Friday, December 28, 2012

Housing Market - Halfway Back?

Reposted from : Trulia (12/28/2012)
Halfway Home: Housing Recovery Crosses 50%

Each month, Trulia’s Housing Barometer charts how quickly the housing market is moving back to “normal.” We summarize three key housing market indicators: construction starts (Census), existing home sales (NAR), and the delinquency-plus-foreclosure rate (LPS First Look). For each indicator, we compare this month’s data to (1) how bad the numbers got at their worst and (2) their pre-bubble “normal” levels.

In November 2012, home sales saw strong increases, and the delinquency + foreclosure rate held steady–both signs of market improvement. However, new construction starts declined.

Hurricane Sandy appears to have lowered construction (and sales, to a lesser extent) in the Northeast. Average monthly construction starts were 14% higher nationally in October and November – the months affected by Sandy – than in the previous four months, but 5% lower in the Northeast. Average monthly home sales were 7% higher nationally in October and November than in the previous four months, but just 3% higher in the Northeast.

•Construction starts dipped in November but remain strong. Starts in November were at an 861,000 annualized rate, down 3% month-over-month and up 22% year-over-year. For the past three months, construction starts have remained solidly above 800,000–the highest level since September 2008. Nationally, construction starts are 37% of the way back to normal.

•Existing home sales rose once again in November. After climbing in October, existing home sales rose 6% month-over-month to 5.04 million in November–the highest level since November 2009. Sales are 73% back to normal. Even better, “distressed” sales (foreclosures and short sales) represent a declining share of overall sales, making way for more “conventional” home sales.

•The delinquency + foreclosure rate maintained a new post-crisis low. In November, 10.63% of mortgages were delinquent or in foreclosure, down a hair from 10.64% in October. The combined delinquency + foreclosure rate is at its lowest level in four years and is 41% back to normal.

So is it time to finally call your real estate agent (that's me!) to make your plan for success in real estate? Buying, selling or investing now before the market rises is a great idea, let's get started!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary (Newtown, CT) Tragedy

It is with a sad heart that I am once again blogging about a tragedy such as this where too many innocent lives were unexplainably taken way too early. This past Friday, December 14th, 2012, an armed gunman forced his way into the (locked) school and took the lives of 20 children and 6 staff members before taking his own life. We later learned he had already killed his own mother as well. What could possibly drive a person to commit such a crime? We may never know. How do we prevent this from ever happening again? Do we take guns off the market or arm everyone? Do we keep our kids home 24/7 or do we teach them to suspect everyone? How do you help a 6 year old understand the horror he or she has just witnessed? How can you supress that feeling that you can not protect them from the evil in this world no matter how hard you try? In the weeks to come we will see and hear this story evolve and rumors will fly. Please check your facts before you share them, is a great place to start. If you fee the need or are able to, send along a note of condolence or a gift to help the victims families in their darkest hours. The USPS has dedicated a post office box: Messages of Condolence for Newtown, P.O. Box 3700, Newtown, CT, 06470. (Please do not send them to the school as it may not be functional for a long time and there is not enough staff to handle the volume expected.) In the mean time, love those children, hug and kiss them often, if they are old enough, talk about it with them. If they are having a hard time with this tragedy, seek professional help. If we learn nothing else from this, we need to take a good look at the way mental illnesses are treated and viewed in this country. There has to be a better way. God bless the souls of those taken away and comfort those left behind.  (Photo:, sobbing woman kneeling at a makeshift memorial in Newtown, CT,  surrounded by teddy bears.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Around the World

Christmas is celebrated around the world in many different countries and in many different ways. It's interesting to see how others celebrate the season so I found a link for you to see some of the traditions
that other places and peoples practice. Click here to see Other Traditonal Celebrations.   I personally will be waiting (with my grandsons) for Santa on Christmas Eve and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Our Savior. No matter how you celebrate the season here's hoping it is a happy and healthy one.