This Week in Real Estate: August 8, 2016

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Following consecutive months of stronger than expected jobs report, This Week in Real Estate leads to speculation again about whether or not the Feds will increase the interest rate before year end. Below are a few highlights from the first week of August that influence our business:

* U.S. Consumer Spending Exits Second Quarter With Strong Momentum. U.S. consumer spending rose more than expected in June as households bought goods and services, suggesting strength that appeared to be sustained early in the third quarter with auto sales surging to an eight-month high in July. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased 0.4 percent in June after a similar gain in May. The June data showed that consumer spending rose at a 4.2 percent annual rate, the fastest in nearly two years. While the second quarter’s robust pace of consumer spending will probably not be repeated, economists are optimistic that spending will remain solid, underpinned by steadily increasing wages as the labor market tightens, as well as rising house and stock market prices.
Full Story…  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-idUSKCN10D17X?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FbusinessNews+%28Business+News%29

* Jobs Increase in July Beat Expectations. Total non-farm payroll employment increased 255,000 in July, far above what experts predicted. The ADP employment report on August 3 predicted June’s strong job growth would carry over into July, but still only predicted 179,000 jobs. “Another solid month of job creation in July with 255,000 net new jobs,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “From a year ago, the total now stands at 2.4 million new hires.” “In recent prior years, wages had been stuck, but the latest trend is showing an upturn,” Yun said. “In July, wages grew at the fastest rate since 2009, rising 2.6%.” “Given that homebuilders are experiencing labor shortage, a transfer of work into construction could help more home building, something that is critically needed to relieve the ongoing housing shortage,” Yun said. “Strengthening job and wage growth are positives for the demand side of the housing market, but weak residential construction hiring is worrisome from a supply perspective.” “Together, these developments suggest continued strong home price appreciation,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Chief Economist.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37718-jobs-increase-in-july-beat-expectations?eid=322520585&bid=1489909

* Home Values 77 Percent Higher in Zip Codes With Good Schools. ATTOM Data Solutions, the nation’s leading source of comprehensive housing data, released its 2016 Schools and Housing Report on Wednesday, which shows that homes in zip codes with at least one good elementary school have higher values and stronger home price appreciation over the long term than homes in zip codes without any good elementary schools. For the report, ATTOM analyzed 2016 home values and price appreciation along with 2015 average test scores in 18,968 elementary schools nationwide in 4,435 zip codes with a combined 45.9 million single family homes and condos. For purposes of this report, a good school is defined as a school with an overall test score of at least 30% above the state average. Out of 1,661 zip codes with at least one good school, the average estimated home value as of July 2016 was $427,402, 77 percent higher than the average home value of $241,096 in 2,774 zip codes without any good schools. “While good schools are one of the top items on most homebuyer checklists because of the quality-of-life benefit they provide, this report shows that high-performing schools also come with a financial benefit for homeowners in most markets – at least over the long term,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM.
Full Story…  http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/2016-schools-and-housing-report/

* Summer’s Hottest Housing Markets. Summer’s heating up, and so are real estate markets across the nation. The nation’s top five markets shifted dramatically as not one market held the same place it had last month. Ten-X released its Top Single-Family Housing Markets Report for Summer 2016. This report ranks the 50 largest U.S. housing markets according to current and forecasted data. Markets in the top five showed consistently strong demand, home price appreciation and economics and demographic growth. In Florida, where four of the top five markets are located, the state’s top metros have more affordable housing, subdued permit activity, revitalized local economies and a strong population growth trending significantly above the national average. On the other side of the U.S., Seattle, which made the list of top markets, (#5), represents the tech-driven gains of the Pacific Northwest along with Portland, which is now ranked as the ninth hottest market.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37627-here-are-summers-hottest-housing-markets?eid=322520585&bid=1484502

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: Aug. 1, 2016

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Peaks and lows are the themes This Week in Real Estate as cash sales and first-time foreclosure starts are at their lowest levels in many, many years while the median sales price reaches an all-time high. Below are a few highlights from the final week of July that influence our business:

* U.S. Median Home Sale Price Reaches New All-Time High in June. ATTOM Data Solutions released its June and Q2 2016 U.S. Home Sales Report on Wednesday, which shows that single family homes and condos sold for a median price of $231,000 in June 2016, up 6 percent from the previous month and up 9 percent from a year ago to a new all-time high – 1 percent above the previous peak of $228,000 in July of 2005. June was the 52nd consecutive month where U.S. median home prices increased on a year-over-year basis. Since the nation’s home prices bottomed out in 2012, a total of 63 of the 130 markets analyzed (48 percent) have reached new all-time home price peaks.
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/june-and-q2-2016-home-sales-report/

* Cash Sales This Year Lowest Start Since 2008. Cash sales made up 31.6% of total home sales in April, a decrease of 2.8 percentage points annually, according to a recent report from CoreLogic. For the first four months of 2016, cash sales averaged 33.9 percent of the market share, the lowest start of any year since 2008. Before the housing crisis, cash sales made up about 25% of the market. If cash sales continue to fall at their current rate, they could hit pre-crisis levels by mid-2018. Real estate-owned sales (bank owned) had the largest cash sales share at 56.7%, followed by resales at 31.3%, short sales at 28.6% and newly constructed homes at 14.5%. Florida had the largest cash sales share of any state at 45.5%, followed by Alabama at 45.3%, New York at 44.2%, New Jersey 38.2% and Indiana at 38%. Oregon and Washington’s cash sales share of total sales for the same time period was 27% and 23% respectively.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37634-corelogic-cash-sales-this-year-lowest-start-since-2008?eid=322520585&bid=1480710

* First-Time Foreclosure Starts Lowest Since 2000. It’s not news that foreclosures are declining as the housing market and economy recover. But data provider Black Knight Financial Services reported Tuesday that first-time foreclosure starts were the lowest not just since the housing bubble burst, but since 2000. There were 77,657 such starts in the second quarter, Black Knight said. That’s a 16% decline from the first quarter and 25% lower than the same time period a year ago.
Full Story… http://www.marketwatch.com/story/where-have-all-the-foreclosures-gone-2016-07-26

* Consumer Optimism Holds Steady in July. Consumer confidence barely moved in July, holding to June’s high level by historic standards, according to the Consumer Confidence Index released today and conducted for The Conference Board by Neilsen. The consumer confidence index decreased slightly to 97.3, down from 97.4 in June. The Present Situation index increased to 118.3 from 116.6 last month, however the Expectations Index slipped from June’s 84.6 to 83.3. In 1985, the index was set to 100, representing the index’s benchmark. This value is adjusted monthly based on results of a household survey of consumers’ opinions on current conditions and future economic expectations. “The marginal decline in the Conference Board measure of consumer confidence in July left the index still at a high level by historical standards, providing further evidence that, after what could turn out to be the biggest quarterly gain in a decade in the second quarter, consumption growth will continue at a decent pace in the third quarter,” Capital Economics Assistant Economist Andrew Hunter said.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37623-consumers-optimism-holds-steady-in-july?eid=322520585&bid=1479278

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: July 25, 2016

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Housing starts and existing home sales lead the way in news for This Week in Real Estate. Despite affordability concerns the consistently low interest rates help first-time buyers grab a 33% share of existing home sales in June, the best performance by first-time buyers in four years. Below are a few highlights from the third week of July that influence our business:

* Housing Starts Bloom in June. Homebuilding rates accelerated in June, surpassing expert forecasts for the month. According to the Commerce Department, housing starts rose 4.8% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.189 million in June. However, while both permits and starts improved on a month-to-month basis, the total permits represented a decline of 15% compared to last June, and the total number of starts represented a decline of 1% compared to last year. Single-family permits in June were at a rate of 738,00; this is 1% above the revised May figure. Single-family housing starts in June were at a rate of 778,000; this is 4.4% above the revised May figure. Single-family completions in June were at a rate of 752,000; this is 3.7% above the revised May rate. “June data points on new construction show little change from what we have already observed during the spring and summer, and continues to indicate that builders are starting what they already permitted earlier this year but are not being bullish about demand for this fall and winter. We are continuing to see that new construction is failing to keep up with household formation, so the low vacancies in rentals and the dearth of homes for sale will continue to provide a solid foundation for rising rents and home prices,” said Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke.
Full Story…  http://rismedia.com/2016/07/19/housing-starts-bloom-in-june/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eNews

* Mortgage Lending on Track For Best Year Since 2013. While a recent report from Fitch Ratings suggested that 2016 could be a rough year for mortgage servicers due to persistently low interest rates, those same interest rates could lead to a banner year for mortgage lenders. The Fitch report suggested that the current low interest rate environment will drive some homeowners to refinance, but another report from Equinox showed that it’s not just refinance applications that are trending up; actual first mortgage originations were up sharply in the first quarter – to a point that 2016 could be the best year for mortgage lending since 2013. According to Equifax’s report, the total dollar amount of first-mortgage originations during the first quarter of the year was $450.5 billion, which represented a year-over-year increase of 12.3%, and the highest amount for a first quarter total since 2013. Additionally, Equifax’s National Consumer Credit Trends Report showed that there were a total of 1.86 million new first mortgages in the first quarter, an increase of 10.3% over the same time period last year.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37539-mortgage-lending-on-track-for-best-year-since-2013?eid=322520585&bid=1467805

* Existing-Home Sales Ascend Again in June, First-Time Buyers Provide Spark. Existing home sales, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased 1.1% in June to the highest level since February 2007, as first-time buyers grabbed a 33% share, the best performance in four years. June existing sales are up 3% from the same month a year ago. June existing sales increased in the Midwest and West by 3.8% and 1.7% respectively. Year-over-year, the Northeast, Midwest and South increased 5.6%, 4.7% and 3.2% respectively, while the West decreased slightly.
Full Story…  http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/07/existing-home-sales-ascend-again-in-june-first-time-buyers-provide-spark

* New Single-Family Housing Starts by Divisions. Using the public-use micro data files provided by Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC), NAHB Economics and Housing Policy group tabulated new single-family housing starts for the nine census divisions. There were more than 100k new single-family units started in 2015 in each of the South Atlantic and West South Central Divisions. The Mountain Division, the largest area among the nine Census divisions, started 85,448 new single-family units in 2015. The shares of new single-family housing starts in these three divisions accounted for 60% of the total new single-family housing starts in 2015. Additionally, there were 76,661 new single-family units started in the Pacific Division and 68,005 units in the East North Central Division. The Pacific Division shared 11% of the total new-single family housing starts in 2015.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/07/new-single-family-housing-starts-by-divisions/

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

THIS WEEK IN REAL ESTATE: JULY 18, 2016

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How good is the current condition of the economy and real estate market? If that is measured by homeowners remaining in their homes and current with their mortgage payments, than the answer is very strong. RealtyTrac reported This Week in Real Estate that through the first half of the year, more homeowners are avoiding foreclosure than ever before. Below are a few highlights from the second week of July that influence our business:

* Freddie Mac: Brexit to Push Housing Market Forward in 2016. International concerns such as slowing growth in China and the Brexit vote in the U.K. played a major role in driving down mortgage rates in the U.S., according to Freddie Mac’s monthly Outlook for July. In fact, after the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union, mortgage rates continue to lower, closing the gap even more to all-time lows at 3.41%. “With the U.K.’s decision to exit from the European Union, global risks increased substantially leading us to revise our views for the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said. “Nonetheless, the turbulence abroad should continue to create demand for U.S. Treasuries and keep mortgage rates near historic lows,” Becketti said. “Thereby, allowing home sales to have their best year in a decade, along with a boost in refinance activity.” Due to these recent global pressures, Freddie Mac revised the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage forecast down by 30 basis points for 2016 and by 50 basis points for 2017 to 3.6% and 4% respectively. The home price appreciation forecast for 2016 remains at 5% in 2016 and 4% in 2017.

Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37499-freddie-mac-brexit-to-push-housing-market-forward-in-2016?eid=322520585&bid=1460292

* Lots in 2015 are Smallest on Record. The median lot size of a new single-family detached home sold in 2015 dropped under 8,600 square feet for the first time since Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) started tracking the series. An acres is 43,560 square feet, so the current median lot size is just under one-fifth of an acre. While nation’s lots are getting smaller on average, the regional differences in lot sizes persist. Looking at single-family (attached and detached) speculatively built (or spec) homes started in 2015, the median lot size in New England exceeds half an acre. This is 2.6 times larger than the national median lot. The East South Central Division comes as a distant second with the median lot occupying less than a third of an acre. The Pacific Division where densities are high and developed land is scarce has the smallest lots, with half of the lots being under 0.15 acres. The neighboring Mountain and West South Central Divisions also report typical lots smaller than a national median, 0.17 and 0.16 acres, respectively.

Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/07/lots-in-2015-are-smallest-on-record/

Foreclosures, Serious Delinquencies Nearing Decade Low. The number of homes in some stage of foreclosure and the number of seriously delinquent mortgages continued to decline in May, falling to the lowest level in nearly nine years, since October 2007, according to CoreLogic. CoreLogic’s May 2016 National Foreclosure Report shows the national foreclosure inventory, which is the total number of homes at some stage of the foreclosure process and completed foreclosures, hovers around 390,000 homes. CoreLogic’s report also showed that in May, the foreclosure inventory declined by 24.5% and completed foreclosures declined by 6.9% compared with May 2015. “Delinquency and foreclosure rates continue to drop as we experience the benefits of a combination of tight underwriting, job and income growth and a steady rise in home prices,” said Anand Nallathambi, President and CEO of CoreLogic.

Full Story…  http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-reports-38,000-completed-foreclosures-in-may-2016.aspx

RealtyTrac: More Homeowners are Avoiding Foreclosure Than Ever Before. TA new report from RealtyTrac shows that more homeowners are keeping their homes out of foreclosure than ever before. The good news comes courtesy of RealtyTrac’s Midyear 2016 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows that there were a total of 253,408 properties that started the foreclosure process in the first half of 2016. That’s down 17% from one year ago and the lowest level for any half-year period since RealtyTrac began tracking foreclosure starts in 2006, the company said. And it’s not just foreclosure starts that are on the decline. According to RealtyTrac’s report, there were a total of 94,469 U.S. properties with a foreclosure filing (default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions) in June, which is down 6% from May, down 19% from the same time period a year ago, and the lowest level since July 2006.

Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37521-realtytrac-more-homeowners-are-avoiding-foreclosure-than-ever-before?eid=322520585&bid=1463125

 


This Week in Real Estate: July 11, 2016

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Jobs and interest rates are two key indicators of any real estate market and both topped the headlines This Week in Real Estate. The number of jobs created in June massively exceeded analyst expectations and refi’s hit an 18-month high due to ultra-low rates. Below are a few highlights from the first week of July that influences our business:

* This Will Be The Best Summer For The Housing Market in a Decade. Following the strongest spring in 10 years, the residential real estate market should continue to see growth throughout the summer despite some growing economic headwinds. Through May, year-to-date home sales are up 6% over last year, which was the best year since 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors and Commerce Department data. Meanwhile, home prices are again up 5 to 6 percent, according to Case-Shiller and other sources. For at least the next 15 years, the two largest generations in history, millennials and baby boomers, will be making critical decisions about where and how they want to live. The economic background may be softening, but it is still positive. Unemployment continues to decline and is approaching full employment. Consumer confidence is managing to stay relatively strong despite election year jitters about the future. The decline in rates from the beginning of the year until now has more than offset the rise in prices. Eventually the combination of higher prices and higher mortgage rates will lead to softening demand across the U.S. However, that is not imminent and now has very little chance of occurring before late fall or winter. And, interestingly, the two factors holding housing back – limited new construction and tight credit – are preventing the factors that normally lead to oversupply and trigger a downward cycle in real estate.
Full Story… http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/08/this-will-be-the-best-summer-for-the-housing-market-in-a-decade-commentary.html

* U.S. Economy Posts Largest Job Gains in Eight Months in June. U.S. job growth surged in June as manufacturers and other employers boosted hiring. Nonfarm payrolls increased 287,000 jobs last month, the strongest month of hiring since last October, the Labor Department said on Friday. The boost in hiring in June catapulted the S&P 500 right near its record closing high and lifted all major U.S. stock indexes back to where they were before the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union. The S&P 500 rose 1.5% to close at 2129.90. In intraday trade, it rose as high as 2131.71, climbing above its record closing level of 2130.82, hit on May 21, 2015. In the bond markets, the 10-year Treasury yield settled at a record low of 1.366%.
Full Story… http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-payrolls-idUSKCN0ZO1CZ?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FbusinessNews+%28Business+News%29

* The Brexit Impact is Real: Refis Jump to 18-Month High. Brexit’s impact on mortgage applications is in and looks like borrowers cashed in on the ultra-low interest rates. Mortgage applications surged 14.2% from one week earlier, significantly driven by refinance activity, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 1. The Refinance Index soared 21% from the previous week to the highest level since January 2015. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 61.6% of total applications, the highest level since February 2016. “Interest rates continued to drop last week as markets assessed the impact of Brexit, downgrading the likelihood of additional rate hikes by the Fed, and mortgage rates for 30-year conforming loans dropped to their lowest level in over 3 years,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37453-the-brexit-impact-is-real-refis-jump-to-18-month-high?eid=322520585&bid=1452343

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: July 5, 2016

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Very favorable news This Week in Real Estate with respect to consumer confidence, mortgage interest rates and the Pacific Northwest’s continued strong appreciation of home prices. Below are a few highlights from the last week of June that influences our business:

* Case-Shiller: Home Prices Reach New Highs in Key Housing Markets. Home prices continue to increase nationwide, even hitting new highs in several large housing markets in April, according to S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices released this week. Home prices increased 5% in April, down from an increase of 5.1% the month before. The market with the highest annual gain among the 20 cities was Portland, Oregon with an increase of 12.3%. Seattle, Washington came in second with an increase of 10.7%, followed by Denver, Colorado with an increase of 9.5%. “The housing sector continues to turn in a strong price performance with the S&P/Case-Shiller National Index rising at a 5% or greater annual rate for six consecutive months,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The home price increases reflect the low unemployment rate, low mortgage interest rates, and consumers’ generally positive outlook,” Blitzer said.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37384-case-shiller-home-prices-reach-new-highs-in-key-housing-markets?eid=322520585&bid=1446406

* Consumer Confidence Rose in June. After two consecutive months of decline, the Consumer Confidence Index, reported by the Conference Board, rose in June. The Consumer Confidence Index rose to 98 in June, from 92.4 in May. Both the present situation index and the expectations index increased. The present situation index rose to 118.3 in June, from 113.2 in May, and the expectations index rose to 84.5, from 78.5 in May. The trends in the shares of respondents planning to buy a new home and the shares of respondents planning to buy a lived-in home within six months are steadily upward since the recession.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/06/consumer-confidence-rose-in-june/

* 6-Day Winning Streak Leaves Rates Near All-Time Lows. Mortgage rates fell moderately Friday, adding a 6th day to a winning streak that began with last week’s Brexit news and bringing rates right to the brink of all-time lows. Mortgage rate movement can be measured in large and small chunks. The large chunks would be the changes in the actual interest rates being quoted and the small chunks would be the changes in the points associated with any given rate. “Points” have a historically negative connotation to some, but they’re very objective, simply referring to the upfront costs or credit on a rate quote. The actual “rate” piece of the equation has moved down 0.25% in some cases, bringing some lenders from 3.625% to 3.375%, which is now the most prevalently-quoted conventional 30-year fixed rate on top tier scenarios. Why is 3.375% important? Simply put, the next time rates move a notch lower, they’ll be back to official all-time lows. In fact, 3.375% is the lowest rate that markets were able to maintain for more than a day or two back in 2012.
Full Story…  http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/632348.aspx

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

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This Week in Real Estate: June 27, 2016

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The top story This Week in Real Estate and the most noteworthy news globally was Britain’s withdrawal of the European Union (aka “Brexit”), and how that decision may impact the U.S. housing and mortgage finance industry. The market’s initial reaction: the single best day for mortgage rates in more than a year. Below are a few highlights from the third full week of June that influences our business:

* Existing Home Sales Reach Highest Pace in Over 9 Years. Existing-home sales sprang ahead in May to their highest pace in almost a decade, while the uptick in demand this spring amidst lagging supply levels pushed the median sales price to an all-time high. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, grew 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.53 million in May from a downwardly revised 5.43 million in April. With last month’s gain, sales are now up 4.5 percent from May 2015 (5.29 million) and are at their highest annual pace since February 2007 (5.79 million). Existing-home sales in the West jumped 5.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.18 million in May, but are still 1.7 percent lower than a year ago. The median price in the West was $346,900, which is 7.7 percent above May 2015. May’s price increase marks the 51st consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Full Story…  http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/06/existing-home-sales-grow-18-percent-in-may-highest-pace-in-over-nine-years

* Foreclosure Starts Now at Pre-Crisis Levels. Foreclosure inventory continues to decrease, decreasing 3.55% from April to May and 29% year-over-year, according to a recent report from Back Knight Financial Services. Foreclosure inventory in May hit below 575,000, down from 800,000 last year. That marks the lowest foreclosure inventory since the summer of 2007. Foreclosure starts, on the other hand, increased almost 6% from April. That being said, however, April’s foreclosure starts hit a 10-year low. May’s 62,100 foreclosure starts were still 20% less than May 2015. Delinquencies increased slightly in May by just 0.36%, however they are still down by almost 13% annually. It’s normal seasonal behavior for delinquencies to hit their calendar year low in March and then gradually climb throughout the summer and fall months.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37341-foreclosure-starts-at-pre-crisis-levels?eid=322520585&bid=1441344

* Fewer Buyers Paying Cash for Properties. Cash sales made up 33% of total home sales in March 2016, a decrease of 2.4 percentage points annually, according to a recent report by CoreLogic. Monthly, cash sales fell by 2.8 percentage points from February. For the first three months of 2016, cash sales averaged 34.7%, the lowest start to any year since 2008. Though below the peak of 46.6% in January 2011, cash sales are up from the pre-crisis average of 25%. If cash sales continue to fall at the same rate it did in March, they could hit the pre-crisis level by mid-2018. Real estate owned sales had the highest percentage of cash sales at 57.2%. Resales came in second with 32.9%, followed by short sales at 30.6% and newly constructed homes at 14.4%. Alabama reported the largest percentage of cash sales at 49.8%. New York came in second at 47.5%, followed by Florida at 45.9%, Michigan at 41.8% and Indiana at 41%. The percentage of cash sales in Oregon and Washington were 28% and 23% respectively.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37355-corelogic-cash-sales-drop-in-march?eid=322520585&bid=1442607

* Single Best Day for Mortgage Rates in More Than a Year. Mortgage rates plummeted today, June 24th, following the surprise victory of the referendum for the U.K. leaving the European Union (aka “Brexit”). This joins the ranks as one of the few days in history where rates have moved a full eighth of a point in a single day. There have only been 9 instances in the past decade, and the most recent example was in October 2014. In that sense, it’s the single best day for mortgage rates in more than a year, not to mention the fact that outright levels are getting very close to all-time lows. From yesterday’s most prevalent conventional 30-year fixed quote of 3.625%, we’re now easily down 3.5% for most lenders. A few of the most aggressive lenders are already down to 3.375% on top tier scenarios. Back in 2012, 3.375% was the lowest rate that was maintained for more than a few days, although there were a few windows of opportunity for 3.25% and 3.125%. Considering some of the higher costs associated with today’s mortgages (government guarantee fees and servicing costs), we’re effectively back in line with all-time lows.
Full Story…  http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/628908.aspx

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: June 20, 2016

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As we continue to face headwinds related to available inventory, there was favorable news This Week in Real Estate with respect to builder confidence, housing starts and permit issuance. Below are a few highlights from the second full week of June that influences our business:

* Builder Confidence Rises in June. After holding steady for the past four months, builder confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes rose two points in June to a level of 60 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This marks the highest reading since January 2016. Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor. All three HMI components posted gains in June. The component gauging current sales conditions rose one point to 64, the index charting sales expectations in the next six months increased five points to 70, and the component measuring buyer traffic climbed three points to 47. The West rose one point to 68.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/06/builder-confidence-rises-in-june/

* Housing Production Holds Steady in May. Nationwide housing starts were virtually unchanged in May, inching down 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million, according to a newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Overall permit issuance edged up 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million. “Builder confidence rose this month and single-family housing starts are up roughly 10 percent from a year ago – two indicators that we can expect further growth in housing production this year,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, builders continue to face supply-side constraints, such as shortages of buildable lots and labor.” Single-family housing starts inched up 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 764,000 units in May while multifamily production edged down 1.2 percent to 400,000 units. Combined single-family and multifamily starts were up 14.4 percent in the West and permit issuance increased 15.3 percent in the West.
Full Story… http://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/press-releases/2016/06/housing-production-holds-steady-in-may.aspx

* U.S. Foreclosure Activity Down Less Than 1 Percent in May. There were a total of 100,841 properties with foreclosure filings in May, virtually unchanged from previous month and down 21 percent from a year ago – the eighth consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease, according to data released today by RealtyTrac. A total of 42,279 properties started the foreclosure process in May, down 3 percent from the previous month and down 18 percent from a year ago – the 11th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease. A total of 34,014 bank repossessions (REO), up 1 percent from the previous month but still down 24 percent from a year ago – the third consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease.
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/foreclosure-trends/may-2016-foreclosure-activity/

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: June 13, 2016

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Following speculation that the Federal Reserve would increase the federal fund interest rate in June, the Federal Reserve’s decision not to increase the federal fund interest rate This Week in Real Estate led to the lowest mortgage rates in 3 years. Below are a few highlights from the first full week of June that influence our business:

* CoreLogic HPI Continues to Beat Forecast. The second of the major home price estimates for April was released by CoreLogic on Tuesday and tracks, on an annual basis, closely with the first, released by the National Association of Realtors last month. The CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) shows that the price of a home sold in April was up 1.8% from March and rose 6.2% compared with the index in April 2015. NAR’s report on April existing home sales put the April year-over-year gain at 6.3%. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state. The two Pacific Northwest states were the only ones to post double digit increases. Washington’s HPI rose 10.6% year-over-year while Oregon’s was up 10.3%.
Full Story…  http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/06072016_corelogic_hpi.asp

* Rate Hike Coming When Inflation Goes Up. Although the May jobs showed a shockingly low number of jobs added, it is the inflation rate that is keeping the Fed from rising interest rates, Janet Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, said Monday. Whereas the jobs report on Friday was disappointing, the overall labor market situation has been positive, Yellen said. “We agree with Yellen that other labor market indicators, such as initial jobless claims, the job openings rate and the voluntary quits rate, suggest that labor market conditions remain robust,” said Capital Economics Chief Economist Paul Ashworth. “My overall assessment is that the current stance of monetary policy is generally appropriate, in that it is providing support to the economy by encouraging further labor market improvement that will help return inflation to 2%,” Yellen said. “At the same time, I continue to think that the federal funds rate will probably need to rise gradually over time to ensure price stability and maximum sustainable employment in the longer run,” she said.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37201-yellen-rate-hike-coming-when-inflation-goes-up?eid=322520585&bid=1424649

* U.S. Housing Market Moving Deeper Into Buy Territory. The latest national index produced by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty indicates the U.S. housing market as a whole is moving deeper into buy territory, suggesting that, on average, residential housing markets around the country are sound. In terms of wealth creation, the U.S. housing market has swung marginally more in favor of home ownership over renting a comparable property and investing monthly rent savings in a portfolio of stocks and bonds. Overall, 16 of the 23 metropolitan markets investigated moved in the direction of buy territory. “This appears to be driven by a steady but strengthening job market, rising rents relative to rising ownership costs and recent slower growth in traditional financial portfolios consisting of stocks and bonds,” said Ken Johnson. Cities such as Honolulu, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle are hovering around what the index’s authors refer to as the “indifference point” between buying versus renting. In almost all of these metro markets, the BH&J Index score for the quarter moved in the direction of ownership.
Full Story…  http://www.fau.edu/newsdesk/articles/housing-market-moving-deeper-into-buy-territory.php

Have a productive week!
Jason

 

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