New Home Sales Drop 8.9 Percent in October as Affordability Challenges Persist

Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000 units in
October after an upwardly revised September report, according to newly released data by the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the lowest sales
pace since December 2016. However, on a year-to-date basis, sales are up 2.8 percent from this time in
2017.

“The November reading is consistent with reports from our builders, who say that the job market and
demographic tailwinds bode well for housing demand but rising interest rates and home prices are
forcing customers to take a pause,” said Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home
Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “Policymakers should see this drop in
sales as an indicator that housing affordability will continue to slow down the market.”

“Home sales declined this month as housing affordability continues to be a hurdle for consumers,” said
NAHB Senior Economist Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington. “While a solid economy and positive
demographics support future demand for housing, it is critical to address this mounting affordability
crisis.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any
stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed. In addition to adjusting for
seasonal effects, the October reading of 544,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this
pace continued for the next 12 months.

The inventory of new homes for sale rose to 336,000 in October. The median sales price fell 3.6 percent
to $309,700, as the market is shifting to townhomes and other lower-cost houses.

Looking at the regional numbers on a year-to-date basis, new home sales rose 6.3 percent in the
Midwest, 4.1 percent in the West, and 3.8 percent in the South. Home sales fell 17.1 percent in the
Northeast year-to-date.

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California REALTORS® applaud FHFA for raising Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits

California REALTORS® applaud FHFA for raising Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits

 

LOS ANGELES/ Nov. 27 (STL.News)

The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) today issued the following statement in response to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) announcement to increase the 2019 conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to $484,350 on one-unit properties and a cap of $726,525 in high-cost areas. The previous loan limits were $453,100 and $679,650, respectively.

“C.A.R. commends the FHFA for recognizing California’s robust home price increases over the last few years and raising maximum conforming loan limits, which will give tens of thousands of California homebuyers a chance at homeownership” said C.A.R.

Continue reading California REALTORS® applaud FHFA for raising Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits at STL.News.

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Wildfire-Resistant Homes Cost Roughly Same as a Typical Home, According to HeadWaters Economics

Wildfire-Resistant Homes Cost Roughly Same as a Typical Home, According to HeadWaters Economics

 

BOZEMAN, Mont./ Nov. 27, 2018 (STL.News)

As wildfire disasters increase across the country, a new study released today found negligible cost differences between building a typical home and a home constructed using wildfire-resistant materials and design features.

“We know from post-fire assessments, accompanied by laboratory experiments, that two factors drive home vulnerability in wildfires: how the home is built in terms of materials used and installation details and the landscaping on the property,” said Dr.

Continue reading Wildfire-Resistant Homes Cost Roughly Same as a Typical Home, According to HeadWaters Economics at STL.News.

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Major auction of northern Minnesota farmland set for December 28

Major auction of northern Minnesota farmland set for December 28

 

THIEF RIVER FALLS, N.D./ Nov. 27, 2018 (STL.News)

Approximately 5,368 acres of cropland in Minnesota’s Beltrami and Marshall counties will sell at auction Dec. 28, with Steffes Group conducting the auction.

“We’re going to end the year with a bang, and the new owner will have the land with plenty of time for the 2019 crop year. This land is in two very large, contiguous tracts. One, located just outside Grygla in Marshall County, has approximately 3,597 acres of mostly contiguous quality farmland, with a productivity index of 90.

Continue reading Major auction of northern Minnesota farmland set for December 28 at STL.News.

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Hawai’i Life Presents Cultiv8 (Worthshop 8) At Mauna Kea December 14 – 15, 2018

Hawai’i Life Presents Cultiv8 (Worthshop 8) At Mauna Kea December 14 – 15, 2018

 

HONOLULU/ Nov. 27, 2018 (STL.News)

Hawaii Life, a statewide real estate brokerage firm, is pleased to announce Worthshop 8, the company’s annual conference. Worthshop 8 is Hawai’i Life’s eighth successful iteration of their annual real estate conference, which will be held in Waimea, Hawaii on December 14 and 15, 2018. Hawaii Life invites the general public and real estate professionals from all islands to attend.

The Worthshop conference series attracts the real estate industry’s brightest and most influential minds.

Continue reading Hawai’i Life Presents Cultiv8 (Worthshop 8) At Mauna Kea December 14 – 15, 2018 at STL.News.

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