Daily News 4/22/2015

April 22, 2015

Wednesday – April 22

Positive housing news hit the wires today by way of March Existing Home Sales, as reported by the National Association of REALTORS®. Sales rose by 6.1% in March from February to an annual rate of 5.19 million units, well above the 5.05 million expected. It was the largest monthly increase since December 2010 (6.2%). Sales have now increased six consecutive months and are now up 10.4% from a year ago. “After a quiet start to the year, sales activity picked up greatly throughout the country in March,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

Home prices rose 5.4% year-over-year in the month ended in February, as reported by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The FHFA Home Price Index is calculated using home sale price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. On a monthly basis, prices were up 0.7%. The index is now just 2.7% below its March 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the January 2006 index level.

The spring home buying season is well underway, which typically runs from April through June. In its latest survey, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported that home purchase applications surged 5% in the latest week as Americans took advantage of low home loan rates to secure financing for homes. The MBAs Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume was up 2.3%, while the refinance index saw little change.