After months of discouraging signals, a flurry of monthly reports released this morning offer some positive news for the housing market. Here's a summary:
- The S & P Case-Shiller report says that house prices are rising, but at a more moderate pace. The group's 10-city and 20-city composites posted annual gains of 10.8 percent, significantly lower rate when compared to last month. Nineteen of the 20 cities saw lower annual gains in April than in March, but California (Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco) saw returns worsen by approximately three percentage points. Boston was the only city to see its annual rate improve. In the Twin Cities metro, year-over-year prices were up 9.4-percent and 1.1 percent from March. Here's the full report.
- Sales of new single-family houses during May surged, according to a joint joint report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. New homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, 18.6 percent above the revised April rate of 425,000 and 16.9 percent above the May 2013 estimate of 431,000. The median sales price of new houses last month was $282,000. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of May was 189,000. This represents a supply of 4.5 months at the current sales rate.
- Fewer homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments. CoreLogic said this morning that in the Twin Cities metro the foreclosure rate among outstanding mortgage loans was 0.53 percent during April, a decrease of 0.55 percentage points compared to last year when the rate was 1.08 percent. Nationwide, the foreclosure rate stood at 1.77 percent. Also in the Twin Cities, the mortgage delinquency rate (mortgage loans that were 90 days or more delinquent) fell to 2.43 percent compared with 3.36 percent for the same period last year, representing a decrease of 0.93 percentage points.