QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Change before you have to."--Jack Welch, retired American business executive and author
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... GE's former CEO is basically saying it pays to anticipate the changing needs of your business, and that's always a good idea in real estate. Those who are dealing well with change have no doubt benefited from October's 0.7% rise in New Home Sales, now at a 458,000 annual rate. This figure was a little lower than expected, but these sales are still up 1.8% over a year ago and are tied with last May as the highest level since mid-2008. New home sales are certainly below where they should be now in the recovery, but there has been a slight shift by buyers to multi-family homes (urban condos), not counted in the report.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a tiny decline in their Pending Home Sales index for October. But this measure of contracts on existing homes is 2.2% ahead of where it was a year ago, above year-over-year levels for the second month in a row. The NAR's chief economist commented, "Despite October's modest decline, contract signings have remained at a healthy pace now for six straight months." That may be because monthly median price growth is averaging 5.8% this year, versus 11.5% in 2013. The NAR economist sees this as, "...a healthier pace that has kept affordability in check...while giving more previously stuck homeowners...the ability to sell."