- LOCAL INDICATORS
Realty, building see gains in AprilSales prices and construction activity rise from previous year, reports show.
- By Lorelei Stevens
HYANNIS – Housing inventory remained tight and median sale price was up considerably in April compared with the same time last year, according to preliminary statistics released Tuesday by the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors.At the same time, the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod reported an increase in permits for new construction and rebuilds for the first four months of this year, compared with a year ago.Those numbers probably don't surprise Mary Miller, chief residential lending officer for the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, who said she has seen a surge in mortgage and construction loan business this spring.“The purchase market is crazy busy,” she said. “And, at the moment, we have $30 million in active residential construction loans. Last year, we had about $15 million.”The Realtors association derived its home sale figures from the Cape Cod & Islands Multiple Listing Service for Barnstable County.A total of 308 homes sold in April – 234 single family homes and 74 condominiums – compared with April 2014 when 352 homes – 285 single family homes and 67 condos – sold.The median sale price for a single family home was $360,000, up $35,000 from this time last year when the median was $325,000.The April 2015 median for a condo was $289,500, compared with $265,000 last year.Year-to-date, 870 single family homes have sold for a median price of $360,000 and 225 condos have sold for a median price of $277,000. That compares with the same period last year when 888 single family homes sold for a median price of $346,000 and 208 condos sold for a median of $244,500.Although inventory of homes for sale continues to be “extremely low,” that’s starting to change, according to Realtors association President Aleta Azarian.“We’re seeing new listings rise year over year and inventory – albeit, slowly – come to the market,” she said. “And, at times, that new inventory is not lasting long.”At the end of April, 2,636 single family homes and 601 condos were posted for sale with the Cape Cod & Islands Multiple Listing Service. That's down sharply from April 2014, when 3,403 single family homes and 803 condos were listed as active.According to the home builders association, 153 building permits for new Cape construction were pulled from Jan. 1 through the end of April this year, a 5.5 percent increase over the same time last year.There also was an increase in permits for rebuilds, which involve a total teardown and rebuild on the same footprint – 16 for January through April compared with nine last year over the same period.The total value of 2015 rebuilding permits to date was $12,061,200, up 346 percent from last year. Home builders association Executive Director Christine Duren explained that four of the 16 permits – two in Barnstable and two in Falmouth – were valued between $1.5 million and $2.7 million, representing at least $8 million of the over $9 million increase.“We’re not talking about huge numbers, but you can see a trend in teardowns and rebuilds,” she said.—Follow Lorelei Stevens on Twitter: @CCTLorelei.
Realty, building see gains in April Sales. Prices and construction activity rise from previous year, reports show.
RISMEDIA, Thursday, April 30, 2015— Pending home sales in March continued their recent momentum, rising for the third straight month and remaining at their highest level since June 2013, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.1 percent to 108.6 in March from an upward revision of 107.4 in February and is now 11.1 percent above March 2014 (97.7). The index has now increased year-over-year for seven consecutive months and is at its highest level since June 2013 (109.4).
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says contract signings picked up in March as more buyers than usual entered this year’s competitive spring market. “Demand appears to be stronger in several parts of the country, especially in metro areas that have seen solid job gains and firmer economic growth over the past year,” he says. “While contract activity being up convincingly compared to a year ago is certainly good news, the increased number of traditional buyers who appear to be replacing investors paying in cash is even better news. It indicates this year’s activity is being driven by more long-term homeowners.”
Yun expects a gradual improvement in home sales in the months ahead but says insufficient supply and accelerating prices could be a drawback to sales reaching their full potential.
“Demand in many markets is far exceeding supply, and properties in March sold at a faster rate than any month since last summer,” he says. “This in turn has pushed home prices to unhealthy levels – nearly four or more times above the pace of wage growth in some parts of the country. Simply put, housing inventory for new and existing homes needs to improve measurably to improve affordability.”
The PHSI in the Northeast fell (1.5 percent) for the fourth straight month to 80.2 in March, but is still 0.6 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index declined 2.5 percent to 107.5 in March, but is 11.3 percent above March 2014.
Pending home sales in the South increased 4.0 percent to an index of 126.5 in March and are 12.4 percent above last March. The index in the West rose 1.7 percent in March to 103.7, and is now 15.6 percent above a year ago.
For more information, visit www.realtor.org.
RISMEDIA, Wednesday, April 29, 2015— Home prices continued their valiant rise across the country over the last 12 months, according to a recently released S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showing data for February 2015.
Both the 10-City and 20-City Composites saw larger year-over-year increases in February compared to January. The 10-City Composite gained 4.8 percent year-over-year, up from 4.3 percent in January. The 20- City Composite gained 5.0 percent year-over-year, compared to a 4.5 percent increase in January.
The S&P/CaseShiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 4.2 percent annual gain in February 2015, weaker than the 4.4 percent increase in January 2015. Denver and San Francisco reported the highest year-over-year gains, as prices increased by 10.0 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively, over the last 12 months. It was the first double digit increase for Denver since August 2013. Seventeen cities reported higher year-over-year price increases in the year ended February 2015 than in the year ended January 2015, with San Francisco showing the largest acceleration.
Three cities -- San Diego, Las Vegas and Portland, OR -- reported that the pace of annual price increases slowed. Month-over-Month The National Index rebounded in February, reporting a 0.1 percent change for the month. Both the 10- and 20-City Composites reported significant month-over-month increases of 0.5 percent, their largest increase since July 2014. Of the sixteen cities that reported increases, San Francisco and Denver led all cities in February with increases of 2.0 percent and 1.4 percent. Cleveland reported the largest drop as prices fell 1.0 percent. Las Vegas and Boston reported declines of -0.3 percent and -0.2 percent respectively.
“Home prices continue to rise and outpace both inflation and wage gains,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The S&P/Case-Shiller National Index has seen 34 consecutive months with positive year-over-year gains; all 20 cities have shown year-over-year gains every month since the end of 2012. While prices are certainly rebounding, only two cities – Denver and Dallas – have surpassed their housing boom peaks. Nationally, prices are almost 10 percent below the high set in July 2006. Las Vegas fell 61.7 percent peak to trough and has the farthest to go to set a new high; it is 41.5 percent below its high. If a complete recovery means new highs all around, we’re not there yet.
“A better sense of where home prices are can be seen by starting in January 2000, before the housing boom accelerated, and looking at real or inflation adjusted numbers. Based on the S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, prices rose 66.8 percent before adjusting for inflation from January 2000 to February 2015; adjusted for inflation, this is 27.9 percent or a 1.7 percent annual rate. The highest price gain over the last 15 years was in Los Angeles with a 4.3 percent real annual rate; the lowest was Detroit with a -3.6 percent real annual rate. While nationally, prices are recovering, new construction of single family homes remains very weak despite low vacancy rates among both renters and owner-occupied homes.”
For more information, visit HomePrice.SPDJI.com.
By Amy Anthony
Posted Jan. 7, 2015 @ 2:00 am
Updated Jan 7, 2015 at 9:56 AM
BARNSTABLE – Real estate activity in Barnstable County finished 2014 strong, with the highest monthly median sales price in recent years and a late surge in sales to surpass 2013, the Barnstable County Registry of Deeds reported Tuesday.
Both the volume and value of property sold on Cape Cod increased last month, Register of Deeds John Meade reported.
The volume of real estate sales on the Cape last month increased 12.8 percent and the value of real estate sales increased 26.7 percent compared with December 2013, according to Meade.
The median individual property sale value was up 15.8 percent from the previous year, with a median value of $347,450, according to the Registry. In August, the median sale price hit $343,000, a multi-year high at the time.
Meade, though, pointed out that the median sale price between August and December dipped by $15,000 to $20,000.
“That’s why I don’t put a lot of significance in the month-to-month numbers,” Meade said.
Annie Blatz, president-elect of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, agreed.
“It’s a slow but steady recovery, which is healthy,” said Blatz, who manages three Kinlin Grover Real Estate offices on the Cape. “I am cautiously optimistic about 2015 and 2016.”
Nevertheless, Meade said the market is now more consistent than it was a few years ago.
“We’ve seen two years now of steady activity with positive trends,” Meade said. “The foreclosure numbers are shrinking to some degree from where they were, and individual values and overall values are creeping up.”
In 2013, there were 171 foreclosures in Barnstable County; in 2014, there were 135 – a 21 percent decrease.
Meanwhile, the median sale price for all of 2014 was $325,000, up from $315,000 for 2013. And the total sales value increased as well, from about $2.9 billion in 2013 to $3.1 billion in 2014. However, the total sales volume increased only slightly, from 6,660 in 2013 to 6,672 in 2014.
Blatz said she has found that sale values seem to be increasing “slowly but steadily.”
Though the year finished strong, Meade said the first three months of the year are typically the slowest, especially if the weather is bad. The latter portion of 2014 was significantly busier than the first three months, Meade said.
“We had a really crummy winter in terms of snow, and it's tough to go house hunting when there's two feet of snow in the yard so that may explain why we were slower from the get go,” Meade said. “Winter so far has been pretty mild. If it stays that way in January, February and March, that would be nice.”
However, Blatz said she is seeing good buyer activity right now.
“Sometimes we experience a pickup right after the first of the year, especially from people who are looking for second homes, but it’s definitely impacted by the weather,” Blatz said. “But it’s too soon to tell right now.”
By JOSH BOAK
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 25, 2014 2:00 AM
WASHINGTON — U.S. sales of new homes surged in August, led by a wave of buying in the West and Northeast.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales climbed 18 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000. The report also revised up the July sales rate to 427,000 from 412,000.
Newly constructed homes sold at the fastest clip since May 2008. It's a clear sign of improvement for a real estate market that has been muddled in recent months, as the rebound in sales following the housing bust began to slow.
Sales of new homes are up 33 percent over the past 12 months. Median prices for new homes have risen nearly 8 percent during the same period to $275,600.
"All is not perfect in the housing market but things are certainly better today than they were about one year ago," said Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG brokerage.
In the West, August purchases of new homes soared 50 percent compared with the prior month. Off the sharp August increase, sales in the West have nearly doubled in the past 12 months.
Between August and July, sales grew 29.2 percent in the Northeast. Buying increased 7.8 percent in the South and remained flat in the Midwest.
The housing market has been sputtering for much this year. A nascent recovery in sales and prices began to struggle toward the middle of 2013. Ferocious winter weather delayed construction and limited sales at the beginning of 2014. Buying did pick up over the summer. Yet the pace of sales has been depressed by sluggish wage growth and the price surge last year that put homes out of reach for many Americans.
While new-home sales did show greater strength in August, they are significantly below the 1990s pace of more than 700,000 sales a year, said Tom Showalter, chief analytics officer at Digital Risk, a mortgage analyst company.
"We're well below historic norms," Showalter said.
There are signs that another housing uptick may be in the works.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index climbed in September to 59, the highest reading since November 2005. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as improving.
But greater builder confidence has yet to translate into more construction.
In August, home building fell 14.4 percent compared with the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 956,000 houses and apartment complexes, according to the Commerce Department.
Much of that decrease was in the volatile apartments sector. Home builders started single-family houses at an annual rate of 626,000 last month, slightly below the pace of 631,000 in August 2013.
Existing home sales have also eased back compared with last year's pace.
Purchases of existing homes fell 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million in August, the National Association of Realtors said this week.
Sales fell from a July rate of 5.14 million, a figure that was revised slightly downward. Overall, the pace of home sales has dropped 5.3 percent year-over-year.
By AMY ANTHONY
September 05, 2014
BARNSTABLE - The median value of property sold on Cape Cod hit a multi-year high in August, Barnstable County Register of Deeds John Meade reported Thursday.
And the value of real estate sales on the Cape increased 17.9 percent last month compared with August 2013, according to the Registry of Deeds.
And the median individual property sale value increased 8 percent over last year, with a median sale price of $343,500, Meade said.
Referring to the median sale price of $343,500, Meade said, “This is as high as it’s been in a while.” Meade estimates it is the highest it has been in several years. The median individual property sale price was 8 percent higher than in August 2013, when it was $318,000, he said.
But Meade cautioned that the monthly report is only a snapshot of the market.
“The one-month view can skew what’s going on in the market,” Meade said. He noted that the median sale price for July was lower than expected at $305,000.
“There are a combination of things that could affect the median number,” Meade said.
While there may have been more high-end sales in August, Meade estimated that there are still plenty of properties available at the low end of the market - in the $100,000 to $200,000 range.
The volume of real estate sales last month increased from the previous August as well, but only by 3.3 percent, Meade said.There were 622 deeds recorded last month at the Barnstable Registry of Deeds, whereas there were 602 deeds recorded in August 2013, he said.
One area that decreased in year-over-year comparison was the volume of mortgage activity, Meade said. In fact, there was a 22.6 percent decrease, he said.
Meade attributed the decrease to the “historically low” interest rates of the past several years.
People are “at a rate they’re comfortable with,” Meade said.
Check out this great video about Brewster, MA from Kinlin Grover TV.
Pending Home Sales Soar Nationwide in May
By Andrew KhouriRISMEDIA,
Wednesday, July 02, 2014— (MCT)—Pending home sales surged more than expected in May, the latest sign a sluggish housing recovery is picking up steam.
A gauge of signed contracts for previously owned homes jumped 6.1 percent from April, the National Association of REALTORS® says Monday. It was the largest pop since April 2010. Then, buyers rushed to lock in a first-time homebuyer tax credit before it expired.
After slowing last summer, the housing market appears to be turning a corner. More homes on the market, slowing price appreciation and lower mortgage rates have lured buyers off the sidelines, economists say.
The REALTORS®’ pending sales index, adjusted for seasonal swings, tracks signed, but not closed contracts for previously owned homes. Deals usually close within one or two months.
May’s pending sales data beat expectations. The median forecast for economists polled by Bloomberg News was for a 1.5 percent rise.
And buyers closed deals on 4.9 percent more previously owned homes in May than April. Meanwhile, new home sales jumped 18.6 percent in May.
“An improvement in sales is likely to continue for at least a few more months, a welcomed reprieve after a significantly slow start to the year,” Sterne Agee chief economist Lindsey Piegza says in a statement.
Still, the market isn’t humming like last year. Higher prices and fewer foreclosures have investors and families less likely to strike a deal. Pending sales in May were 5.2 percent below May 2013 levels.
Pending sales rose in all regions from April.
Further gains, Piegza says, will rely on “sustained improvement in income and job creation.”
©2014 Los Angeles Times
Distributed by MCT Information Services
By ROBERT GOLDrgold@capecodonline.comJune 05, 2014BARNSTABLE — Real estate sales took a dip in May year over year, while mortgage activity sank 41.2 percent, according to the latest data from the Barnstable County Registry of Deeds.
The median sale price rose slightly.
There were 947 mortgages last month with values of more than $50,000, the registry reported. That compares with 1,610 in May 2013.
"A big piece of that is the refinance market going on at the time," said David Brennan, vice president of the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank.
Barnstable County Register of Deeds John Meade agrees.
"That is consistent with where we are all year," Meade said. "To me, that is 100 percent coming from the fact the refinancing activity has basically come to an effective halt."
Meade said that those who were looking to refinance have already done so at the lower rates of previous years. And now, with rates higher than last year, the incentive to refinance has waned.
"The rates were down significantly for a long, long time "» and those people that could take advantage have already done so," he said.
There were 693 property sales last month, compared with 724 sales for the same time last year. Meade said last year's sales in May "were one of the better months we had in a long, long time." He described last month as "relatively solid" in terms of the number of sales.
The number of foreclosures last month was eight, compared with 18 in May 2013. There have been 61 for the first five months of this year, compared with 75 for the same stretch last year.
The median sales value was $329,000 last month. This compared with $320,000 in May 2013 and $310,617 in April of this year. Within the past 13 months, only September 2013, at $330,426, had a higher median sales value.
Meade said the $500,000-to-$1-million market has heated up recently.
"When things are really going well, you see that half-million to million-dollar activity level really improving," Meade said. "We seem to be creeping up to consistently being above $300,000," he said, referring to the monthly median sales value. Within the past 13 months, the median has only dropped below $300,000 twice.