QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "We never taste a perfect joy; our happiest successes are mixed with sadness" --Pierre Corneille, French dramatist
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Some observers were indeed sad to see that New Home Sales fell off by 2.4% in July, dipping to a 412,000 annual rate. But wait. June's number had been revised upward and, besides, New Home Sales are still up 12.3% over a year ago. Other positive notes included the median price of new homes sold was up 2.9% versus a year ago and the average price, up 2.9%. The inventory of new homes grew by 8,000 during the month, still low, but better than it's been. The housing recovery is intact, but there are fits and starts we have to be ready for, given that the overall economy forges forward at such a plodding pace.
Mixed news continued with home prices. The FHFA index of prices for homes financed with conforming mortgages was up 0.4% in June and is up 5.2% versus a year ago. But the Case-Shiller home price index for 20 metros was off 0.2%, its first overall dip since early in 2012.The index, however, is still up 8.1% in the past year. More good news: the National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales index shot up 3.3% in July, hitting its highest level since August 2013.The NAR's chief economist put this higher contract activity to more favorable housing conditions. He said: "Interest rates are lower than they were a year ago, price growth continues to moderate, and total housing inventory is at its highest level since August 2012."
BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... Don't buy into the idea that with the Internet, today's customers will always find you. Sure, market yourself online, but don't abandon old school lead generation tactics that have worked, including cold calls.
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