A quick rundown of the important real estate news from the week of March 17 – March 24, by the numbers:
1.57% – Drop in new homes sales in February from January. Despite the recent drop, new home sales are up 11.4% since February 2011.
5.8 Months – Current supply of new homes on the market. Although supply dropped slightly for the month, median new home prices were up to $233,700 from $217,000 in January.
4.26 Million – Existing home sales in 2011. That is up from 2010, when existing home sales were 4.19 million. The market peaked pack in 2005, when existing home sale were 7.1 million.
8% – Drop in sales orders for KB Homes, one of the nations largest home builders, this past quarter. KB Homes shares fell 8.5% in light of the disappointing news.
950 Feet – Height of 70 Pine Street in Manhattan, the former headquarters of American International Group. The new owners, Metro Loft Management, plan to convert the office building into residential units. Once it opens, it will be the tallest residential building in Manhattan, topping the 876 foot New York by Gehry.
4.08% – Average rate on a 30 year mortgage this week according to Freddie Mac. Rates jumped from last week, when average rates were 3.92%.
98% – Number of markets in the U.S., where buying is cheaper than renting. Out of 100 markets, only in Honolulu and San Francisco is it cheaper to rent than buy.
1,000 – Number of Bank of America customers who, in a pilot program, will be allowed to stay in their homes as renters rather than be foreclosed on and forced to leave. The “Mortgage to Lease” program will be tested in Arizona, Nevada and New York, and, if successful, might be expanded to larger number of people.
$17.95 Million – Listing price for Alicia Keys Manhattan penthouse. Keys bought the 5 bedroom apartment from singer Lenny Kravitz a few years ago for $12.5 million.