National Real Estate News Briefs: NAR suspends open architecture project, cash purchases hit new high and more

by Megan Donofrio

houses

The Realtors Property Resource (RPR), a subsidiary owned by the National Association of Realtors, is suspending its Advanced Multi-List Platform project and will promptly start to wind down its operations. NAR CEO Bob Goldberg made the decision to cut funding for the project, an open architecture platform that supplies small- to mid-size multiple listing services with customized back-end technology, this year to give more focus to the association’s core initiatives.

Other real estate news from the week of Jan. 28:

  • Cash purchases for new home sales reached a new post-recession high. In its most recent Quarterly Sales by Price and Financing by the Census Bureau, the National Association of Home Builders found that cash sales accounted for 11,000 new home sales in 2017’s final quarter. Cash sales constituted 7.9 percent of total home purchases, the highest percentage since 2014.
  • The Redfin Housing Demand Index remained almost flat into the end of the last year, decreasing dipping just 0.6 percent from November (128.3) to December (127.6). The number of home tour requests from potential buyers dropped 3.4 percent, and the number of offers made declined by a 1.8 percent as supply continued to fall. Though more buyers toured homes in December 2017 than December 2016, fewer made offers.
  • Mortgage applications dropped 2.6 percent for the week ending Jan. 26 from the week prior, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey. The refinance share of mortgage activity dropped to its lowest level since August 2017, from 49.4 the week prior to 47.8 percent.
  • Prices for softwood lumber imports jumped 6 percent last week, according to the NAHB. Tariffs imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department have resulted in skyrocketing prices since Hurricane Harvey, but in recent months, OSB had been declining. This sudden spike in prices is expected to be temporary.
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