Home prices rise for fifth month in a row

October 30, 2012 in Articles

Author: CNN Money
Publication: CNN Money
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The housing market picked up more momentum in August, as the average home price for 20 major cities jumped 0.9%, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index

The increase marked the fifth consecutive month of gains for the index with all but one city, Seattle, recording month-over-month price increases.

"The sustained good news in home prices over the past five months makes us optimistic for continued recovery in the housing market," said David Blitzer, spokesman for S&P.

Home building surges to 4-year high

October 17, 2012 in Articles

Author: Chris Isidore
Publication: CNN Money
NEW YORK-- The housing recovery blossomed in September, as the pace of home building surged to a four-year high, according to a government report issued Wednesday.

Builders started work at an annual pace of 872,000 homes last month, up 15% from the pace in August. They also filed for permits to build homes at an annual rate of 894,000, up 11.6% from the previous month. Both readings were the best since the summer of 2008, before the meltdown in financial markets that caused home lending and building to freeze up.

But mortgage rates are now near record lows, and the Federal Reserve's decision to buy $40 billion in mortgages every month is likely to keep rates low for the foreseeable future. The low mortgage rates, coupled with affordable housing prices and a drop in unemployment have helped to restart home sales.

Meals and lodging sales post big increases in August

October 13, 2012 in Articles

Author: Whit Richardson
Publication: Bangor Daily News
AUGUSTA — After a worrying July, August’s taxable sales figures in tourism-related sectors beat projections and capped a strong summer tourism season, according to figures released Friday by Maine Revenue Services.
Lodging sales in August were $157 million, up 7.5 percent from the same month last year, while August restaurant sales equaled nearly $270 million, representing a 6.1-percent year-over-year increase. For the three-month period from June to August, lodging sales were up 7.4 percent and restaurant sales were up 5.3 percent compared to the same three-month period in 2011.

“Those are good solid numbers,” Michael Allen, associate commissioner for tax policy at Maine Revenue Services, told the Bangor Daily News.


$18M Old Port Project Stalled

October 10, 2012 in News

Author: Maine Biz
Publication: www.mainebizsimply.com

Delays around landing a large commercial tenant will likely hold up an $18 million Old Port development until next year.

The Portland Press Herald reported that New Hampshire-based Opechee Construction was slated to begin work on the project at 203 Fore St. this fall.

Designs for the 180,000-square-foot project at the site of the former Jordan's Meats include nine retail units, 18 condominiums, 640,000-square-feet of office space and a parking garage that can house over 100 cars.


Economists: Housing recovery finally here

October 3, 2012 in Articles

Author: Chris Isidore
Publication: CNN Money

NEW YORK -- It's been a long time coming, but economists surveyed by CNNMoney believe the nation's housing market has finally turned the corner.

Of the 14 economists who answered questions about home prices in the survey, nine believe that prices have already turned higher or will make that turn later this year. Only three months ago, half of the economists surveyed by CNNMoney believed a turnaround in prices would not take place until 2013 or later.

Economists have been encouraged by a variety of readings, including three straight months of increases in the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, a pick-up in sales of existing homes and home construction and a big jump in the price of new home sales.

Mortgage rates are also likely to remain near record lows thanks to the Federal Reserve's purchase of $40 billion in mortgages a month for the foreseeable future.

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