Pending home sales match two-year high

Pending home sales match two-year high

Here’s yet another sign that the housing market may be coming back.

Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes matched a two-year high in May, fueling optimism the housing market is poised for a recovery.

The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, rose 5.9 percent to 101.1. The index level matched the two-year high reached in March, while the gain was the largest since October 2011.

Before March, the last time pending home sales were as high was April 2010 when buyers were rushing to beat the deadline for a home-buyer tax credit, which was about to expire, the NAR said.

“The housing market is clearly superior this year compared with the past four years,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said in a statement. “We’re on track to see a 9 to 10 percent improvement in total sales for 2012.”

Read More on MSNBC…

House prices stay on rise in King and Snohomish counties

House prices stay on rise in King and Snohomish counties

House prices rose in May in King County for the second consecutive month, prompting market-watchers to employ with greater certainty some words you may not have heard in a good long while:

Rebound. Stabilization. A seller’s market.

The median price of single-family homes sold last month was $362,000, up 0.6 percent from April and a more impressive 4.9 percent from May 2011, according to statistics released Monday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The year-over-year increase was the biggest since prices peaked in 2007 — and there have been few months since then with any increase at all.

Read More on The Seattle Times…

Housing Market Bottoming Out? Renting Market Accelerating

Housing Market Bottoming Out? Renting Market Accelerating

Are we really poised for a recovery in the housing market? The latest encouraging words from the U.S. Conference Board’s Demand Institute Division are that we are heading for a rapidly accelerating rental market which will lead to a housing recovery.

While the American dream of homeownership is still an unending quest, the size of home that people are buying will be smaller and many will rent for a good while before they can afford that dream home.

According to the report, there are indications from industry data that the market is “bottoming out” but the great shift in real estate is the push toward the rental market which is helping fuel the recovery.

Read More on Realty Times…

Check out our Homeownership Simplified section a for information & tips on buying a house in Washington State as well as our handy calculators to figure out if you are better off renting, potential mortgages, closing costs, and more!

Move up or Stay Put?

Move up or Stay Put?

Between price reductions and record low interest rates, many homeowners are asking themselves if now is a good time to move up.

Buying under today’s conditions can mean getting more home for less buck. You’ll pay a smaller amount of interest over time and can snag that dream home for a fraction of it’s boom era price. Additionally, with the large number of distressed homes on the market, you may even find a home at a steep 10 to 20 percent discount.

Before you start mentally decorating that dream home, however, you should consider what “moving up” means for you. For some buyers, moving up means a better neighborhood. For others it means a bigger home with more space or amenities.

Read More on Realty Times…

Thinking of moving up? Check out our handy calculators to figure out potential mortgages, closing costs, and more!

Seattle among U.S. cities to see biggest rise in home prices

Seattle among U.S. cities to see biggest rise in home prices

Home prices rose in March from February in most major U.S. cities for the first time in seven months. The increase is the latest evidence of a slow recovery taking shape in the troubled housing market.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index shows that prices increased in 12 of the 20 cities it tracks.

Read Full Story on KOMO…