Here’s the Ubiq-cerpt:™
U.S. home prices leapt 13.4% in the second quarter from a year earlier, the largest gain in 25 years, but the housing market showed signs of cooling in July, two reports released yesterday showed.
The 13.4% average price rise, based on an index compiled by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, or Ofheo, was the biggest recorded since 1979. It compares with average annual increases of about 6% in the past three decades. The index is based on both purchase prices and appraisals of home value made during refinancings; stripping out refinancings, the index was up 11% from a year before.
The National Association of Realtors said its pending home-sales index in July declined 1% on a seasonally adjusted basis from June, though it was still up 3.5% from a year earlier. A sale is considered pending when a contract has been signed but the transaction hasn’t been completed.
The housing market has shown other tentative signs of cooling recently. Inventories of unsold homes have been rising in some cities, and houses have been sitting on the market longer. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported earlier this week that its index of demand for mortgages used to purchase homes stood at 470.6 as of Aug. 26, down 11% from a peak of 529.3 on June 10.
Housing Market Gives Cooling Sign
Yearly Price Rise Set Record,But July Was a Bit Less Hot;
The Cheap-Mortgage Factor
JAMES R. HAGERTY
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, September 2, 2005; Page A2
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