Investors account for 17% of existing homes sale in 3Q2012 | Average 15-Year fixed rate dipped to the lowest

real estate market improvingThe solid increase in the number of improving housing markets this month illustrates the degree to which the housing recovery has gained momentum since we initiated the IMI last year. Compared to the 30 markets that made the list as of November 2011, we now have 125, which is about one-third of all the markets surveyed for this index.” – David Crowe, NAHB Chief Economist

According to NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index released on Nov 6th, the number of markets that showed improvement in Housing Starts, House Prices and Employment for at least 6 months expanded by 22 to 125. Builder Confidence measured by the NAHB/First American 55+ Improving Markets Index from a level of 12 to 36 over the last year. This is the highest third-quarter reading since the inception of the index in 2008.

Home prices are responding to better market fundamentals, such as reduced inventories and improved buyer demand,” said “So far this year, we’re seeing clear signs of stabilization and improvement that show promise for a gradual recovery in the residential housing market.” – Anand Nallathambi, President and CEO of CoreLogic

The CoreLogic September Home Price Index increased on a year-over-year basis by 5% in September 2012, the biggest increase since July 2006.

Median Home Prices Up

The median existing single-family home price is $186,100 in the third quarter, up 7.6% compared to the third quarter of 2011. It is the strongest year-over-year price increase since the first quarter of 2006. The median prices in HomeUnion’s cash flow zones at Metropolitan Statistical Area level are:

Atlanta: $106,700

Birmingham: $157,500

Chicago: $184,400

Indianapolis: $134,000

Kansas City: $148,500

Memphis: $124,600

Pittsburgh: $223,800

Note that HomeUnion markets quality properties at prices lower than the median prices quoted above.

Total existing-home sales rose by 10.3% to a rate of 4.68 million compared to the third quarter of 2011. Investors accounted for 17 percent of all transactions in the third quarter.

The Freddie Mac 15-year average fixed-rate dipped to 2.69%. The market expects the current Fed policies of maintaining low mortgage rates to continue for a while with Obama’s victory.

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