New single-family houses sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 342,000 units in May, according to estimates released jointly today by the US Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, down 0.6% from April. According to the revised annual rate, the total unsold inventory represents 10.2 months of supply at the current rate. Year on year, May’s sales rate sits 32.8% below the rate seen in May 2008. Currently, an estimated 292,000 new houses sit on the market available for sale. New houses sold at a median price of $221,600, meaning half sold for more and half sold for less. Meanwhile, the average price of all new home sales came in at $274,300 in the month. The majority of new home sales — about 22,000 or roughly 69% of 32,000 homes sold in the month — occurred in the lower price levels, $299,000 and under, indicating affordability remains a key issue even in purchasing a new home. Another 4,000 or so sales were of homes priced from $300,000 to $399,000, while 3,000 sales were priced from $400,000 to $499,999 and an additional 3,000 sales ranged from $500,000 and above. Write to Diana Golobay.
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It looks like borrowers who don’t fit neatly into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s lending criteria could soon be running out of options if they want to buy a house. Over the last week, many (if not all) of the biggest lenders specializing in lending to borrowers outside the QM lending box paused their activities due to uncertainty in the market. And now it appears that FHA lending as we know it is disappearing from the market too.
Like many other lenders and companies, Impac is having to navigate the dislocation associated with the interest rate and credit risk mortgage markets. In light of recent events, Impac announced a two week temporary suspension of all lending activity effective March 20.