Morning Briefing: New home sales edge higher

by Steve Randall24 Mar 2016
New home sales edge higher
The sale of newly-built single-family homes rose 2 per cent in February. The figures from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and US Census Bureau show a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 512,000 units.

“The February bounce back in sales is in line with our builders’ reports that the housing market continues to recover at a slow but steady pace,” said Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill.
The inventory of new homes for sale was 240,000 in February, which is a 5.6-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price of new houses sold in February was $301,400.
Mortgage applications down 3.3 per cent
Mortgage applications were down again in the week ending Mar 18 with refinance loans again leading the decline. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association’s Market Composite Index was down 3.3 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier; on an adjusted basis it was down 3 per cent.

The Refinance Index decreased 5 per cent; the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 per cent; the unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 per cent compared with the previous week but was 25 per cent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 53.9 per cent of total applications from 55.0 per cent the previous week; ARM share remained unchanged at 4.9 per cent; FHA share increased to 11.8 per cent from 11.7 per cent the week prior; VA share increased to 12.6 per cent from 12.3 per cent the week prior; USDA share increased to 0.9 per cent from 0.8 per cent the week prior.
Former Sidney Sheldon home lists for $88 million
The former home of TV writer and novelist Sidney Sheldon has been listed for $88 million. The Los Angeles mansion Maison du Solei is owned by fashion designer Max Azria was originally listed last year for $85 million.

The LA Times reports that Azria bought the home from Sheldon in 2005 and paid $14.4 million. The estate has a total of 17 bedrooms and 22 bathrooms, a 6,000 square foot movie theater, pool and tennis court. 

Hilton & Hyland are handling the listing with three agents, Alla Furman, Branden Williams and Rayni Romito Williams.


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