from 14.0 per cent); VA’s decreased to 10.9 per cent (from 11.3 percent); and USDA’s remained unchanged from 0.9 per cent the week prior.
Breaking Bad home for sale
A house used in the hit TV series “Breaking Bad” is up for sale in Albuquerque. Susan C. Feil and Alicia Feil Peterson of Coldwell Banker Legacy are marketing the homes, including the one where the character Jesse Pinkman made crystal meth. The listing clearly states “meth lab not included.” The 4-bedroom detached home is listed for $1.6 million.