Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate – US Home Prices Slip 8/28/18

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of existing homes slipped for the fourth consecutive month, declining 0.7 percent in July to the slowest pace in more than two years as the real estate market shows signs of cooling.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.34 million. Home sales have fallen 1.5 percent during the past 12 months.
The U.S. housing market is hurt by a widening wealth gap, as inventories of lower-priced homes remain tight. Sales of single-family houses worth more than $500,000 have jumped in the past year, led by a 16.2 percent surge in sales of houses valued at more than $1 million.
But homes priced between $100,000 and $250,000 — a level the middle class can afford — have barely budged, while sales of homes for less than $100,000 have plunged 10.6 percent from a year ago. There is a shortage of these more affordable homes on the market because existing owners lack the funding to upgrade to a more expensive property.
"The mismatch between the price of what's available and what home buyers are looking for is holding back sales this year," said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com.
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Existing home sales fell in the Northeast, Midwest and South last month, although they increased in the pricier West market.
Inventories did stabilize in July at 1.92 million existing homes available, which was unchanged from a year ago. Prior to last month, home listings had declined on an annual basis for the past three years. Still, sales listings are relatively low and that stifles the potential for higher home sales despite the possible boost in demand because of the recent strength in the job market.
"Unless and until more existing homes enter the market, it is difficult to see a meaningful rise in sales," said David Berson, chief economist at the insurance firm Nationwide. "We expect existing sales this year to be about flat relative to 2017."
Would-be buyers are coping with higher mortgage rates than a year ago, and home price growth that has consistently outpaced average wage gains.
The median sales price in July increased 4.5 percent from a year ago to $269,600.
The average interest rate charged on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.53 percent last week, up from 3.89 percent a year ago, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.
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Snoqualmie Pass Blog 2018-08-27 14:53:00

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Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate - Home-Value Growth Slowing in Several Hot Market bySvenja Gudell 




The median U.S. home value climbed 8 percent over the past year to $218,000, but in a sign that buyers are beginning to balk at sustained, rapid escalations in prices, home value growth is slowing in 20 of the 35 largest housing markets. Four of the hottest markets – Seattle, Tampa, Sacramento, Calif., and Portland, Ore. – reported the greatest slowdowns from their growth rates at this time last year.
Seattle, which led the country in home-value growth of 14.8 percent in June 2017, is now the 12th fastest-appreciating housing market with year-over-year values climbing at 9.1 percent in July. Home values are partly a function of how many homes are available for sale, and Seattle had 13.2 percent more homes on the market in July than it had a year earlier. Nationally, there were 3.9 percent fewer homes for sale than a year ago.

Home-value growth is slowing in 20 of the 35 largest U.S. housing markets, with Seattle and Tampa, Fla., reporting the greatest slowdowns.ZILLOW PHOTO SERVICE


While 8 percent annual growth for U.S. home values is above the 7.3 percent annual growth from July 2017, it is down slightly from growth earlier in 2018. And Zillow forecasts the annual appreciation rate will slow to 6.8 percent by this time next year.
Home values are still growing faster in most major markets than they did historically, one reason it’s too soon to call it a buyer’s market. Lower-valued homes also continue brisk gains: Homes valued in the lower third nationally rose 10.9 percent in value year-over-year, while homes valued in the top third rose at less than half that, at 4.9 percent.

Rent slowdown, too

The rental market shows signs of a slowdown as well.
The median U.S. rent rose 0.5 percent over the past year to $1,440 (a month), down from 1.6 percent growth a year earlier. Among the 35 largest housing markets, 21 had slower annual rent appreciation in July than a year earlier, with Seattle, Portland and Kansas City leading the slowdown. Still, rents rose 0.3 percent in Seattle and fell by 0.7 percent in Portland and 1 percent in Kansas City.
Median rent climbed the most in Riverside, Calif., where it was up 4.6 percent from July 2017 to $1,898. It was followed by Sacramento, up 4.4 percent to $1,842 and Las Vegas, up 3.2 percent to $1,305.

Inventory crunch also eases

Home shoppers in July had 3.9 percent fewer homes to choose from than a year earlier – the slowest pace of declining inventory since March 2017.
Columbus, Ohio, and Atlanta posted the largest drops in inventory at 14.4 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively.
The largest gains in inventory were in the pricey markets of San Jose, Calif., where inventory rose 46.2 percent from last July, and San Diego, where it climbed 36.3 percent.

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