Morning Minute: U.S. pending home sales rise to highest level since June 2013

Pending home sales saw significant gains in February, particularly in the Midwest and West regions of the country, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index. In February, the index — which tracks contract signings — rose 3.1 percent compared to last month, 12 percent compared to February 2014 and is the highest it has been since June 2013. Pending sales in the Midwest surged ahead 11.6 percent compared to January and is 13.8 percent higher than a year ago. Read more from NAR.

In other headlines:

Freddie Mac completes largest sale ever of seriously delinquent loans – HousingWire

Efficient Housing Design Might Finally Be Catching On – Gizmodo


Illinois REALTOR®: 5 ways to help senior homebuyers and sellers

Give yourself an edge when it comes to helping mature homeowners buy or sell their homes, and read the cover story of April Illinois REALTOR® magazine.

It’s titled “5 Senior Homebuyer & Seller Issues Solved,” and it tackles a topic that will be important to your success for the next five years or more. As Baby Boomers continue to age, understanding and meeting their needs will become critical to their satisfaction.

Make sure you read this article before your next appointment. It might give you the insight you need to help someone close to you.

Morning Minute: Housing markets warm up for spring home buying season

An improving jobs market and affordable mortgage interest rates still point to a strong spring housing market, despite recent winter weather, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Multi-Indicator Market Index. Illinois is among five states showing the most year-over-year housing market improvement and Chicago made the top five list when it comes to metro areas seeing the most annual improvement. Read more from Freddie Mac along with coverage from NAR’s Daily Real Estate News.

In other headlines:

Housing Inventory Slowly Disappearing – KCM Blog

Uh-oh: Most millennials don’t know about closing costs – HousingWire

Morning Minute: Sales of new U.S. homes hit seven year high in February

Sales of newly constructed, single-family homes rose 7.8 percent in February, rising to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 539,000, according to new data from the Commerce Department. The last time the annual rate was this high was in February 2008. Read the U.S. News and World Report article, “New Home Sales Surge in February“ and the USA Today article, “Feb. new-home sales soar to 7-year high.”

In other headlines:

5 Spring Home Buying Strategies – NAR Daily Real Estate News

A Soft Start to 2015, but Acceleration Expected – Fannie Mae