Industry News

U.S. real estate prices climb

Falling interest rates fuel second-quarter gains

Home sales and house prices jumped in the second quarter of 2005, according to an index by mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac announced today that its quarterly national Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index rose 15 percent in the second quarter of 2005 on an annualized basis, up from a revised first quarter 2005 annualized rate of 10.5 percent and a fourth quarter 2004 annualized rate of 9.8 percent. "The steady decline of fixed mortgage rates during the second quarter helped to propel home sales higher and drive up house prices," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "According to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the weekly average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell from a high of 6.04 percent the week of March 31 to a low of 5.53 percent the week of June 30. Home sales in the second quarter soared to an annualized record level of 7.62 million units." The Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index continues to show strong growth pri...

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