Morning Briefing: Pending home sales down but not out

by Steve Randall29 Sep 2015
Pending home sales down but not out
America’s pending home sales declined slightly in August but the market remains healthy according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index was down 1.4 per cent in the month but is still 6.1 per cent above its August 2014 level.

Chief economist Lawrence Yun says that demand continues to outpace supply and that the market should continue at a buoyant pace however there are some concerns: "The possibility of a government shutdown and any ongoing instability in the equity markets could cause some households to put off buying for the time being. Furthermore, adapting to the changes being implemented next month in the mortgage closing process could delay some sales."

Pending home sales decreased in the Northeast, South and Midwest and rose in the West. The index is higher in all areas than it was a year ago. The national median existing–home price is expected to increase 5.8 percent in 2015 to $220,300.
Tom Cruise sells Hollywood Hills compound
A 2.75 acre villa compound in the Hollywood Hills owned by Tom Cruise has been sold according to Zillow. Cruise listed the property at almost $13 million in July. The main house has 3-bedrooms and 3-bathrooms, glass walls offering stunning views and hi-spec kitchen. There is a separate 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom guest house and outside space includes a pool and waterfall. The compound has sold for less than the asking price at $11.4 million.
Massachusetts home sales increased in August
Real estate agents in Massachusetts had a busy August with closed sales of single-family homes up 9.8 per cent from a year earlier. The Massachusetts Association of Realtors says that there were 5,890 closed sales at a median price of $365,000; 4.3 per cent higher than a year ago. Condos also sold well with 2,199 sold in August, up 4.9 per cent from a year earlier and at a median price of $335,000, up 3.1 per cent year-over-year.

“This summer has seen some of the highest year-over-year closed sales increases in recent years due to a very active buyers’ market this spring,” said 2015 MAR President Corinne Fitzgerald, broker-owner of FITZGERALD Real Estate in Greenfield. “Additionally, with all these new listings added to the market this month, it suggests to me that we can keep this momentum going into the fall.”

Inventory fell by 17.3 per cent for single-family homes and 21.5 per cent for condos compared to August 2014. New listings were up by 11.6 per cent for single-family homes and 15.8 per cent for condos. 


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