There’s good news brewing on the housing front. The Mortgage Bankers Association announced that mortgage applications have steadily risen for the past three weeks. The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales have risen for three straight months.
The Commerce Department said that new home sales have also risen in for three straight months, with June’s sales up an impressive 11% and now at the highest level since November 2008. The inventory of unsold existing homes is now at a 9.4-month supply, while the inventory of new homes is now down to an 8.8-month supply.
In the past 12 months through June, existing home sales are down only 0.2%, which is a clear sign that the housing market is trying to stabilize. Median home prices continue to decline due to high inventories, so until the inventory of unsold homes hits four to five months, median prices will likely continue to decline.
However, according to the S&P Case-Shiller home price index, home prices have fallen 17.1% in the past year, but 13 of the 20 regions surveyed show a slight price increase in May compared with April, which is the first increase in 34 months.