Home Sales Continue to Rise
Thursday, July 24th 2014 3:54 pm

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), for the first time since the fall of 2013 existing home sales, which include single family homes, town-homes, condominiums and co-ops have increased 2.4%, reaching an annual pace of over 5 million sales.

"Inventories are at their highest level in over a year, and price gains have slowed to much more welcoming levels in many parts of the country," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says. "This bodes well for rising home sales in the upcoming months as consumers are provided with more choices. New home construction needs to rise by at least 50 percent for a complete return to a balanced market because supply shortages, particularly in the West, are still putting upward pressure on prices."

Median home sales prices rose 4.3 % over the last year to $223,300 and foreclosures and short sales took up 11% of the home sales in June 2014.

The high cost of FHA mortgage insurance is deterring first time home buyers who have above average credit scores but low down payments.

"Access to affordable credit continues to hamper young, prospective first-time buyers," according to Steve Brown, NAR president, "NAR recommends that FHA reduce high annual mortgage insurance premiums for all qualified home buyers and eliminate the insurance requirement for the life of the loan. FHA's HAWK program is a good start, but it should offer further reductions for participating home buyers."

According to Mortgage Giant Freddie Mac, mortgage rates for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage fell for the second consecutive month to 4.16% in June from 4.19% in May.

Freddie Mac collects rates from lenders across the nation weekly Monday through Wednesday and as the rates are so closely tied in with Treasury Bonds, the rates are liable to fluctuate significantly even on a given day.

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