The pace of existing-home sales rose 5.1% last month from April to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.35 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. Sales for April were revised up to 5.09 million from an initially reported 5.04 million.
First-time buyers rose to 32% of all existing-home buyers from 27% a year ago, NAR said. Historically, first-time buyers have made up about 40% of the market.
Bill Banfield, vice president at Quicken Loans, said the lender has seen a significant uptick in inquiries from first-time homebuyers. While saving for a down payment continues to be a struggle for younger buyers, he pointed to loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Federal Housing Administration that require less cash up front. (…)
FYI, existing house sales are up 9.2% YoY and prices are up nearly 8%!
BMO Capital Markets adds:
Spurred on by new jobs, firmer wages and easing loan standards, first-time buyers drove a 5.1% increase in existing home sales to 5½-year highs in May. They raised their share of total sales to a 2½ -year high of 32%, though this is still well below longer-term norms above 40%. Good affordability suggests this share will likely increase, barring a sharp jump in interest rates. The typical first time buyer required just 21% of gross family income to service a mortgage in Q1, well below the three-decade norm of 29%. In fact, this percentage is no higher than five years ago, as a 9% advance in income and one percentage point drop in mortgage rates have fully offset a 24% rise in home prices.
Beijing cheerleaders buoy China markets Moves to calm investor sentiment after rout give bourses a lift
The Shanghai Composite finished Tuesday with a 2.2 per cent gain — its best day since June 1 — after sinking as much as 4.7 per cent in morning trading. The Shenzhen market added 1.2 per cent, having also dropped sharply earlier in the day.
The 13.3 per cent decline in the Shanghai Composite last week spurred a flurry of front-page commentaries in China’s state-backed papers that encouraged the retail-dominated market not to panic.
“Volatility is a normal status of capital markets and all participants should be aware of this fact,” the official Securities Times wrote on Tuesday. “After a reasonable analysis of the current market environment, we find the bullish market logic has not changed yet.” (…)
What is that bullish logic, please?
The ChiNext index of smaller companies in Shenzhen was poised to enter a bear market amid concern investors were unwinding margin bets in China’s most expensive stocks.
The 100-member gauge slid as much as 4.8 percent Tuesday, extending its loss from its June 3 peak to more than 20 percent. The index, which is dominated by technology shares, pared declines to 2.5 percent at the 11:30 a.m. local-time break.
The ChiNext traded at a record 131 times reported earnings this month, five times the level of the Shanghai Composite Index, after the small-cap gauge tripled in just 12 months.