US home sales rise 2.1% in October

November 19, 2012 in Articles

Author: Christopher S. Rugaber
Publication: The Associated Press- Portland Press Herald
In another positive sign, applications for mortgage loans to buy homes jumped 11 percent in the week ended Nov. 9.

WASHINGTON — U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose solidly in October, helped by improvement in the job market and record-low mortgage rates. The increase along with a jump in homebuilder confidence this month suggests the housing market continues to recover.

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell to fresh record lows this week, a trend that has helped the housing market start to recover this year. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says that the average rate on the 30-year loan dipped to 3.34 percent, the lowest on records dating back to 1971. That's down from 3.40 percent last week and the previous record low of 3.36 percent reached last month.

Proposed commercial developments in Portland show market optimisim

November 5, 2012 in Articles

Author: Matthew Cardente
Publication: New England Real Estate Journal
Southern Maine’s commercial real estate market continues to show signs of improvement in the 3rd Quarter of 2012. One key indicator is the amount and recent activity from developers in Portland.

In June, the city of Portland’s Planning Board gave final approval for the redevelopment of Thompson's Point. Located off on I-295, Thompson’s Point has been a run down industrial site for many years and has been viewed as an “eye sore” by many. The $105 million project will include an events center for the Maine Red Claws, a hotel, a parking garage, and up to 300,000 s/f of office, medical office, and restaurant space. Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department through the Obama Ad- ministration, granted the Thompson Point project $1.5 million towards its redevelopment. Construction is planned to commence upon securing leases for approximately 80,000 s/f of the commercial space. This project is estimated to create 455 jobs in Portland.
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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.




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