Real Estate News & Commentary

Real Estate News by the Numbers: Week of August 13 – August 19

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A quick rundown of the important real estate news from the week of August 13 – August 19, by the numbers:

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3.5% – Decline in July existing home sales from the previous month. The decline puts existing homes sales at 4.67 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, down from 4.84 million in June according the National Association of Realtors. The number was well below the consensus prediction of 4.9 million sales.

7.8% – Rise in multifamily housing starts, to 179,000 units. Conversely, home starts are down 1.5% for July, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 640,000 units. “The rise in multifamily units reflects an underlying trend in which rentals are increasing while the national home ownership rate declines.”

4.15% – Average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage this week according to Freddie Mac. It’s the lowest rate on record, dipping lower than the 4.17% rate record set in November of 2010. Last week, the average rate was at 4.32%.

$80,000 – Median home price in Hunter’s Creek Florida. With a median family income of $87,801, Hunter’s Creek tops CNNMoney’s list of “Where Homes are Affordable.”

$367,660 – Median family income in Great Falls, Virginia, topping CNNMoney’s list of “Top-Earning Towns.” The small affluent Virginia town boasts a population of only 8,757 and a median home price of $1,090,000.

$11.2 Billion – Amount U.S. Department of Agriculture has to lend over the next two months for its no-down payment rural development loan program. "Founded in 1949 to spur home sales and development in rural areas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's popular direct and guaranteed rural housing loans are one of the few places in America you can still get a mortgage with no money down at competitive rates."

-30.7 – The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s August index reading. It’s at the lowest level since March 2009 and down significantly from July’s 3.2 reading. “A reading below zero indicates a contraction in the region’s manufacturing.”

95% – Percentage refinancing with fixed-rate loans during the second quarter of 2011 according to Freddie Mac.