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Brendan Fontaine's Blog

By Brendan Fontaine | Mortgage Broker
or Lender in Auburn, ME
  • Existing Home Sales Up 8.8 Percent From Last Year

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Auburn, Home Selling in Auburn, Financing in Auburn  |  March 22, 2012 12:47 PM  |  208 views  |  No comments

    Sales of previously owned homes fell 0.9 percent in February but remain 8.8 percent above a year ago. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million down from the upwardly revised January number of 4.63 million. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the market is trending up with record high consumer buying power and sustained job gains giving buyers the confidence to get into the market. The national median existing-home price was $156,600 in February, up 0.3 percent from a year ago. Also, unsold listed inventory is down 19.3 percent from February 2011 and, at the current sales pace, there is a 6.4-month supply of existing homes on the market. A six month supply is considered healthy for the housing market. More here.

  • Survey Says Purchase Index Up 3.25 Percent

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Auburn, Home Selling in Auburn, Financing in Auburn  |  March 21, 2012 8:05 AM  |  201 views  |  No comments
    Mortgage rates increased last week but remain historically low, according tothe Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.19 percent last week from 4.06 percent the week before. The average rate for a jumbo loan increased to 4.49 percent. Rising rates led to a drop in overall mortgage application demand. The Market Composite Index, which measures total application volume, was down 7.4 percent. But despite a 9.3 percent drop in the Refinance Index, the Purchase Index fell just 1.0 percent and remains up 3.25 percent over the past month. The average size of a loan to purchase a home was $225,463 in February, up from $216,888 the previous month. More here. 
  • Housing Starts Dip, Building Permits Surge In February

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Auburn, Home Selling in Auburn, Financing in Auburn  |  March 20, 2012 9:49 PM  |  193 views  |  No comments

    The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s new residential construction statistics for February show housing starts down 1.1 percent from January but still nearly 35 percent above the year before. Despite the slight dip in new construction, building permits for future construction rose to their highest level since October 2008. Permits to build privately-owned housing units jumped 5.1 percent over January’s revised rate and are 34.3 percent above the February 2011 estimate. Single-family authorizations climbed 4.9 percent to a rate if 472,000, up from January’s figure of 450,000. More here.

  • Builder Confidence At Highest Level Since 2007

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Auburn, Home Buying in Auburn, Financing in Auburn  |  March 20, 2012 9:46 PM  |  190 views  |  No comments

    Builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes is twice as strong as it was six months ago and at its highest level since 2007. The latest National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, which measures builders’ expectations and perceptions, was unchanged from last month. Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the NAHB, said builders are still cautious but there’s a sense that many local housing markets have started to move in the right direction and that prospects for future sales are improving. The component gauging builders expectations for sales over the next six months was up for the six consecutive month, rising two points from the month before. Regionally, the Index was up in the Northeast, South, and Midwest but down in the West. More here.

  • Improving Markets Index Reaches 99 In March

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Auburn, Home Selling in Auburn, Financing in Auburn  |  March 20, 2012 7:19 AM  |  187 views  |  No comments

    The National Association of Home Builders Improving Markets Indexclimbed to 99 in March, up from 98 in February. The index, which measures improvement in housing permits, employment, and prices, now includes 33 states with at least one housing market on the list and 10 with four or more improving metropolitan markets represented. David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist, said the bottom line is that roughly one quarter of all U.S. metropolitan areas are showing signs that their housing markets have turned the corner. San Antonio and Austin, Texas; Orlando, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Columbus, Ohio were all among the notable new additions to the improving markets index in March. More here.

  • Foreclosures Fall Two Percent In February

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Auburn, Financing in Auburn, Foreclosure in Auburn  |  March 16, 2012 8:14 AM  |  194 views  |  No comments

    RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for February 2012 shows foreclosure filings, including scheduled auctions, default notices, and bank repossessions, fell 2.0 percent in February and were down 8.0 percent from the previous year. Despite the fact that foreclosures were down nationally, the 26 states with a judicial foreclosure process actually saw a slight increase in activity, while the 24 non-judicial states saw a 5.0 percent decrease. Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac, said February’s numbers indicate that the barriers that have been holding foreclosures back are removed and that should pave the way to a properly functioning foreclosure process. More here.

  • Purchase Demand Reaches Highest Level In Two Months

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Auburn, Home Selling in Auburn, Foreclosure in Auburn  |  March 16, 2012 8:10 AM  |  196 views  |  No comments
    According to The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, demand for loans to purchase homes reached its highest level since January 13 after rising 4.4 percent last week. It is the third consecutive week of improvements and puts purchase applications nearly 12 percent above where they were last month. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said the increase in purchase applications coincided with another strong job market report but applications remain essentially unchanged from last year’s levels. The Market Composite Index, which measures total mortgage loan application volume, was down 2.4 percent due to a dip in the Refinance Index. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances was unchanged from last week. More here. 
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