UPDATED 15:20 PM EDT, May 7, 2013 | CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — A survey shows U.S. home prices rose 10.5 percent in March compared with a year ago, the biggest gain since March 2006.
Core Logic, a real estate data provider, said Tuesday that annual home prices have now increased for 13 straight months. Prices are rising in part because more buyers are bidding on a limited supply of homes for sale.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy showed last month why it remains the envy of industrialized nations: In the face of tax increases and federal spending cuts, employers added a solid 165,000 jobs in April — and far more in February and March than anyone thought.
The hiring in April drove down the unemployment rate to a four-year low of 7.5 percent and sent a reassuring sign that the U.S. job market is improving.
NEW YORK (AP) — Encouraging economic reports are sending stock prices higher on Wall Street.
Wages and spending rose in the U.S. last month, and pending home sales hit a three-year high.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 66 points to 14,779 at noon Eastern time Monday, a gain of 0.4 percent.
The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes reached the highest level since April 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors. Back then, a tax credit for buying houses had lifted sales.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in March to the highest level in three years.
The National Association of Realtors says that its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales rose 1.5 percent to 105.7. That's the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer's tax credit boosted sales. It's also above February's reading of 104.1.
Signed contracts are 7 percent higher than they were a year earlier. There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of new homes rose in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000. The increase added to evidence of a sustained housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that sales of new homes increased 1.5 percent. The gain brought the level higher than February's pace of 411,000, though below January's 445,000 — the fastest pace since July 2008.
New-home sales are still below the 700,000 pace considered healthy by most economists. But the pace has increased 18.5 percent from 352,000 a year ago.
BANGKOK (AP) — An increase in new U.S. home sales and strong corporate earnings across a range of industries lifted investment sentiment in Asia, where most stock markets rose Wednesday.
Luxury hangbag maker Coach, Lockheed Martin and DuPont reported results that were better than analysts expected. Netflix, which streams TV shows and movies over the Internet, announced profits that delighted investors. Meanwhile, the U.S. government reported that sales of new homes rose 1.5 percent in March, adding to evidence of a sustained housing recovery.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuilders broke the 1 million mark in March for the first time since June 2008. The gain signals continued strength for the housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season.
The overall pace of homes started rose 7 percent from February to March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.04 million, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
Apartment construction, which tends to fluctuate sharply from month to month, led the surge: It jumped nearly 31 percent to an annual rate of 417,000, the fastest pace since January 2006.
NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney is honing in on its home department as part of a bigger plan to turn its stores into mini-malls of sorts.
The struggling department-store chain is unveiling revamped home areas within its stores that feature 20 boutiques that highlight 50 new brands. The areas will include an eclectic mix of items, from $60 Michael Graves' stainless steel teakettles to $1,850 Jonathan Adler "Happy Chic" sofas.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages edged up this week but remained near historic lows. Low rates have helped drive the housing market's steady recovery.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 30-year fixed loan rose to 3.57 percent from 3.54 percent last week. That's near the 3.31 percent reached in November, which was the lowest on records dating to 1971.