Mortgage Rates forecast to rise 1% by end of 2013

In my November 27 article Refinancing – don’t make just the minimum payment I wrote: “Don’t assume that rates will either go lower still or that they will necessarily stay this low for as long as the Federal Reserve is currently saying. If the economy does strengthen from here, interest rates my move up sooner than expected.”

The Mortgage Bankers Association has just issued a forecast that mortgage rates will increase gradually as the economy improves and finish around 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

More reason to consider buying NOW!

Massachusetts pending home sales up 25% in 2012

Another indication of the recovery in the housing market in 2012 comes with the release of pending sales for Massachusetts. For the year pending sales of single family homes rose 25% and of condos 26%.
December was the 20th consecutive month of year over year increases.
Massachusetts Association of Realtors January 8, 2013

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Fannie Mae Housing Survey shows expectations of rise in home prices and mortgage rates in 2013

Consumer confidence in the housing sector grew last month, marked by continued positive attitudes toward home price, rental price, and mortgage rate expectations, according to Fannie Mae’s December National Housing Survey results. The growing belief held by Americans that these housing indicators will climb in 2013 may inspire a boost in home purchase activity during the coming months.
Listen to a podcast:Fannie Mae housing-survey-podcast-010713
or read the surveyFannie Mae December 2012 national housing survey

Another way to show the breakdown of Marblehead Single Family sales in 2012

Here’s another way to look at SFH sales in 2012:

First, by percentage. Note that the % of sales above $750k went up from 2011 to 2012, but that below $750k there was a marked shift from the $500-749k range to below $499k. (more…)

Big Papi strikes Marblehead housing market again

My 2009 mid-year review published in the Marblehead Reporter described the phenomenon that the local real estate market was like David Ortiz’s season: starting so poorly that even with great numbers later in the season the year’s median price would still be quite low.
Well 2012 was much like 2009, at least for the local real estate market (Big Papi himself, courtesy of a new diet and/or because he was entering a contract year, hit 318). (more…)

2013 starts with very low housing inventory

After a stronger sales year in 2012 on the North Shore – sales were up 18% for SFHs and 23% for condos -2013 starts with very low levels of inventory, echoing a trend being seen across the country.

Nationally, the latest figures for November show supply at 4.5 months of average sales.

Locally, the market appears even tighter, with just 3 months of supply of SFHs and 3.7 months for condos at the beginning of the year.


Good news, bad news for North Shore condo market in 2012

First, the good news: sales were up 23% in 2012.
Now the bad news: sales are still 47% below the peak in 2005.

Unlike SFHs which are, for the most part, built singly, condo developments often bring a large number of new units to the market, causing a spike in sales, followed by a sharp decline. Look at the figures for (more…)

North Shore Single Family Sales Up 18% in 2012

Sales of SFHS in the 17 cities and towns on the North Shore jumped 18% in 2012, reaching their highest level since 2005. All but Swampscott showed an increase over 2011. While Lynn remained the largest city for sales, its share of the overall North Shore market dropped from 23% in 2005 to 16% in 2012.
Sales remain 17% below peak levels of 2004, with Lynn, Ipswich, Georgetown and Swampscott all showing declines of more than 30%. At the other end, Lynnfield had a 26% increase, and Manchester,Peabody and Topsfield also showed gains. (more…)

Marblehead SFH and condo sales 2012

SFH sales in MHD in 2012 reached 229, the highest level since 2004, which was an exceptional year.

Condo sales remain well below the levels of earlier in the century for the reasons outlined in my December 8 post:

Foreclosures and Short Sales for all North Shore cities and towns in 2012

Foreclosures and short sales have many variables. The process varies from State to State, while Federal attempts to halt the epidemic also influence and change underlying tendencies. With those caveats, I have put together a table that shows the number of foreclosed properties and short sales that actually closed in 2012 for SFHS and condo for each of the 17 North Shore communities.
Lynn saw the highest percentage of FC/SS sales at 34% of total sales, while (more…)

Twenty Questions with Marblehead’s Assessor

The FY2013 tax rate has been set at $10.85, up from $10.52 in FY2012. The median single family assessment declined 2.4% to $476,000, and the median single family tax bill increased 0.6%, or $31, to $5,165. The commercial rate has once again been set at the same rate as the residential rate.

Marblehead’s 2013 tax rate will be the third lowest of the 17 North Shore cities and towns and also the third lowest of 34 Essex County communities.

Real-estate assessments for Fiscal Year 2013 have just been mailed. Assistant Assessor Mike Tumulty answered questions about the process. (more…)

2013 Marblehead Property Tax Rates_Interview with Town Assessor

This is a short interview with Mike Tumulty, Marblehead’s Assistant Assessor, announcing 2013 tax rates. A fuller report, Twenty Questions with the Town Assessor, will be published this Saturday.

November Pending Home Sales rise for 19th straight month

The NAR estimates that sales should increase 8-9% in 2013 to about 5.1 million, with the median price rising 4%.
National Association of Realtors December 28, 2012
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November home sales in MASS highest since 2005

Sales of SFHs increased 38% over a year ago in November. Condo sales were up 33%.
The SFH median price increased 2%, while for the condos the figure was 7%.
Median prices were the same – $275,000 – for both SFHs and condos.
Data comes from the Warren Group
Jennifer McKim December 27, 2012
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Case-Shiller: prices rose 4.3% in year to October, above estimates

It is clear that the housing recovery is gathering strength.
Last week’s final revision to third quarter GDP growth showed that housing represented 10% of the
growth while accounting for less than 3% of GDP.
S&P/Case-Shiller December 26, 2012
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