Home Sales Rise to Fastest Pace in Three Years:
Home resales rose sharply in November to their fastest pace in three years, which is yet another sign the housing market is gaining steam.
The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday that existing home sales climbed 5.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million units. That was the fastest increase since November 2009, when a federal tax credit for home buyers was due to expire. Sales were well above the median forecast of a 4.87 million-unit rate.
Nationwide, the median price for a home resale was $180,600 in November, up 10.1 percent from a year earlier as fewer people sold their homes under distressed conditions compared to the same period in 2011. Distressed sales include foreclosures.
The nation's inventory of existing homes for sale fell 3.8 percent during the month to 2.03 million, the lowest level since December 2001. At the current pace of sales, inventories would be exhausted in 4.8 months, the lowest rate since September 2005. Distressed sales fell to 22 percent of total sales from 29 percent a year ago.
So, to recap: More people are buying homes and are paying higher prices than they did a year ago. Plus, there are fewer distressed sales and the inventory of homes available for sale is at the lowest level in 10 years. This all adds up to a great housing market.
What Happened to Rates Last Week?
Mortgage backed securities (MBS) lost -8 basis points from last Friday to the prior Friday which caused 30 year fixed mortgage rates to move slightly higher. We had our highest mortgage rates on Tuesday and our lowest rates on Friday.
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