Tag Archives: sales

US pending home sales at highest for over nine years

Pending home sales in the United States continued to rise in May and are now at their highest level in over nine years, the latest index data shows. Gains in the Northeast and West were offset by small decreases in the Midwest and South, according to the Pending Home Sales index from the National Association of Realtors which is a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings. The index climbed 0.9% to 112.6 in May from a slight downward revision of 111.6 in April and is now 10.4% above May 2014 when it was 101.9. The index has now increased year on year for nine consecutive months and is at its highest level since April 2006. According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, contract activity rose again in May for the fifth straight month, increasing the likelihood that home sales are off to their best year since the downturn. ‘The steady pace of solid job creation seen now for over a year has given the housing market a boost this spring. It's very encouraging to now see a broad based recovery with all four major regions showing solid gains from a year ago and new home sales also coming alive,’ he explained. However, Yun warned that this year's stronger sales amidst similar housing supply levels from a year ago have caused home prices to rise to an unhealthy and unsustainable pace. ‘Housing affordability remains a pressing issue with home price growth increasing around four times the pace of wages. Without meaningful gains in new and existing supply, there's no question the goalpost will move further away for many renters wanting to become home owners,’ he added. The PHSI in the Northeast increased 6.3% to 93.9 in May, and is now 10.6% above a year ago. In the Midwest the index declined 0.6% to 111.4 in May, but is still 7.8% above May 2014. Pending home sales in the South decreased 0.8% to an index of 127.8 in May but are still 10.6% above last May. The index in the West rose 2.2% in May to 104.5, and is 13% above a year ago. Continue reading

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UK flagship Help to Buy reaches 131 new home owners a day

The UK government’s flagship Help to Buy schemes have created 131 new home owners every day since April 2013, according to the latest figures to be released. Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said that the data shows Help to Buy is an important part of the government’s efforts to ensure anyone that works hard and aspires to own their own home has the opportunity to do so. Since the launch of the schemes, over 100,000 people have used the Help to Buy equity loan, mortgage guarantee and NewBuy schemes at a fraction of the deposit they would normally require. The data also shows that four out of the five of these were first time buyers and 94% of the sales were outside of London, alleviating concerns expressed at the launch of the schemes that they would not reach out to the most needy. Launched in 2013, the Help to Buy: equity loan and Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee schemes were set up to support people who could pay a mortgage, but struggle to save the deposits required by lenders following the financial crisis. The Help to Buy: NewBuy scheme offers 95% mortgages for those buying new build homes and the number of new home owners has reached 101,972. Overall since 2010, over 225,000 households have been helped to buy and reserve a new home through government-backed schemes. ‘The figures clearly show the continuing success of the Help to Buy scheme in supporting many credit worthy, hardworking people who want to buy their own home. Our long term economic plan has turned this country around from the one we inherited, now numbers of first time buyers are at their highest since 2007, house building continues to climb and over 225,000 households have been helped to buy or reserve property since 2010 through government backed schemes,’ said Lewis. According to Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, Help to Buy continues to drive demand for new homes, and its extension to 2020 is a huge boost. ‘That demand is being met by the house building industry which is increasing output at the highest rate for decades,’ he said. ‘With this support for buyers in place, house builders are planning greater investment in land, labour and supply chains to maintain and sustain this increased level of activity. Delivering more, high quality houses will provide the next generation with decent homes, create jobs and boost local economies across the country,’ he added. The data also shows that the average price of homes under the scheme is £213,954, well below the £271,000 UK average. The scheme has also brought down the average deposit needed. Some of the main towns and cities benefiting from the Help to Buy schemes include Leeds with 1,477 sales, Birmingham with 1,301 sales, Wiltshire with 1,242 sales, County Durham with 1,169 sales and Bedfordshire with 1,128 sales. The government has already announced the extension of the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme to 2020, to help… Continue reading

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Canadian property sales up for fourth month in a row

Nationally home sales in Canada have increased for the fourth month in a row, up 3.1% from April to May and prices are up 8.1% year on year. Actual, not seasonally adjusted, activity is now 2.7% above May 2014 levels although the he number of newly listed homes was little changed from April to May, according to the latest index data from the Canadian Real Estate Association. CREA said that the Canadian housing market remains balanced overall put national figures are being skewed by exceptional prices in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto. If these are excluded than the year on year price increase is just 2.4%. The data shows that national sales activity is at its highest level in more than five years and transactions were up from the previous month in about 60% of all local markets, led by increases in the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal. One factor that could be responsible for the sales growth, however, is that “mortgage default insurance premiums increased at the beginning of June and this may have encouraged buyers to complete in May top beat the rise. Year on year price growth accelerated in May in all home categories tracked by the index with the exception of one storey single family homes. Two storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year on year price gains with a rise of 7.18% while the price of one storey single family homes increased by 4.11%, townhouse/row units by 4.09% and apartments by 2.91%. Annual price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater Vancouver saw the biggest rise at 9.41% followed by Greater Toronto at 8.9%. Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island all recorded year on year gains of about 4% in May. The data also shows that price gains in Calgary continued to slow, with a year on year increase of just 1.21% in May. This was the smallest gain in more than three years and the eleventh consecutive monthly slowdown in year on year price growth. Elsewhere, prices held steady in Saskatoon and Ottawa, rose slightly in Greater Montreal and fell by about 3% in Regina and Greater Moncton. CREA chief economist Gregory Klump pointed out that sales in and around the Greater Toronto area played a major role in the monthly increase in May sales. ‘At the same time, the rebound in sales over the past few months in Calgary and Edmonton suggests that heightened uncertainty among some home buyers in these housing markets may be easing,’ he said. The number of newly listed homes was virtually unchanged, down 0.2% in May compared to April. The CREA report says that this reflects an even split between housing markets where new listings rose and where they fell, with little monthly change for new listings in most of Canada’s largest and most active urban markets. The national sales to new listings ratio was 57.6% in May, up from a low… Continue reading

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