Pending Home Sales Rise Nationwide



Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes climbed in March by the largest percentage in almost three years, according to a report released today from the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 3.4 percent, the most since May 2011.


Three of four U.S. regions showed an increase from February, with contract signings up 5.7 percent in the West, 5.6 percent in the South and 1.4 percent in the Northeast. Pending sales dropped 0.8 percent in the Midwest.


“Sales activity is expected to steadily pick up as more inventory reaches the market, and from ongoing job creation in the economy,” according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.


During the first quarter, sales at the Ebby Halliday Companies continued to outperform the market with a 9.6 percent increase over the same period in 2013.

Dallas-area Home Prices Up 12% in February



Dallas-area home prices rose by 11.8% in February, according to a just-released report from CoreLogic Inc.


Texas has now made up all the home price declines the state suffered in the recession, according to the research firm. Nationwide, prices were up 12.2 percent from the same time a year ago.


“As the spring home-buying season kicks off, house price appreciation continues to be strong,” said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Although prices should remain strong in the near term due to a short supply of homes on the market, price increases should moderate over the next year as home equity releases pent-up supply.”


According to the report, the states still experiencing the largest home price decreases since the economic downturn are Nevada (-39.9 percent), Florida (-36.4 percent), Rhode Island (-30.9 percent), Arizona (-30.5 percent) and West Virginia (-26.6 percent).


To learn more about the housing market in your specific area of interest, contact an Ebby Associate today. To get started, visit the award-winning

Dallas-area Home Prices Rise 10 Percent in January



Dallas-area home prices rose by 10 percent in January, according to a new S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index report released today. While slightly less than the 10.2 percent gain in December, the new number is still close to an all-time high.


Nationwide, home prices were up 13.2 percent in January from the same month in 2013.


“The housing recovery may have taken a breather due to the cold weather,” S&P’s David M. Blitzer said in the report. “Twelve cities reported declining prices in January vs. December; eight of those were worse than the month before. From the bottom in 2012, prices are up 23 percent and the housing market is showing signs of moving forward with more normal price increases.”


Dallas-area price increases are now almost 5 percent ahead of where they were before the recession.


If you’re considering offering your home for sale, contact an Ebby Associate to learn more about the real estate market in your neighborhood and to find out what your home is worth in today’s market. To find the right agent for your residential real estate needs, visit the website voted one of the industry’s best by the Web Marketing Association,

The Latest on Housing Starts



Despite the nationwide housing inventory shortage, homebuilders are not building new homes in needed quantities, according to just-released data from the National Association of Realtors.


New-home construction activity remained low in February, below one-year-ago levels. On a positive note, the number of housing permits rose, indicating that new-home construction will be rising a bit in the upcoming months.


The housing shortage in many U.S. markets is likely to persist. NAR projects homebuilders need to increase production by at least 50 percent from current levels in order to meet the demand for newly constructed homes.


The Bottom Line: There is little chance of home-price declines in markets where there is a shortage of housing. Rents will continue to rise.

Inventory at Historic Low

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The number of houses listed for sale with North Texas Realtors in January — 19,090 properties — was the lowest inventory of homes on the market in almost 10 years. There were 13 percent fewer houses for sale in North Texas than in January 2013, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.


In January, there was a record low 2.6-month supply of homes offered for sale by real estate agents in North Texas. That’s approximately half the home inventory that North Texas had in early 2012.


The tight housing market is placing upward pressure on prices. Median home sales prices in North Texas in January rose 10 percent from a year ago to $165,000.


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Dallas-area Home Prices Rise Again

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Dallas-area home prices were up 9.3 percent in November from a year earlier, according to a just-released report from CoreLogic. Nationwide, home prices were up 11.8 percent for the same period.

Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, predicts that when all the numbers are in home prices across the country will be up 11.5 percent for 2013. “That will make 2013 the best year for home-price appreciation since 2005,” Fleming says.

Across Texas, home prices were up 8.7 percent in November from a year earlier. Texas home prices are now fully recovered from the recession and are back to where they were at the peak of the last housing cycle, according to CoreLogic.
The states with the highest appreciation were Nevada (25.3 percent), California (21.3 percent) and Michigan (14.4 percent).