A poll of prospective homebuyers found 42 percent believe home prices typically appreciate by 7 percent a year. The survey, which assessed prospective buyers’ knowledge of the home purchase process, shows continued optimism despite recent volatility in the housing market. Additionally, nearly half of the survey’s respondents said a buyer owns a home once the purchase contract is signed, though the signing only begins the closing phase of the process. And 56 percent said the purpose of an appraisal was to determine if the home is in good condition, when that is the reason for an inspection. But, despite some mistaken beliefs, the majority of prospective buyers were able to correctly answer basic questions about purchasing a home 65 percent of the time. More here.
According to The National Association of Realtors, pending home sales, which reflect signed contracts and not closings, fell 4.6 percent in September, though they remain higher than a year ago. Compared to September 2010, pending sales are up 6.4 percent. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said there continues to be weakness in consumer confidence, despite the fact that the private sector added nearly 2 million net new jobs in the past year. Regionally, the Midwest showed the most year-over-year improvement, rising 12.3 percent, though all regions are up from the September 2010. More here.
According to The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances was unchanged last week at 4.33 percent. The average 30-year rate on jumbo loans increased slightly to 4.68 percent from 4.64 percent the previous week. The Market Composite Index, which measures total mortgage loan application volume, was up 4.9 percent from the week before, as both the Refinance and Purchase indexes saw gains. Refinance demand rose 4.4 percent from the previous week, while purchase application demand was up 6.4 percent. More here and here.
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices shows home values up 0.2 percent in August for both the 10- and 20-city composites. Home values increased in ten of the 20 cities covered by the indices. It was the fifth consecutive month that at least half of the surveyed cities saw monthly gains. David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee, said, in addition to the monthly increase, 16 of 20 cities and both composites saw their annual rates of change improve in August, offering a glimmer of hope that the market may be stabilizing. Regionally, home prices in the Midwest have shown sharp monthly increases since May, despite being among the hardest hit markets during the housing crisis. More here and here.