December pending home sales drop, but flipping activity rises

People all across the U.S. have another reason to be angry at the obnoxious winter weather - instead of just clogging traffic and making for a painful commute, December's cold and snowy conditions have also attributed to pending home sales' recent decline.

People all across the U.S. have another reason to be angry at the obnoxious winter weather - instead of just clogging traffic and making for a painful commute, December's cold and snowy conditions have also attributed to pending home sales' recent decline.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the Pending Home Sales Index dropped 8.7 percent to 92.4 in December compared to November's 101.2. That is also 8.8 percent lower year-over-year. This statistic is based upon contract signings, not closings.

"Unusually disruptive weather across large stretches of the country in December forced people indoors and prevented some buyers from looking at homes or making offers," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. "Home prices rising faster than income is also giving pause to some potential buyers, while at the same time a lack of inventory means insufficient choice. Although it could take several months for us to get a clearer read on market momentum, job growth and pent-up demand are positive factors."

When it comes to location, the Northeast experienced the largest pending home sales drop, with a 10.3 percent decline month-over-month, NAR reported. Close behind was the West, at a 9.8 percent decrease from November to December.

Flipping and selling real estate still profitable
Even though the winter has proven to be a tough time to sell, home flipping is still a viable real estate option.

According to RealtyTrac's Year-End and Q4 2013 Home Flipping Report, 156,862 single-family homes were flipped during that time, up 16 percent year-over-year and an impressive 114 percent compared to the same time in 2011. In total, flipped homes comprised 4.6 percent of all U.S. single-family home sales throughout 2013. What's more, the average gross profit for a home flip was $58,081 during the year, higher than 2012's figure.

Overall, RealtyTrac explained that home flipping in 2013 resulted in a bigger profit, even while the average days it took to flip declined. 

Courthouse Retrieval System, with its expansive collection of information ranging from mortgage records to property data, can be a valuable asset to any real estate professional. 



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