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Nearly half of homes are purchased in cash

31.08.2013
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More Americans are buying homes in all-cash deals, according to several recent studies. But real- estate experts say this increase may not be a good sign for the health of the housing market.
All-cash purchases accounted for 40% of all sales of residential property in July 2013, up from 35% during the previous month and 31% in July 2012, according to data from real-estate data firm RealtyTrac released Thursday. That’s the second highest rate since the survey began in January 2011 – second only to 53% in March 2012.

All-cash purchases accounted for 40% of all sales of residential property in July 2013, according to a new study. But experts caution that this increase may not be a good sign for the health of the housing market. MarketWatch’s Jim Jelter reports (Photo: Getty Images)

Another report by Goldman Sachs last week was even more strongly […]

Home prices across the US defy gravity

30.08.2013
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Home prices are going up, up, up, but it’s not a bubble just yet.

The surge in home prices over the past year may have some home buyers wondering if the market has gotten ahead of itself. Rising interest rates aside, housing prices in most parts of the country appear to have plenty of room to move higher if the wider economic recovery remains intact.

The latest data on price gains show home prices advanced 7.7 percent in the year through June, a rise that has fed on itself as fence-sitting home buyers move to buy before prices rise further.

West coast housing markets have seen the biggest gains. The Federal Housing Finance Agency report showed prices in June were 17 percent higher than a year earlier in the Pacific area, which includes California and Washington.

House prices jumped 11 percent in the Mountain region, which included […]

Housing market cools off, with prices easing and inventories going up

29.08.2013
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Do you feel that hint of a chill starting to swirl through the housing market? The cooling is slight but it’s for real. Home prices are not rising as fast in most metropolitan areas as they did earlier this year and much of 2012. Multiple-bid competitions, fierce in many places this spring and late last year, aren’t as intense. Inventories of homes for sale have increased this summer, reversing near droughts of listings that helped fuel higher prices.

Add in rising mortgage rates, and you’ve got a distinct, measurable momentum shift in the pace of the housing recovery. The recovery is still well underway; it’s just not as effervescent as it once was.

Consider some of the key numbers:

●Asking prices on homes listed for sale declined by one-third of a percent in July, the first drop on a monthly basis since November, according […]

Rate Surge With Rising U.S. Confidence a Positive Sign

26.08.2013
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Concern that a surge in U.S. bond yields will curb the expansion is overblown, says money manager James Paulsen. When coupled with gains in confidence, higher borrowing costs are a healthy sign for the world’s largest economy.

“Confidence is at the center of everything here,” said Paulsen, the chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis with $340 billion in assets under management. “If I had to pick one overriding thing, it’s confidence that’s been running through the financial markets and the economy this year.”

Since 1967, stocks have risen at a 12.8 percent annualized rate in months when bond yields and the Conference Board’s consumer confidence measure rise in tandem, according Paulsen’s research. When borrowing costs increase and confidence drops, stocks — a proxy for investors’ views on the direction of the economy and corporate profits — have fallen at a 6.4 […]

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