Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fewer homes, higher prices, higher rates

Existing home sales declined in September but low inventory pushed prices up in North Idaho’s urban areas such as Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls, as well as in much of the country, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Mortgage rates also crept up. The national average commitment for a 30-year fixed-rate conventional mortgage rose to 4.49 percent in September from 4.46 percent a month earlier. The rate is the highest since July 2011 when it was 4.55 percent, according to Freddie Mac.
The median existing home price was $199,200 in September nationally, an increase of almost 12 percent from last year.
Fewer than 10 percent of home sales were foreclosures.
The median time on the market for all homes was 50 days in September, up from 43 days in August.

In the Coeur d’Alene Market Center the average price of a sold home increased from $199,000 in May to $245,000 in September, and about 10 percent fewer homes sold in September than August, according to statistics compiled by the local MLS.
Economists think sales may slow further as the previously-enjoyed affordability of homes falls and prices increase, outpacing income growth in many areas. Mortgage rates could also lower the affordability of homes in upcoming months, according to the NAR.

-Ralph Bartholdt

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