Inside these posts: Home sales

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BofA in ‘hand-to-hand combat’ over mortgages

A quick settlement of the 50-state probe of the U.S. mortgage foreclosure crisis would be the best solution for all involved, the chief executive of Bank of America said on Tuesday.

The call for a settlement by Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan was followed by comments from Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who told a Senate hearing that a settlement with lenders was still months off.

“We’re thinking in terms of months rather than a year or longer but it depends really on how far we get,” said Miller, who is heading up a probe by all 50 state attorneys general. Get the full story »

With no tax credit, Chicago home sale prices fall

The good news is that more than half of Illinois counties saw gains in median home sale prices during the third quarter. The bad news is that most of the Chicago area played no part in that good news.

In Cook County, the median selling price fell 14.3 percent during the three months that ended in September, a combination of a 16.3 percent price decline in condos and a 7.9 percent drop in single-family home prices, according to data released Wednesday by the Illinois Association of Realtors. Other counties that experienced price declines were Kane, where the median price fell 13.3 percent; Kendall, down 8.3 percent; and McHenry, down 3.7 percent. Get the full story »

Homeownership at lowest level in a decade

(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

The nation’s homeownership rate is at the lowest level in more than a decade, hampered by a rise in foreclosures and weak demand for housing.

The percentage of households that owned their homes was unchanged at 66.9 percent in the July-September quarter, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. That’s the same as the April-June quarter.

The last time the rate was lower was in 1999, when the rate was 66.7 percent. Get the full story »

Home prices dip in July, seen hovering near lows


Single-family home prices dipped in July, hovering above multi-year lows absent the homebuyer tax credit that ended in April, according a Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price report on Tuesday.

The home price index for the Chicago area rose a modest 1 percent in July after a 2.5 percent gain in June.

High U.S. unemployment and millions of foreclosed homes and distressed borrowers keep stalling a home price recovery, overshadowing high affordability and record low mortgage rates, economists agree. Get the full story »

U.S. homebuilder sentiment stays in doldrums

U.S. home-builder sentiment remained stuck at a 1-1/2-year low in September, the latest suggestion the sector is in for a painful and prolonged climb back to health.

The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo said Monday that their Housing Market Index for single family homes held for the second straight month at 13 — the lowest level since March 2009. Economists had expected the index to edge up to 14.

A reading above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor. The index has not been above 50 since April 2006. Get the full story »

Toll Brothers posts quarterly profit on tax gains

U.S. luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. beat Wall Street expectations and reported its first quarterly profit in three years Wednesday, sending its shares and those of other homebuilders higher. Get the full story »

Pending home sales fall sharply in U.S.

Chicago-area real estate agents sensed a fall-off in homebuyer traffic last month, and on Thursday, they were validated: Sales contracts on home purchases plunged 32.1 percent in the Midwest and 30 percent nationally in May.

The index of pending home sales, measured by the National Association of Realtors, fell to 77.6 nationally in May from April, far worse than expected. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had predicted a drop of 11.3 percent from April, to a reading of 98.4. For the Midwest, the index dropped to 70.8, which is a drop of 32.1 percent from April and down 20.2 percent from a year ago.

A reading of 100 is equivalent to 2001’s average level of sales activity. Get the full story »

U.S. metro home prices climb, Chicago at 2002 level

Single-family home prices unexpectedly climbed in April from March, driven by a final sales push before tax credits expired, but signs of a sustained recovery have yet to emerge, Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller home price indexes showed on Tuesday.

In the Chicago area, April home prices were relatively flat, rising 0.6 percent since April but still down 1.6 percent form April 2009. Area home prices are at levels similar to what the market saw in May 2002. Get the full story »