6 Housing Market Headlines You Need to Know

Keep up with 6 Housing Market Headlines

We know it’s tough to keep up with a rapidly changing market. Here’s a recap of today’s most important housing market headlines.

Finding it hard to keep up with all the market headlines these days?

Fret no more. We’ve simplified your life by mashing them all into one simple post.

Here’s the lightning-round version: New homes are selling at a quicker pace and a steady price. Existing home sales have slowed a bit, but their prices continue to climb.

Okay, so this isn’t exactly late-breaking news, but we can’t help sharing one fun headline in the bunch: “The 10 Best Beach Towns to Buy Foreclosures!”

Here’s the six most important housing market headlines we’ve found in recent months.

1. Number of New Home Sales Rise in May

The pace of new home sales quickened in May 2012, suggesting that the housing market recovery is gaining ground. Sales of new single-family houses in May 2012 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000, which is a 7.6 percent increase over April figures, according to the Department of Commerce.

The year-to-year comparison is even more notable. The number of new homes sold in May 2012 was up 19.8 percent over sales figures from May 2011.

2. May New Home Prices Hold Steady From April

New home prices remained fairly steady from April to May 2012. The Department of Commerce reported a nationwide median sales price of $234,500 for new homes sold in May 2012. That’s a marginal decrease from the April 2012 median of $235,700.

Optimists can look to the yearly comparison for a more positive finding. The median new home price increased significantly in year-over-year figures, climbing 5.3 percent from May 2011 to May 2012.

3. Number of Existing Home Sales Fall in May

Existing homes did not sell as quickly as new properties in May 2012, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The seasonally adjusted sales pace for existing homes fell to 4.55 million, reflecting a 1.5 percent drop from April to May 2012.

But existing home sales did show significant year-to-year improvements. The existing home sales pace for May 2012 rose 9.6 percent above the May 2011 figure.

4. Existing Home Prices Rise in May

The NAR reports that the national median existing home price rose in May, and continued a three-month trend of year-over-year price gains.

The median existing home price climbed to $182,600 in May 2012, reflecting a 7.9 percent jump from May 2011 figures. The May existing home price is also a 2.8 percent increase from the April 2012 average of $177,400.

5. Mortgage Rates Remain Low

Mortgage rates continue to get lower, and have been at or below 4 percent since December 2011.

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.62 as of July 5, 2012, according to Freddie Mac.

Rates for 15-year fixed-rate loans dropped slightly to a new record low of 2.89 percent from 2.94 percent from the week before.

6. 10 Best Beach Towns to Buy Foreclosures

And finally, the most important headline of all: There are 10 perfect seaside towns offering a tidal wave of foreclosure steals. From our friends at RealtyTrac, here are the 10 best beach towns to buy a foreclosure:

10. Santa Cruz, CA
9. Barnstable, MA
8. Honolulu, HI
7. Atlantic City, NJ
6. Hilton Head Island, SC
5. Charleston, SC
4. Santa Barbara, CA
3. Naples-Marco Island, FL
2. Corpus Christi, TX
1. Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL

Ah, a cheap beachfront villa … the perfect spot to relax and re-energize (and catch up on your headlines)!

Photo courtesy of javier.guillot