U.S. Home Prices Fall Amid Brutal Winter Cold

  By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices fell for the second straight month in December as brutally cold weather, tight supply and higher costs slowed sales. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index declined 0.1 percent from November to December, matching the previous month’s decline. The index isn’t adjusted for seasonal…

Wintry Blast Crimps December Pending Homes Sales

  By Margaret Chadbourn –  Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes fell sharply in December to a more than two-year low due in part to unusually cold weather across the country, pointing to signs of a slowdown in the housing market. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday its Pending Home Sales Index, based…

New Home Sales Not So Merry in December

  By Lucia Mutikani – WASHINGTON — Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell more than expected in December, but lean inventories and steady price gains suggested sufficient strength in the housing market to support the economy. Other data released Monday showed that the private sector maintained its growth pace in January. The Commerce Department said…

Real Estate Industry Wary ahead of New Mortgage Rules

(MCT)—Real estate officials are bracing for new federal mortgage rules intended to press lenders to ensure that prospective borrowers are able to repay home loans. Starting Jan. 10, lenders will be required to scrutinize eight types of financial information about a borrower, including income and debts. The so-called ability-to-repay and qualified-mortgage requirements stem from the…