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Arizona Homes

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Older Buyers Boost Builders’ Expectations

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Recently surveyed builders expressed surging confidence in the market for newly built single-family Taos homes among buyers age 55 and up.

According to the results of the latest National Association of Home Builders 55+ Housing Market Index – which measures builders’ confidence on a scale where any number above 50 indicates more builders view conditions as good than poor – confidence in the market for single-family homes increased 20 points year-over-year to a level of 48, the highest fourth-quarter reading since the NAHB began tracking the data in 2008.

Robert Karen, chairman of the NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council, said they are seeing continued improvement in the 55+ housing market because consumers have gained confidence in the economy and are able to sell their current homes and move in...

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Steady Rise in Home Ownership, and Taos Real Estate is No Exception

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The Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey tracks the homeownership and vacancy rates for owner-occupied and rental housing across the country. . .

Since they began tracking this data in 1965, the results have shown a steady rise in the number of Americans who own their own home. From an early low of 62.9 percent, the homeownership rate climbed to a high of 65.8 percent in the 1980s before settling into a roughly 10-year period where it hovered around 64 percent. Then, in the mid-1990s, homeownership levels began to rise again, setting a new high in 2004 at 69.2 percent.

Since falling during the financial crisis and recent recession, the homeownership rate has, once again, settled. The latest data shows the rate has plateaued at 65 percent and has remained virtually the same since the 2nd ...

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Economy Confidence and Low Rates Good for Taos Real Estate

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Americans grew more confident in the economy in 2013, according to recently released data from Gallup.

Though their perception of economic conditions and the future direction of the economy experienced some ups-and-downs throughout the year, Americans were more optimistic than in years past, with gains seen across several key indicators.

Gallup’s Job Creation Index, for example, gained two points from its year-before level, while economic confidence rose five points and average daily spending increased to $88, a $16 improvement over 2012. Overall, Americans were more confident in the economy than in the previous five years, which is a positive sign that the economy is recovering from the most recent recession...

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December Weather Affects Pending Home Sales in Many Areas of the Country

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The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index is a forward-looking indicator that tracks contract signings, not closings. The index, which is released monthly, is a predictor of future existing-home sales.

In December, the index fell 8.7 percent from November’s downwardly revised total. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said unusually disruptive weather across large stretches of the country forced people indoors and prevented some buyers from looking at homes and making offers. According to Yun, rising home prices and lack of for-sale inventory are also to blame for the poor sales performance in December. Still, existing-home sales are expected to be at about the same level this year as last year, despite the fact that inventory is limited in much of the country...

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Upward Price Trend for Homes Continues Into Winter

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Though prices  usually weaken at the end of the year, the most recent S&P/Case-Shiller Home  Price Indices show year-over-year increases of nearly 14 percent in both the 10-city and 20-city Composites through the end of November 2013.

The gains  continue the upward trend of year-over-year improvement that began in June 2012.  David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices,  said home prices continue to rise despite last May’s jump in mortgage rates.  According to Blitzer, mortgage applications for purchase were up in recent weeks  which validates home builders’ optimism as seen in the most recent survey from  the National Association of Home Builders...

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Taos Real Estate Headed in the Right Direction

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Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Taos Real Estate Market Outlook for January finds four of the key housing indicators moving in the right direction to begin the year.

The unemployment rate, though still high at 6.7 percent, is vastly improved and should continue its gradual path to a more consistent and historically normal level. Mortgage delinquencies have also shown great improvement, having been nearly cut in half since their peak. Finally, both affordability levels and home sales continue to trend in the right direction, with the average mortgage payment remaining very affordable in most markets – suggesting there’s still room for more recovery in home prices.

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said the housing recovery continues on a steady pace...

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Housing Starts Finish 2013 with a Six-Year High

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New  residential construction ended 2013 at the highest level in six years, according  to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban  Development.

An estimated 923,400 housing units were started last year, which is  18.3 percent above year-before levels and the best total since 2007. That year,  housing starts came in at 1.4 million. Still, despite a strong finish  year-over-year, monthly figures fell in December. Privately-owned housing starts  dropped 9.8 percent, after surging to the highest pace of the year the month  before. But, though starts fell nearly 10 percent, December’s estimate was still  the third best month of 2013. Also in the report, building permits were down 3  percent from the previous month...

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Mortgage Rate Drop Spurs Demand

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According to  the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, total mortgage  loan application volume increased 11.9 percent last week due to a significant  drop in the average mortgage rate.

The Refinance Index was up 11 percent and the  seasonally adjusted Purchase Index rose 12 percent. The previous week’s results  included an adjustment for the New Year’s. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s chief  economist, said the drop in rates triggered a pickup in refinance volume, while  the change in purchase activity most likely reflects an increase following the  holiday season. Still, the gain in purchase demand was more than anticipated and  may indicate a strong selling season this coming spring and summer. The MBA’s  survey covers more than 75 percent of all U.S...

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Smaller Metros Leading the Housing Recovery

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Nationwide,  housing and economic activity is 86 percent back to normal, based on current  permits, prices, and employment data.

In fact, more than 35 percent of all  markets tracked by The National Association of Home Builders Leading Market  Index are operating at 90 percent or better of their previous normal. The index  tracks 350 metro areas across the country and identifies those that are now  approaching or exceeding their previous norms. According to the most recent  release, 56 out of those 350 have returned to or surpassed their normal levels  of economic and housing activity. And nearly half of the improved markets are  areas with populations less than 500,000...

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