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Growth rate slows for home sales, prices

Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 8:29:05 AM

Recent housing market data has been mixed, as positive trends for homebuyers - such as lower residential financing rates - have been offset by weaknesses in other areas.

For example, the National Association of Realtors reported that the rate of growth for pending home sales was moderate from August to September, up only 0.3 percent. This slow progression is a sign that future sales will likely be a little sluggish compared to past months.

Even so, sales climbed above the year-ago level for the first time in 11 months, NAR noted. Higher inventory and favorable prices will help homebuyers.

"Housing supply for existing homes was up in September 6 percent from a year ago, which is preventing prices from rising at the accelerated clip seen earlier this year," explained NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "Additionally, the current spectacularly low mortgage rates should help more buyers reach the market."

According to Black Knight Financial Services, U.S. home prices only ticked up 0.1 percent from July to August. That brings the national price to only 10.1 percent below the 2006 peak. The most significant month-over-month price decreases were found in Wisconsin, Missouri, Virginia and Washington, D.C.