U.S. Existing-Home Sales Reach Prerecession Pace
Anna Louie Sussman,
WASHINGTON—Sales of existing homes climbed in July to their prerecession pace, but low inventory and higher prices threaten to curtail those gains heading into the fall.
Existing-home sales rose 2% last month from June to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.59 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. Last month’s sales pace was the highest since February 2007 and 10.3% higher than a year earlier. ...
Total housing inventory fell 0.4% at the end of July to 2.24 million existing homes available for sale, 4.7% lower than a year ago. At the current pace of sales it would take 4.8 months to exhaust the supply of homes on the market, down from 5.6 months a year ago, the NAR said Thursday. ...
Below is an article from Rise Media explaining that Millennials are not buying homes because of their lifestyle choices.
Lifestyle Choices—Not Student Debt—Keeping Homeownership at Bay for Millennials
The homeownership rate is falling — from a high of 69 percent in the mid-2000s to less than 64 percent today — and lack of millennial demand is a major factor. Some even see a lower homeownership rate as “the new normal,” as an Urban Institute study declared.
This trend appears worrying, especially with homeownership still strongly linked to the American Dream. But to fully assess the effects it’s having on society, we must actually answer the question of why millennials aren’t buying.
My research has led me to an unconventional, yet surprisingly obvious, answer. Lack of finances is not the primary reason millennials are shunning homeownership — in fact, it’s not a significant problem at all. The real reason they’re delaying or avoiding homeownership is their lifestyle choices, especially in the realm of marriage and children.
For full article go to: http://rismedia.com/?p=99036
Alternate View: The 5.4% Unemployment Rate Means Nothing For Millennials
The national unemployment rate has dropped to 5.4%, the lowest rate since 2008, but this low percentage means nothing for Millennials (born 1980-2000).
The data is actually pretty scary: 44% of college grads in their 20s are stuck in low-wage, dead-end jobs, the highest rate in decades, and the number of young people making less than $25,000 has also spiked to the highest level since the 1990s.
There are various factors contributing to the absence of jobs for Millennials.
First of all, employers are more hesitant to hire new graduates, as Baby Boomers are delaying retirement and holding onto their jobs due to financial insecurity. This creates stagnancy in the workplace.
Moreover, advances in technology are making many jobs obsolete because they can easily and cheaply be automated. In fact, renowned futurist Faith Popcorn argues that the “robot revolution” is coming, projecting that roughly one out of three U.S. workers will be replaced by robots by 2025.
We’re adapting to the changing job market. We’re not buying cars at the rates that previous generations have, instead opting to use public transportation or car-sharing services. Buying our first homes is no longer a part of the “American Dream,” as most of us aren’t even buying homes at all.
For full article go to: http://onforb.es/1GZXI6r
Mortgage Rates Up - 30 Year at 4.2%
Good News For MA Real Estate Market. Employment Continues To Rise!
MA March Unemployment Rate Dropped to 4.8% & Labor Participation Rate Rose to 66.2%, highest since June 2010.
Ma outperforms the nation. The USA March Unemployment Rate was 5.5% and the Labor Participation Rate fell to 62.7%.
BOSTON, MA -April 16, 2015 --- Today the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) released preliminary March 2015 estimates that show the Massachusetts total unemployment rate dropped to 4.8 percent, a 0.1 of a percentage point decrease from the February rate. Over the year, the unemployment rate fell by 1.1 percent from 5.9 percent in March 2014.
The share of working age residents employed or unemployed, also known as the labor participation rate, was 66.2, an increase of 0.3 of a percentage point since February. The March rate is the highest participation rate since June 2010. Compared with March 2014, the labor participation rate increased a full percentage point over the year.
March 2015 estimates show that 3,448,800 residents were employed and 175,200 were unemployed. Compared with March 2014, there were 34,000 fewer unemployed persons over the year.
Vacation Home Sales Up 57% in 2014 to Record 1.13 Million Sales
Cottages on Nantucket Island. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Vacation home sales shot up 57% in 2014 from a year prior, the largest increase since the National Association of Realtors began tracking the data in 2003.
Is the price reasonable?
Nearly 1.13 million vacation homes were purchased last year, surpassing the peak of 1.07 million in 2006, during the housing boom, according to the Realtors’ association. Vacation properties, defined as recreational property purchased primarily for use by the buyers or their families, accounted for 21% of all home sales last year, the largest share since the group began tracking the data.
But in some popular destinations, prices were up significantly. In Napa County, Calif., the median sales price for vacation homes rose 16.7% in 2014 from a year prior, according to Redfin, a national brokerage based in Seattle.
Increases at the high end of the market have been steep, in some cases. On the island of Nantucket, Mass., 195 homes changed hands in 2014 and the median price increased by 15%, to $1.2 million, according to the Warren Group, a real-estate data firm based in Boston. There were 161 sales in 2013. The vast majority of sales there are vacation homes, says Warren Group Chief Executive Timothy Warren.
For Full Article - http://goo.gl/tiYZF3
Existing Home Sales Up 10.4%. Northeast Sales Were Sluggish, But Our Local Market is HOT!!!
Contact us for your local market report - Homes@SullivanTeam.com
Survey Says: Real Estate is The Best Long-Term Investment
Apparently all is forgiven and forgotten and Americans are again embracing real estate as more than just shelter. For the second year in a row a Gallup telephone survey conducted in April found Americans think it is the best kind of long-term investment.
Investing in real estate outstripped stocks, gold, traditional savings instruments and bonds with 31 percent of survey respondents preferring it. Stocks and mutual funds were second at 25 percent. "A return of Americans' confidence in real estate and stocks as solid long-term investments was first evident a year ago, paralleling real world improvements in these areas," Gallup said. "Their continued strength this year indicates that was no fluke."
Real estate took a pounding in home values and consumer confidence during the subprime mortgage collapse and the subsequent housing crisis and recession. Gold gained appeal during this time, likely due to its tangible quality, but this has proved to be temporary.
Gold dropped to third this year as a choice for maintaining or growing wealth, declining by 5 percentage points to around an 18 percent preference. This was a significant change, Gallup said, from 2011 and 2012 when it was the runaway leader. Preference for gold has lost about 15 percentage points in the survey results since 2011.
Savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) and bonds consistently have been lower on the list, although those identifying savings accounts as the best investment reached 19% in 2012 -- comparable to stocks and real estate at the time -- possibly reflecting Americans' greater desire for stability and security in the first few years after the 2008-2009 financial crisis. This figure has since stabilized near 15%. The percentage choosing bonds has only decreased since Gallup's baseline measure in 2011.
The two top choices in the survey were relatively unchanged from the previous year after three years in which real estate and stocks increased in popularity while gold waned. While this trend originates in 2011, an earlier version of the Gallup question that did not include gold shows significant shifts in preference for real estate and stocks between July 2002 and April 2007. During that period preference for real estate fell from 50 percent amid the housing boom to 37% when values began to drop. During the same period stocks increased from 18 to 31 percent. Then both dropped 2008 and 2009 as the housing and equity markets suffered severe losses.