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More than 8% Rise in Pending Home Sales

February 22nd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in Real Estate

Home sales had been far less than steady in the United States as of late due to the economic upheaval of the past 2 years. The especially hard hit banking and home building sectors have been struggling to crawl back from the brink of what many had feared could be a total collapse in the housing market. Winter has traditionally been a low performance season for the home building sector and 2009 proved to be no different, but the number of buyers who are signing on the dotted line to purchase homes that have been previously owned have risen sharply in recent months, exceeding analyst expectations. This bodes well for the housing sector as federal incentives appear to be spurring buyers to make their offers where they might have hung back in tighter times. Home buyers have also been motivated by fears of mortgage rates potentially rising in the near future. According to reports coming from the National Association of Realtors, the index of sales agreements, which is adjusted each season, rose 8.2 per cent at the beginning of 2010. The group is viewing this as a real surge in home sales for the coming season.

The index was first begun in 2001 so the score would need to be at 100 to be equal to the housing sales activity for that first year. Currently, the reading stands near 97.6, but some economists believe that it may need to fall before it rises once again. While a growth season is expected, the post tax season is definitely easier on realtors due to the level of disposable income most households have available after receiving their tax returns.

Gold and Precious Metals Rising

February 22nd, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in Investing

Good news has been released for investors in gold and other precious metals as futures have seen a recent rise for not just gold, but a variety of commodities due to an increasingly level of demand that follows a spate of positive economic news in the United States and elsewhere around the globe. Signs that the world wide recession may be on its way out are definitely spurring investors to greater confidence and gold for June delivery alone added nearly a full per cent to end up at over $1,133 per ounce in the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex division. Not only did precious metals like silver and copper see a strong advance, platinum and palladium both lead the entire category due to their strong use in not only industrial purposes, but also for fine jewelry. Gold and similar precious metals have tended to be a safe haven for investors during uncertain economic times and this year has been no exception to that rule. Investors have clung to the precious metals during recent years as currencies around the globe have proven to be less than reliable and business sectors across the markets have not performed to expectations set in the last decade, by far.

With platinum for July delivery settling in at just around $1,710 per ounce with a growth of 2 per cent, it comes in slightly under the growth of palladium which rose 3.4 per cent to end around $508 per share. Lesser valued silver for May delivery ended just over $18 per ounce with a growth of 1.3 per cent and copper held the same growth rate, coming in at $3.63 per pound.