Tag - Home sales

US stocks wobble after Fed announcement, but close higher

US stocks wobble after Fed announcement, but close higher

September 20, 2017 (AP)(StlRealEstate.News)–U.S. stock indexes overcame an afternoon wobble to close mostly higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it would start reducing its huge bond portfolio next month and was still on track to raise interest rates later this year.

The central bank’s announcement drove bond yields higher, lifting shares in banks and other financial companies. Banks benefit from higher bond yields because it means they can charge higher interest rates on loans.

High-dividend stocks like utilities and household goods makers fell. Income-seeking investors find those stocks less appealing when bond yields move higher.

“The announcement was pretty much in line with what was expected,” said David Chalupnik, head of equities at Nuveen Asset Management. “So far, the market is taking it in stride, but I don’t know if it should. This will slowly impact growth.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index inched up 1.59 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,508.24. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 41.79 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,412.59. The modest gains nudged both indexes to record highs, extending a run of milestones that stretches back to last week

The Nasdaq composite lost 5.28 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,456.04. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 5.02 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,445.42.

Trading on Wall Street had been mostly subdued this week ahead of the Fed’s announcement.

Fed policymakers decided to leave the central bank’s short-term benchmark interest rate between 1 percent and 1.25 percent, but also said they still expect to increase the rate one more time this year and three times in 2018, if persistently low inflation rebounds.

The Fed has modestly raised the rate four times since December 2015 after keeping it at a record low for seven years after the 2008 financial crisis.

In addition, the Fed said it will begin to gradually unwind its $4.5 trillion balance sheet next month. The portfolio primarily consists of government and mortgage-backed bonds. The move will gradually increase long-term borrowing rates.

The prospect of another Fed rate hike this year at a time when the U.S. economy is growing modestly and may slow somewhat from the impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, could be bad news for stocks the next few weeks, Chalupnik said.

“At least over the near term, probably between now and the end of October, the market is at risk,” he said. “And it’s at risk because of lower economic numbers, higher interest rates and earnings that, on an individual-company basis, could disappoint if they were impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.”

Following the announcement, bond prices slumped, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to 2.27 percent from 2.25 percent late Tuesday.

Investors also bid up shares in banks and other financial companies, which led the gainers. Zions Bancorporation climbed 70 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $45.11. Raymond James Financial rose $1.15, or 1.4 percent, to $82.32.

The Fed statement also sent the dollar higher against other currencies. The dollar rose to 112.38 yen from 111.50 yen on Tuesday. The euro weakened to $1.1885 from $1.1997.

Technology companies were among the biggest decliners. Qorvo slid $4, or 5.4 percent, to $70.32. Adobe Systems also slumped. The business software company posted solid quarterly results, but investors were concerned about the performance of its cloud business. The stock lost $6.64, or 4.2 percent, to $149.96.

Traders also sold off several packaged food companies after General Mills’ latest quarterly results fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. The cereal maker slid $3.21, or 5.8 percent, to $52.17. Kellogg fell $1.15, or 1.7 percent, to $64.72, while Campbell Soup lost 81 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $46.51.

Bed Bath and Beyond plunged 15.9 percent after the home goods retailer reported that its latest quarterly sales at stores open at least a year, a key metric for retailers, fell short of analysts’ forecasts. The stock lost $4.29 to $22.74.

Investors also weighed new data on the U.S. housing market that showed sales of previously occupied homes fell 1.7 percent in August. Over the past 12 months, U.S. home sales have risen only 0.2 percent. The report from the National Association of Realtors pulled down homebuilder shares. CalAtlantic Group fell the most, shedding 97 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $34.60.

Energy companies rose along with the price of crude oil. Chesapeake Energy added 15 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $4.19.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 93 cents, or 1.9 percent, to settle at $50.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained $1.15, or 2.1 percent, to $56.29 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.66 a gallon. Heating oil added 3 cents to $1.81 a gallon. Natural gas declined 3 cents to $3.09 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Among metals, gold gained $5.80 to $1,316.40 an ounce. Silver rose 6 cents to $17.33 an ounce. Copper held steady at $2.97 a pound.

Markets overseas were mixed Wednesday.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 0.1 percent, while the CAC 40 in France added 0.1 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was flat. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.1 percent and South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1 percent.

By ALEX VEIGA ,  AP Business Writer

US home sales off 1.7 pct., hurt by Harvey and low supply

US home sales off 1.7 pct., hurt by Harvey and low supply

WASHINGTON/September 20, 2017 (AP) (StlRealEstate.News) — U.S. home sales fell 1.7 percent in August, pulled down by the effects of Hurricane Harvey and a worsening shortage of available properties.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that sales of existing homes sank last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million. Would-be homebuyers are being limited by a decline in the number of sales listings. The shortage has become a drag on sales and has caused prices to surge — factors that limit the strong job market’s benefit to the housing industry.

“Given that job growth has been steady and demand is still strong, there remains fundamental support for the housing market,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

But, she added, the shortage of available homes will hamper sales.

Over the past 12 months, sales have risen only 0.2 percent. Houston-area home sales have plunged 25 percent over the past year largely because of the damage from Harvey — a decrease that could linger through 2018, the Realtors said.

The median sales price has increased 5.6 percent from a year ago to $253,500.

Sales listings have tumbled 6.5 percent over the past 12 months to 1.88 million. The supply of homes for sale should continue to decline through February because the winter and fall are generally slower for home sales.

The decline in housing supply is having “ripple effects throughout the economy,” said Robert Frick, an economist with Navy Federal Credit Union.

Higher housing costs mean that “many people who want a new, higher-paying job are finding that moving to a new city is too expensive,” Frick said.

Because of declining supply, sales of homes that cost under $250,000 have fallen over the past year. But in a sign of the widening wealth gap, sales of homes that cost more than $500,000 have shot up by double digits.

Homes are also selling quickly because of the lack of options for buyers. The average number of days on the market was 30 in August, down from 36 a year ago.

August sales surged in the Northeast and increased modestly in the Midwest. But sales dropped sharply in the South and West.

Borrowing costs for would-be homebuyers have lessened in recent weeks, helping to preserve a degree of affordability despite the price increases.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate last week was 3.78 percent. This marked a steep decline from this year’s peak of 4.3 percent, which was reached in March.

Rates have slipped in recent months amid signs that inflation has weakened and President Donald Trump’s plans for stimulating faster economic growth have hit roadblocks.

By JOSH BOAK ,  AP Economics Writer

Texas home sales activity jumps in first half of 2017

Texas home sales activity jumps in first half of 2017 English

AUSTIN/ Sept. 8, 2017 (StlRealEstate.News) — Texas home sales volume, home prices and listings activity experienced strong gains in the first half of the year, according to the 2017 Texas Real Estate Midyear Review Report released today by the Texas Association of Realtors.

“The devastation brought on by Hurricane Harvey will affect real estate activity in many areas of the state for the remainder of this year,” said Vicki Fullerton, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “Sales activity through the first half of the year had surpassed economic projections, with strong growth in sales activity and the number of homes on the market.”

Texas home sales jumped 5.5 percent compared to the first six months of 2016, with 166,256 homes sold throughout Texas between January and June 2017. Texas home prices also continued to rise steadily in the first half of the year. The median sales price increased 7.7 percent from the year prior to $221,800.

Jim Gaines, Ph.D., chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, also cautioned that Hurricane Harvey will likely negatively impact housing market statistics for the remainder of 2017. “Houston’s housing market accounts for roughly 25 percent of the Texas housing market,” said Gaines, “and it could take months before the Houston area begins to enter the recovery phase and a few years before the impacted communities fully recover.”

The number of homes on the market also grew significantly statewide in the first half of the year, with active listings increasing 5.9 percent year-over-year to 99,398 active listings. This uptick in housing stock has helped lead to a much-needed increase in housing inventory, which ended at 4.1 months in June 2017.

This is only the second time in three years that Texas housing inventory levels have surpassed 4.0 months, although this is still well below the 6 to 6.5 months of inventory the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University estimates as a balanced housing market. Texas homes spent approximately the same length of time on the market in the first half of 2017: an average of 58 days.

Chairman Fullerton concluded, “Realtors across Texas are stepping up and coming together with other community leaders to drive cleanup efforts and bring relief where it is needed most. The Texas Association of Realtors has already distributed more than $1 million through the Realtors Disaster Relief Fund to Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Realtors and many local Realtor associations are also assisting in hands-on relief efforts in areas that were affected by this devastating storm so we can rebuild our communities.”

About the Texas Real Estate Midyear Review Report
Data for the Texas Real Estate Year in Review Report is provided by the Data Relevance Project, a partnership among the Texas Association of REALTORS® and local REALTOR® associations throughout the state. Data analysis is provided by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. The report provides annual real estate sales data from a statewide perspective and for 25 metropolitan statistical areas in Texas. To view the report in its entirety, visit TexasRealEstate.com.

About the Texas Association of REALTORS®
With more than 110,000 members, the Texas Association of REALTORS® is a professional membership organization that represents all aspects of real estate in Texas. We advocate on behalf of Texas REALTORS® and private-property owners to keep homeownership affordable, protect private-property rights, and promote public policies that benefit homeowners. Visit TexasRealEstate.com to learn more.

SOURCE: Texas Association of REALTORS

St. Louis Housing Market Rebounds In July

St. Louis Housing Market Rebounds In July

ST. LOUIS, MO/August 25, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) The outlook for the St. Louis housing market is showing promise.

The median sales price and home sales jump 6 percent amid a tightening inventory, according to the latest numbers in the July St. Louis Realtors Housing Report. This comes after a less than impressive outcome for June, with the median sales price uncharacteristically flat and an atypical drop in sales volume.

St. Louis Realtors president Barry Upchurch calls this a rebound for the St. Louis housing market.

“The flat median sales price we saw in June, during the height of the summer selling season, was certainly a bit surprising,” Upchurch said. “The good news is what we saw in June appears to have been a market anomaly rather than a trend, as our median sales price and sales volume in July were up 6 percent compared to the same period a year ago.”

The median home sales price, covering MLS sales data for St. Louis city and county combined, increased from $179,000 in July 2016 to $189,900 this year. The number of St. Louis homes sold in July increased from 1,826 last year to 1,933 in 2017.

At the same time, July data support a tightening housing inventory as active listings were down 5 percent to 7,015 compared to 7,397 for the same month last year. Days on market dropped significantly from 150 in July 2016 to 92 days in July 2017. In addition, inventory for St. Louis city and county combined stands at a 3.6-month supply, compared to 4.1-month supply in July 2016.

According to economists, a 6.5 months’ supply is the ideal balance between supply and demand. A 3.6 month supply signifies a tight inventory and ultimately is considered a strong seller’s market.

“When you take a deeper look at sales within each pricing category, many home sales were in the mid-to-upper categories – $200,000 and above. That means a large number of lower-priced homes – which includes the first-time buyer market – were sold during the first six months of the year. The result is there are not as many homes available from which to choose within that particular housing category, and in turn more sales are taking place in the upper-market segments.” Upchurch explained.

John Gormley, St. Louis Realtors CEO, agreed: “The pricing cohorts for July reflect that homes sold in the under $200,000 category dipped below 50 percent – something we’ve not seen in our market lately. That dip underscores two things. First, the fact that many first-timebuyers in 2017 have already taken advantage of low interest rates and have invested in homes and their futures right here in St. Louis earlier in the year. Secondly, and as a result, there has definitely been a tightening of inventory within the first-time buyer market segment. The good news is there are still some great opportunities available within that market area; however, there are certainly fewer homes from which to choose.”

According to a realtor.com survey, 35 percent of homeowners are planning to sell their homes next year. More than half of those sellers are millennials. The survey suggests that as millennials begin to outgrow their first homes, they are poised to enter the move-up market – something that is predicted to significantly affect the housing market nationwide.

US new-home sales fell in July, yet still ahead of last year

US new-home sales fell in July, yet still ahead of last year

WASHINGTON/August 23, 2017 (AP)(StlRealEstate.News) — Sales of new U.S. homes plummeted 9.4 percent in July, the sharpest one-month drop in nearly a year. But the decline followed strong sales in previous months, and sales so far this year are outpacing last year’s.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 in July, down from 630,000 in June. Last month’s figure was the weakest since December.

Still, sales in the first seven months of the year are 9.2 percent higher than in the same period last year. More buyers are turning to newly built houses as the supply of existing homes for sale has fallen steadily.

The housing market overall is mostly healthy, but sales have stumbled this summer as a supply crunch has elevated average home prices nationwide. The rising prices have made homes too expensive for some would-be buyers, even as healthy hiring has lowered the unemployment rate to a 16-year low of 4.3 percent.

Builders are ramping up the supply of new homes, providing a crucial outlet. But the number of newly built properties available is still below historical levels. Even so, the supply of new homes for sale ticked up 1.5 percent in July from June to 276,000. That’s 16.5 percent higher than a year earlier.

That level is considered enough to last 5.8 months at the current sales pace — near the 6 months that is typical in a healthy market.

By contrast, the number of existing homes for sale plunged 7.1 percent in June from a year earlier. The larger supply of new homes has kept prices from rising as much as in the market for existing houses. A typical new home sold for $313,700 in July — below the $316,200 typical price for all of last year.

Prices for existing homes rose 5.6 percent in May from the previous year, the latest data available, according to the S&P Case-Shiller home price index.

By: CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER ,  AP Economics Writer

International homebuyers contribute $18.66 billion to Texas economy from 2016-2017

International homebuyers contribute $18.66 billion to Texas economy from 2016-2017

AUSTIN, Texas/ August 15, 2017 (PRN)(StlRealEstate.News) — Texas home sales from international buyers added $18.66 billion to the Texas economy from April 2016 to March 2017, according to the Texas International Homebuyers Report released today by the Texas Association of Realtors. Attracting buyers from across the globe, Texas ranked second among U.S. states for international home sales volume.

“This surge in international home sales activity underscores the growing reputation Texas has as a global destination for owning a home or investment property,” said Vicki Fullerton, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “The state’s low unemployment, diverse industry base and world class higher education institutions are just some of the reasons why international residents seek to attend college, raise a family or do business in Texas.”

There were 34,135 international home sales in Texas between April 2016 and March 2017, a 59 percent increase from the same time frame last year and 12 percent of the 284,455 international home sales nationwide. Second only to Florida, Texas joined California, New Jersey and Arizona as the most popular states for international homebuyers. The sales dollar volume of $18.66 billion from foreign home sales in Texas during this time frame is almost double from last year’s report.

In recent years, the ratio of Texas homebuyers from Latin America (including Mexico) compared to the rest of the world has narrowed. From April 2016 to March 2017, homebuyers from Latin America and Asia/Oceania (including China and India) each constituted approximately 40 percent of international homebuying activity in Texas.

Texas had the highest volume of homebuyers from Mexico of any state from April 2016 to March 2017, with nearly half (43 percent) of Mexican homebuyers who purchased a home in the U.S. choosing Texas. The Lone Star State also experienced a significant share of Chinese buyers, with 11 percent of international homebuyers from China purchasing a home in Texas.

Chairman Fullerton concluded, “As our state’s population continues to grow and diversify, it’s increasingly important for our real estate industry practitioners to be knowledgeable about the unique needs and challenges facing international homebuyers. Whether you’re an international buyer seeking to purchase a home in Texas or a Texan seeking to purchase a home abroad, a Texas Realtor with a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation can provide the expert knowledge, network and tools needed for a successful transaction.”

About the Texas International Homebuyers Report
The Texas International Homebuyers Report is based on survey data from the 2017 Profile of International Home Buying Activity by the National Association of Realtors, the 2011-2015 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau and the 2016 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics by the U.S. Office of Immigration Statistics. The Texas Association of Realtors distributes insights about the Texas housing market each month, including quarterly market statistics, trends among homebuyers and sellers, luxury home sales, condominium sales and more. To view the current Texas International Homebuyers Report in its entirety, visit texasrealestate.com.

About the Texas Association of REALTORS®
With more than 110,000 members, the Texas Association of REALTORS® is a professional membership organization that represents all aspects of real estate in Texas. We advocate on behalf of Texas REALTORS® and private-property owners to keep homeownership affordable, protect private-property rights and promote public policies that benefit homeowners. Visit texasrealestate.com to learn more.

SOURCE: Texas Association of Realtors


US pending home sales improved in June

US pending home sales improved in June

WASHINGTON/July 31, 2017 (AP) (StlRealEstate.News) — Americans signed more contracts to buy homes in June, snapping a three-month decline in pending sales.

The National Association of Realtors says that its pending home sales index rose 1.5 percent in June to 110.2. The gain still puts the pace of contract signings below its March level. The index has increased just 0.5 percent over the past 12 months.

But the increase is unlikely to cause a burst of home-buying. Prices are climbing faster than wages while number of homes listed for sale has plunged. There were 1.96 million homes for sale in June, a 7.1 percent decline from a year ago.

Pending sales contracts are a barometer of future purchases. A sale is typically completed a month or two after a contract is signed.

By JOSH BOAK ,  AP Economics Writer

Home Sales on the Rise in Western Pa.

Home Sales on the Rise in Western Pa.

PITTSBURGH/ July 17, 2017 (StlRealEstate.News) — Home sales in the region are increasing according to West Penn Multi-List, Inc. and its monthly residential real estate report.

“We are selling more houses and at a somewhat higher price compared to last year,” said Ron Croushore, current president of West Penn Multi-List, Inc., and owner and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty, Pittsburgh. “At this half-way point in the year, the market is stable, and sales continue to be strong.”

When comparing January-June 2017 with the same time period in 2016

Closed sales are up 3.24 percent (13,682 units in 2017 versus 13,252 in 2016);
Closed sales volume is up 5.34 percent ($2,441,128,758 in 2017 versus $2,317,284,476 in 2016);
Average sale price is up 2.03 percent ($178,419 in 2017 versus $174,863 in 2016); and
Home listings are down 0.28 percent (18,433 units in 2017 versus 18,485 in 2016).

“The current challenge is replenishing the number of homes for sale quickly enough to keep up with buyers’ demand,” said Croushore.

Statistical data in this report is supplied by West Penn Multi-List, Inc., the definitive source for real estate information for its 17-county service area – Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Clarion, Crawford, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland counties. For more information, visit http://www.westpennmls.com/.

SOURCE: West Penn Multi-List, Inc.

First Half of 2017 Ends with Record Sales, Prices

Home Sales Decreased in July, but Sold at Faster Pace

DENVER/ July 14, 2017 (StlRealEstate.News) — Halfway through 2017, the U.S. housing market is on pace for another record year as four of the last six months have topped same month sales from 2016, according to the July 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report. June home sales were 1.4% higher than June 2016, which was previously the month with the most home sales in the nine-year history of the report. To access the housing report infographic, visit rem.ax/2cYFT50.

The combination of increased sales and a record low inventory that slipped further to 2.8 months resulted in higher sales prices. June’s median sales price of $245,000, up 7.5% over last June, also set a RE/MAX National Housing report record. In fact, prices increased in 50 of the report’s 53 markets.

The average number of Days on Market dropped to a report-record low of 47, while inventory dropped year-over-year in 87% of the markets.

Other notable numbers:

Thirty of the 53 metro areas experienced an increase in transactions.
The June 2017 Median Sales Price of $245,000 was the highest in the history of the report.
Decreasing 15.2% from June 2016, inventory continued to decline year-over-year. This is the 104th consecutive month of year-over-year declines dating back to October 2008.
The June 2017 average Days on Market was 47, the lowest Days on Market in the history of the report.

“Sellers continue to benefit from limited inventory, getting top-dollar for their homes, and as a result, overall sales are at a record high,” said Adam Contos, RE/MAX Co-CEO. “But buyers shouldn’t be discouraged. Mortgage rates are still relatively low and the market may be taking a positive turn, albeit subtle, as recent Labor Department data showed a decline in open construction jobs which could mean more workers focused on new home builds.”

Closed Transactions
Of the 53 metro areas surveyed in June 2017, the overall average number of home sales increased 7.5% compared to May 2017 and 1.4% compared to June 2016. Thirty of the 53 metro areas experienced an increase in sales year-over-year including, Trenton, NJ +14.9%, Fargo, ND +14.6%, Wilmington/Dover, DE +12.9%, Albuquerque, NM +10.4% and Billings, MT +10.4%.

Median Sales Price – Median of 53 metro median prices
In June 2017, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was $245,000, up 5.6% from May 2017 and up 7.5% from June 2016. Only three metro areas saw a decrease in Median Sales Price (Trenton, NJ, -12.1%, Anchorage, AK, -2.5%, and Wilmington/Dover, DE, -1.3%). Ten metro areas increased by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Las Vegas, NV +13.7%, Nashville, TN +13.7%, Seattle, WA 12.3%, Manchester, NH +12.2%, and San Diego, CA +11.6%.

Days on Market – Average of 53 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in June 2017 was 47, down four days from the average in May 2017, and down seven days from the June 2016 average. The four metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE at 20, Seattle, WA at 20, Denver, CO at 21 and San Francisco, CA at 22. The highest Days on Market averages were in Augusta, ME at 119 and Miami, FL at 85. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.

Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 53 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in June 2017 was up 1.2% from May 2017, and down 15.2% from June 2016. Based on the rate of home sales in June, the Months Supply of Inventory was 2.8, compared to May 2017 at 2.6 and June 2016 at 3.2. This is the fourth consecutive month that months supply has been below 3.0. A 6.0-months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In June 2017, 52 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported a months supply of less than 6.0, which is typically considered a seller’s market. At 6.4, Miami, FL continued to be the only metro area that saw a months supply above 6.0, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory continued to be in the west, with San Francisco, CA at 1.0, Seattle, WA at 1.1, and Denver, CO at 1.2.

For specific data in this report or to request an interview, please contact newsroom@remax.com.

About the RE/MAX Network:
RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. Over 110,000 agents provide RE/MAX a global reach of more than 100 countries and territories. Nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX, when measured by residential transaction sides. RE/MAX, LLC, one of the world’s leading franchisors of real estate brokerage services, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RMCO, LLC, which is controlled and managed by RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: RMAX). With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $157 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities. For more information about RE/MAX, to search home listings or find an agent in your community, please visit www.remax.com. For the latest news about RE/MAX, please visit www.remax.com/newsroom.

The RE/MAX National Housing Report is distributed each month on or about the 15th. The first Report was distributed in August 2008. The Report is based on MLS data in approximately 53 metropolitan areas, includes all residential property types, and is not annualized. For maximum representation, many of the largest metro areas in the country are represented, and an attempt is made to include at least one metro from each state. Metro area definitions include the specific counties established by the U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget, with some exceptions.

Transactions are the total number of closed residential transactions during the given month. Months Supply of Inventory is the total number of residential properties listed for sale at the end of the month (current inventory) divided by the number of sales contracts signed (pended) during the month. Where “pended” data is unavailable, this calculation is made using closed transactions. Days on Market is the number of days that pass from the time a property is listed until the property goes under contract for all residential properties sold during the month. Median Sales Price is the median of the median sales prices in each of the metro areas included in the survey.

MLS data is provided by contracted data aggregators, RE/MAX brokerages and regional offices. While MLS data is believed to be accurate, it cannot be guaranteed. MLS data is constantly being updated, making any analysis a snapshot at a particular time. Every month the RE/MAX National Housing Report re-calculates the previous period’s data to ensure accuracy over time. All raw data remains the intellectual property of each local MLS organization.


US employers add strong 222K jobs; jobless rate at 4.4 pct.

US employers add strong 222K jobs; jobless rate at 4.4 pct.

WASHINGTON/July 7, 2017 (AP) (StlRealEstate.News) — U.S. employers added a robust 222,000 jobs in June, the most in four months, a reassuring sign that businesses may be confident enough to keep hiring despite a slow-growing economy.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent in May, which was a 16-year low. The rate rose because more Americans began looking for work and not all of them found jobs.
The government also revised up its estimate of job growth for April and May were revised up by a combined 47,000. In the first six months of this year, hiring has averaged nearly 180,000 jobs a month, only slightly below last year’s pace.
Yet even with the strong hiring, average hourly pay rose in June by just 2.5 percent from a year earlier. That’s below the 3.5 percent pace typical of a healthy economy.
Friday’s jobs figures arrive against the backdrop of a mixed picture of the U.S. economy.
Home sales are chugging along, though a shortage of properties for sale suggests that the pace of purchases could flag. The number of people signing contracts to buy homes — step that precedes final sales by a month or two — has fallen for three straight months.
And auto sales are slowing from last year’s record pace, causing some automakers to cut jobs.
At the same time, surveys of manufacturing and service companies indicate that growth in both sectors may be accelerating. Factory activity is expanding at the fastest pace in three years, the Institute of Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, found.
The economy grew at just a 1.4 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, below even the sluggish 2 percent average pace in the eight years since the recession ended. But most economists have forecast that growth rebounded in the April-June quarter to an annual rate of 2.5 percent or higher.
Still, the economy appears resilient enough for the Federal Reserve to keep raising its benchmark interest rate. The Fed has signaled its belief that the economy is on firm footing as it enters its ninth year of recovery from the recession, with little risk of a recession.
Consumers have expressed confidence in the economy and, accordingly, are spending more than they did in the first three months of the year. But they are displaying caution about their spending, which barely rose in May.
President Donald Trump has boasted that hiring and the economy have significantly improved since he took office. Yet job growth has slowed from its peak in 2016.

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER ,  AP Economics Writer