Real Estate Market Gradually Improves
An improved economy and low interest rates have boosted Michigan’s housing market after years of turmoil. There were 8,284 homes sold in February, up 14% from 7,245 sold in February 2011, according to MAR. A 14% increase is “pretty remarkable,” said Bill Martin, CEO of the trade group."
2. DQ News -- An estimated 29,630 new and resale houses and condos were sold across California last month. That was up 5.4% from 28,111 in January, and up 8.5% from 27,320 in February 2011. Last month's sales were the strongest for a February since 31,228 homes were sold in 2007. On a year-over-year basis, sales have increased the past seven months.
3. DQ News -- "A total of 5,702 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area in February. That was up 4.1% from 5,479 in January, and up 14.2% from 4,991 in February 2011. The year-over-year sales increase was the eighth in a row. Last month’s sales count, which got a lift from an extra business day thanks to the leap year, was the highest for a February since 6,305 were sold in 2007.
4. Over the last six months, the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF is up by about 50% compared to about an 18% gain for the S&P500 Index.
5. The U.S. homebuilder outlook was unchanged this month, but remained near a 4-year high.