Homes for Sale Hit Expected End-of-Year Lull

The number of homes for sale nationwide was down 4.8 percent from November, according to data from ZipRealty Inc., which measured sales in the 27 major metropolitan areas where it does business.

The decline is typical, says research firm Zelman & Associations. Zelman says for the last 27 years nationwide listings have declined an average of 11 percent in December compared to November.

Zip’s figures don’t cover New York City where appraisal firm Miller Samuel Inc. says the number of co-ops and condos on the market in Manhattan in December was down 11 percent from November.

Source: The Wall Street Journal (01/07/2010)

Loan Applications Fell During Holiday Weeks

Loan applications decreased 22.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the holiday weeks ending Dec. 25, 2009, and January 1, 2010.

On an unadjusted basis, the index fell 46.9 percent the week before Christmas, and increased 0.4 percent the week after.

The unadjusted purchase index declined 33.1 percent Christmas week and fell 5 percent further the following week. Applications were down 26.2 percent and 28.2 percent respectively compared to the same weeks a year ago.

Interest rates rose during the two-week period:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.18 percent from 4.92 percent;
15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.62 percent from 4.34 percent.