With Terry Story, 25-year Veteran Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker in Boca Raton, FL
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Pending home sales were up in February 2015, to its highest level since June 2013, with gains in the Midwest and the West offsetting declines in the Northeast and the South. The rise was attributed to a steady improvement in the labor market and continued low mortgage interest rates. Additionally, the National Association of Homebuilders’ Sentiment Index was up four points to 56 in April 2015 from a revised reading of 52 in March. This reflects growing home builder optimism that sales will perk up in the spring home selling season. In parallel, inventory continues to be low and is holding down sales. Buyers are also divided between urban rejuvenation and moving to the suburbs.
While employment prospects are solid, wage growth trends are keeping a lid on home affordability where home price gains have far outstripped wage gains. Sales of vacation homes is also booming, up 57%, to about 21% or one-fifth of all homes sold, primarily driven by stock market gains – but vacation homes tend to be restricted geographically so only a few select regions have gained from this trend.