Morning Minute: U.S. pending home sales hit nine-year high, NAR reports

Homebuyer demand is growing stronger as evidenced by the latest Pending Home Sales Index, which in April climbed to its highest level since May 2006, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). April also marked the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Read a news release and watch a video from NAR.

“REALTORS® are saying foot traffic remains elevated this spring despite limited — and in some cases severe — inventory shortages in many metro areas. Homeowners looking to sell this spring appear to be in the driver’s seat, as there are more buyers competing for a limited number of homes available for sale,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

In other headlines: Waiting to buy a home could cost tens of thousands – HousingWire

Mortgage Rates Reach 2015 High – Freddie Mac

Morning Minute: U.S. new home sales jump higher in April

Image: Bigstock

There was good news this week on the new home front — sales of new construction homes climbed 6.8 percent in April compared to March and are 26 percent higher than a year ago, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department. Articles by Forbes, “New Home Sales Rise 6.8% In April, Jumping 26% Year-Over-Year,” and Bloomberg, “Sales of New U.S. Homes Climbed More Than Forecast in April,” have the details.

In other headlines:

REALTORS’® Confident About the 6-Month Outlook Improved in April 2015 – National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Over 80% of New Rentals Are Luxury Projects – NAR Daily Real Estate News

What will the climb in one-person households mean for our future?

Bigstock Photo

The better your market is at supplying affordable housing for older Americans who want to continue living alone, the better your chances of helping them keep their independence.

That’s one conclusion you could draw after reading a blog titled “The Rise of the Single-Person Household,” by George Masnick, Senior Research Fellow for Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Masnick says that in general, the market has responded well to the changing housing needs of Americans. But the exception has been the supply of smaller, accessible, affordable single-family residences for older citizens. He cites many factors that have worked against that.

Bigstock Photo

Masnick uses a variety of resources to give meaning to statistics about single-person households, such as:

  • 100 years ago, less than 6 percent of U.S. households included only one person;
  • In 2013, 28 percent of U.S. households had one person;
  • In 2013, 54 percent of single-person households were women;
  • In 1940, 61 percent of single-person households were renters;
  • In 2013, two-thirds of single-person households under the age of 45 were renters; and
  • In 2013, a strong majority of single-person households over age 64 owned their homes.

Get more from the full blog post.

Illinois sees higher home sales, prices in April #IARMarketStats

The strong start to Illinois’ spring housing market continued in April with gains in year-over-year home sales and median home prices, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. Statewide home sales totaled 12,822 homes sold, up 6.6 percent from last year and the statewide median price rose to $170,000, a 9.7 percent gain over April 2014. Read today’s news release.