A 6.8% plunge was seen last month in house sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 482,000, though analysts still predict a good outlook for housing sector in future. The report also wrote down May sales to 517,000 from 546,000.
Home sales grew earlier this year, but this latest information calls for the needs of taking some financial actions to boost the housing sector so that the market does not cool off.
"There's no question the housing sector kicked into a higher gear in the second quarter, but this might be a dose of reality that the acceleration is not as sharp as it had looked. The outlook for housing still remains positive", said McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies LLC in New York.
Albertsons, the nation's second-largest grocery store -operator, has plans for an IPO. On Wednesday, it filed a preliminary prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission and stated that it has planned to raise $100 million.
The filing does not reveal about the number of shares that will be offered and it is also not specified as what would be the estimated per-share price and where it would be traded. The proceeds will be used to repay debts and the other expenses.
In the prospectus, Albertsons has said that it will include the performance of the Safeway properties. The company based in Boise, Idaho is owned by an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management.
Boston Properties, Inc. has been witnessing a decline. In the past week, it has witnessed the loss of 2.59% and in the last month, it dropped 5.8%. In the last 4 weeks, Boston Properties, Inc. has also not performed up to the mark.
In the last six months, there has been a change of -24.75% in the total insider ownership. But then also, the company insiders have 0.2% of Boston Properties Inc. When it comes to institutional investors, they have 97.1% of the company’s shares.
On Friday, the company witnessed an increased volatility, as the shares opened for trading at $122.52 and then they hit at $123.95, but at the end, the session ended at $123.43, witnessing a gain of 0.67%. Owing to the heightened volatility, trading volume jumped to 2,556,621 shares.
A recent reports released on Wednesday by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University showed that the percentage of US households owning their homes slid last year to 64.5 % for the eight consecutive year.
As per the latest data, the ownership rate in Greater Boston dropped to even lower i.e. 60.9 %, down from 64.2 % prior to the recession.
The reports highlighted rising home prices, stagnant incomes, tougher lending standards, and a lack of housing construction to meet demand as main culprits for the homeownership decline.
It further stated that these similar trends are driving up demands for rental housing and are even pushing rents higher, rising nationally at about double the rate of inflation.
US home re-sales have strengthened and have surged to five year high in May. It is considered to be an indication that housing and overall economic activity has been strengthening in the second quarter.
On Monday, the National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing homes sales increased 5.1% from April. It is considered as the highest level since November 2009.
The data suggests that after many missteps earlier this year, the US housing market recovery is coming back on track. Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York, said that they are expecting this pace to be maintained.
Lawrence Yun, the Realtors' chief economist, thinks that May gain was due to jump in listings and also due to rise in confidence among first-time home buyers.
US regulators are warning that people should be careful as many ads don't inform regarding whole story about reverse mortgages.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a study conducted by it on older homeowners found that they were given the false information by the ads; the ads say that reverse mortgages are a government benefit and tell that consumers can stay in their homes for their entire life.
According to the agency, people should have knowledge of the risks of reverse mortgages that are loans for homeowners 62 or older, which have to be repaid with interest and can diminish seniors' funds.
A development that took place on Monday was the Mayor’s renewed control over the City’s public schools. The legislation that came out, vests the power over the public schools in the New York City’s Mayor, Bill De Blasio, for another three years. The members of the Senate called for a face-lift to the underperforming schools by making available increased funds.
However, what came as a deathblow to the city’s single largest housing program was the news of an annual operating deficit of $98 million.
According to reports, price of new homes in China fell in April this year. The fall in price is for the eighth consecutive month, which suggested that property sector in the world’s most populous country is continuing to put downward pressure on the country’s economy. The average price in about 70 big cities in the country fell more than 6% compared to last year. In March this year, the average price declined, leading to more distress sales.
The economists stated that the property sector accounts for approximately about 20% of the world's second-largest economy. The property sector is considered as one of the biggest risks to the country’s economic growth, which is close to its slowest growth in about two and half decades this year.
Building material company Lafarge announced on Thursday that this year's demand for cement will probably rise 2% to 5% in countries, where the company operates. Lafarge has successfully been able to maintain its 2015 forecast for growth in demand of cement globally.
The proceeds from divestments and cost cuts have helped the cement giant to raise the net income to 310 million francs from the last year's net income of 80 million francs. First-quarter current operating income has grown by 40% to 205 million euros.
The high first-quarter profits reflect that the cost saving targets of the company is on track as the company has decreased its group net loss to 96 million euros, much lower than the loss of 135 million euros incurred last year.
It is alleged that Quicken Loans, one of the largest US mortgage lenders, is facing a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice for filing false claims on government-insured mortgages and other violations.
On Thursday, the US District Court for the District of Columbia filed the complaint and said the company lied to the government when making loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
The court claimed that mortgages insured by the company were improperly originated and underwrote by the company.
The US housing finance firms have been asked to improve their structure for guarantee fees. The regulator has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to take the steps. However, it said that the changes would be 'revenue neutral'.
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie and Freddie will cut guarantee fees for some borrowers and increase them for others. Predictably, the regulator is removing a 25-basis-point adverse market fee, which the companies forced on all new borrowers in 2008, when housing prices fell rapidly.
Adolph Alfred Taubman, an America real estate developer and philanthropist from Michigan who pioneered as modern mall concept died at the age of 91. Billionaire mall developer who launched the mall business Taubman Centers Inc. in 1950 died of heart attack.
His son, Robert Taubman, CEO of Taubman Centers, announced the news that his father died on Friday evening in his Bloomfield Hills, Michigan home after having dinner.
Robert said, “He was so proud of what this wonderful company he founded 65 years ago has accomplished. One thing that will never be taken from us is Alfred Taubman's vision that will continue to guide and inspire us”.
Retailer Walgreens announced that it will close about 200 stores across the United States. According to the company, it has planned to remove those stores that were not meeting sales expectations. In August 2014, Walgreens, which is the largest drug retailing chain in the United States, announced that it is set to build on a $1 billion charge-reduction strategy.
The company also said that customers and people linked to the company have nothing to worry about. According to reports, shut down of 200 stores would only affect the company's 2% locations in the United States, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.
US bank earnings have been supported by mortgage lending in the first quarter as lower rates led to an increase in applications to refinance home loans. This is good news for the sector that has struggled with weak growth for the past many quarters.
There were probably other factors offering boost for the biggest US banks in the first quarter, together with higher underwriting revenue and bond trading. The big banks begin reporting for the quarter next week. On Tuesday, Wells Fargo & Co and JPMorgan Chase & Co started reporting.
On Tuesday, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index unveiled that in the 12 months ended in January, home price in the region increased 2.1% in the New York metropolitan area. It shall however, be noted that the rise was less than half the national increase.
Though things are progress, as per experts, housing market is recovering at a very slow pace from the worst recession since World War II. The index unveiled that home values are not that higher as they used to be in 2004. The condition remains the same at national and state level.
At the regional level, single-family prices are around 19% below their highest levels seen in mid-2006. Also, national values are around 17% below their peaks.
According to a new report by RealtyTrac, home price appreciation has outpaced wage growth in 76% of housing markets amid the economic recovery. This has increased over the past two years by a 13-to-1 ratio. But in New Jersey, the condition is totally different.
According to Daren Blomquist, vice president of Realty Trac, "Generally, you would think that wages outpacing home price growth would be a good thing because it would indicate that there is more room for home prices to grow and I do think that is the case in New Jersey".
He also added that home prices are not growing and this is one of the reasons behind wages outpacing home price growth in some regions. He also added that they're observing a small decline in most of the New Jersey markets.
On Friday, home builder KB Home said that it has faced a 26% decline in net profit for the first quarter from last year. The company has reported first-quarter net income of $7.80 million or $0.08 per share, down from $10.56 million or $0.12 per share in the prior-year quarter.
The decline is considered to be due to increased tax expenses and reduced margins more than strong revenue growth. But twist came in as earnings have surpasses the expectations of analysts, which has led to the stock higher.
Jeffrey Mezger, president and chief executive officer, was of the view, "We are pleased with the robust growth in our first quarter net orders, net order value and backlog levels, which was fueled primarily by our expanded community count and healthy buyer demand".
American commercial real estate company Simon Property Group has raised its takeover bid for rival mall owner Macerich Co. to about $16.8 billion. The company has also termed it as the final offer. Indianapolis-headquartered Simon Property is the biggest mall owner in the country. On Friday, the company released a statement where it said that it offered $95.50 a share, up from $91 on March 9.
Both Simon and Macerich have a significant presence in Philadelphia. Simon has about nine areas malls, which include King of Prussia, Philadelphia Mills, and Oxford Valley. As per reports, Macerich will invest over $100 million in the redevelopment of the Gallery at Market East.
This week, Mortgage interest rates plunged to about 3.78%. According to experts, people, who are thinking to buy a house, should lock in their rate now. Chief economist at Realtor. com, Jonathan Smoke, said that it is the last call before the bar closes at these historically low levels.
As per reports, rates are low at present, but they are expected to rise very soon. The Federal Reserve issued a statement on Wednesday, where it warned that Mortgage interest rates will increase in the near term because the United States economy has stabilized. The Federal Reserve has supported the economy by keeping rates at zero since 2008, when the country's housing market had collapsed.
Regulators of the United States housing finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said on Wednesday that the mortgage loan companies could require more bailouts from United States taxpayers as risks are increasing because of shrinking reserves.
The two companies were bailed out by Washington in 2008 at height of the financial crisis. That time, the companies were ordered to reduce their capital buffers.
In an earlier report, Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General said that future profitability is far from assured. The Inspector General also pointed out that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could again overcome losses on their derivatives portfolios, same to those that they reported in the fourth quarter.