Clear Forward Momentum in the Housing Market

building permits“The Obama Administration’s efforts to speed the housing recovery are showing continued progress as the April scorecard indicators highlight ongoing improvements throughout the housing market.  The annual increase in home prices is the highest in nearly seven years and sales of existing and new homes are both up over 10 percent from one year ago.” — Kurt Usowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Housing affordability remained high in the first quarter of 2013, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.  In all, 73.7% of new and existing homes sold in the first quarter were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $64,400.

Building Permits Up

Building permits in April 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,017,000, up 35.8% from April 2012, and Housing starts in April 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 853,000, up 13.1% from April 2012, according to a joint release by the US Census of Bureau and US Department of Housing.

Freddie Mac’s 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.51% for the week ending May 16, 2013, and the 15-year FRM averaged 2.69%.  Both rates edged up when compared to previous weeks.

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