single family homes

Three Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

Today's sluggish housing market has little margin for error: Make an ill-conceived or poorly researched home purchase now, and you'll almost certainly pay the price later. To avoid that, make sure you have the right answers to these three questions before you buy your next home.

Prospective Homebuyers: Time Is on Your Side

The latest reports on home sales and prices offer a complicated and conflicted picture. But when the data are taken together, one thing is clear: Weighing risk and reward, it's worth waiting a few months to see which way the real estate winds are really blowing.

October's Home-Price Drop Has 'No Good News'

The U.S. housing sector got another dose of sobering news Tuesday, as home prices in 20 major cities fell a worse-than-expected 1.3% in October from September. The S&P Case-Shiller index has now dropped for four straight months.

New-Home Sales Rise but Remain at Low Levels

Although new home sales rose 5.5% in November to a 290,000-unit annual rate, it%u2019s important for investors to maintain a sense of perspective about the rise. The gain was less than expected, and home sales are still well below the sales level typically seen in a healthy housing market.

November Home Sales Take Small Step Forward

The U.S. housing sector remained in a slow, but uncertain recovery in November, as existing-home sales increased a less-than-expected 5.6% last month, to a 4.68-million-unit annual rate. Although home sales rose in every U.S. region, and inventories fell, strong job growth will be needed to increase the sales pace in 2011 and prevent tepid home prices from re-trenching in the quarters ahead.

Housing Starts: Another Small Gain in November

The U.S. housing sector took another modest step forward in November as housing starts rose a better-than-predicted 3.9% to a 530,000-unit annual rate. Still, at the current rate of recovery, the nation remains about 18 months to 2 years away from seeing normal levels of home building.

New Housing Starts Plunged 11.7% in October

U.S. housing starts unexpectedly plunged 11.7% in October to a 519,000-unit annual rate, weighed down by a 47.5% decline in apartment and condo construction. But building permits, a leading indicator of future housing construction, did inch 0.5% higher last month. U.S. housing starts unexpectedly plunged 11.7% in October to a 519,000-unit annual rate, weighed down by a 47.5% decline in apartment and condo construction. But building permits, a leading indicator of future housing construction, did inch 0.5% higher last month.

U.S. Housing Starts Rose for Third Straight Month

The unexpected increase of 0.3% to a 610,000 annual rate provides additional evidence that homebuilding in the beleaguered U.S. housing sector may be bottoming. However, economists caution that it's still too early to declare any kind of solid turnaround.

Home Buyer Credit Needed? Sales Fall Less Than Feared

Existing-home sales fell a less-than-predicted 5.1% in June to a 5.37-million-unit annual rate, as the number of people looking for houses declined after the federal home buyers tax credit ended this spring. Though the tax credit boosted sales, Congress appears unlikely to renew it.