Friday Five: Homes Selling More Quickly; Starter Homes in Tight Supply

Today’s housing market offers opportunities and challenges. We sort out the latest trends for you in our weekly news roundup.

So far the summer months have brought more than just sunny days and heat waves. Housing trends show promise — homes are selling more quickly, there are fewer distressed properties, and values are going up thanks to tight inventory. But that also means millennial buyers are struggling to get a toehold. All this and more in this week’s Friday Five.

Bloomberg Businessweek: Is Housing Back From the Dead?

Have we finally worked through the worst aftershocks of the biggest asset bubble in recent memory? After a four-year slump, the U.S. housing sector finally appears to be recovering. For real this time. Here’s why.

Fox Business: Five Mortgage and Housing Trends in Summer 2012

After an encouraging spring home buying season, it’s time to cross your fingers and hope the momentum carries through the summer. Home prices have stabilized in many cities, but certain areas could still see a decline in values — especially those in judicial foreclosure states.

HouseLogic: Home Prices Pushed Up by Limited Supply of Starter Homes

A tight supply of affordable homes pushed prices up but slowed the number of homes sold in June, according to data collected by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. “Despite the frictions related to obtaining mortgages, buyer interest remains solid,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “But inventory continues to shrink and that’s limiting buying opportunities. This, in turn, is pushing up home prices in many markets. The price improvement also results from fewer distressed homes in the sales mix.”

Bloomberg Businessweek: ‘Lost Generation’ of Home Owners May Just Be on Hold

Some economists and real estate experts say young would-be home buyers haven’t given up on real estate as an investment. It’s just that stifling student loan debt and the unstable job market have made it all but impossible — and it may be years before that changes. But a 2012 study by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies concludes that household formation is likely to spring back when job growth returns.

Bloomberg: Obama Home Refinancing Effort Hits Banks’ Risk

White House efforts to push widespread refinancing of mortgages for home owners who owe more than their properties are worth may be limited by banks’ stretched capacity to originate loans, as well as their concerns that the borrowers are too risky.