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

 

This Week in Real Estate: June 6, 2016

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Strong consumer spending and the pace of home price appreciation compared to inflation top the headlines This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few highlights from the last week of May that influence our business:

* The 10 Hottest Housing Markets for Millennials Looking to Buy. The National Association of Realtors compiled a list of the top 10 metro areas for young homeowners, analyzing employment gains, population trends, income levels and housing conditions in the largest 100 metropolitan statistical areas across the country. The metros NAR identified were picked for their above-average share of current Millennial residents and recent movers, favorable employment opportunities and relatively low qualifying incomes needed to purchase a home. The top 10 metros include Portland, OR and Seattle, WA.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37179-here-are-the-10-hottest-housing-markets-for-millennials-looking-to-buy?eid=322520585&bid=1422579

* Case-Shiller: Home Prices Rising Twice as Fast as Inflation. Average home prices for the top 10 metropolitan areas is up by 5.1%, and up 5.7% in the top 20 metropolitan areas. Monthly, these three rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.5%, 0.8% and 0.7% respectively. “Home prices continue to climb at more than twice the rate of inflation,” says David Blitzer, Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices managing director and chairman. “The recovery of the sale and construction of new homes has lagged the gains seen in existing home sales,” Blitzer said. “This may be starting to change: starts of single family homes in February were the highest since November 2007. The single family home share of total housing starts was 70% in February, up from a low of 57% in June 2015, and approaching the 75%-80% range seen before the housing crisis.”  Whereas the western U.S. saw large home price increases, the northeast saw the lowest increases.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37143-case-shiller-home-prices-rising-twice-as-fast-as-inflation?eid=322520585&bid=1419362

* U.S. Consumer Spending Increase Strongest in Over Six Years. U.S. consumer spending recorded its biggest increase in more than six years in April as households stepped up purchases of automobiles, suggesting an acceleration in economic growth that could persuade the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates soon. The Commerce Department said consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, surged 1.0 percent last month as households bought a range of goods and services. Last month’s increase was the largest since August 2009. “Consumer spending will continue to lead economic growth in 2016, as more jobs, rising wages and houses prices give households more money to spend,” said Gus Faucher, deputy chief economist at PNC Financial.
Full Story…  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-idUSKCN0YM1HC?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FbusinessNews+%28Business+News%29

* U.S. Houses Are Still Getting Bigger. The median size of a new single-family house was 2,467 square feet last year, the biggest on record, according to Census Bureau data out this week. With all that floor space, homes are 61% larger than the median from 40 years earlier and 11% larger than a decade earlier. American homes have not only been getting larger, they’re also including more bathrooms and amenities such as air conditioning. Some 93% of new houses had air conditioning in 2015 compared with 46% in 1975. About 96% of new homes last year had at least two bathrooms versus 60% four decades earlier. The median sales price of a new home was $296,400 last year, according to Census, a new high. Even when adjusted for inflation, new-home prices hit a record last year.
Full Story…  http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2016/06/02/u-s-houses-are-still-getting-bigger/
Have a productive week!
Jason

 

This Week in Real Estate: May 31, 2016

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Analysis of April results were reported This Week in Real Estate finding new home sales, pending home sales and prices registered significant increases. Below are a few highlights from the fourth week of May that influence our business:

* Pending Home Sales Surge to 10-Year High. Pending home sales reached their highest level in over a decade in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions saw gains in contract activity last month except for the Midwest, which saw a meager decline. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, hiked up 5.1 percent to 116.3 in April from an upwardly revised 110.7 in March and is now 4.6 percent above April 2015 (111.2). After last month’s gain, the index has now increased year-over-year for 20 consecutive months. Following the housing market’s best first quarter of existing-sales since 2007 and a decent increase in April, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, expects sales this year to climb above earlier estimates and be around 5.41 million, a 3 percent boost from 2015. The PHSI in the West soared 11.4 percent in April to 106.2, and is now 2.8 percent above a year ago.
Full Story…  http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/05/pending-home-sales-lift-off-in-april-to-over-10-year-high

* New Home Sales Roar Back, Crushing Forecasts With a 619,000 Annual Pace in April. Sales of new homes surged in April, a sign that builders are stepping up as demand for housing remains robust. Sales soared 16.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000 the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was the biggest monthly jump in 24 years and trounced estimates of a 525,000 pace. The median price also jumped, rising 9.7% from 12 months ago to $321,100. Sales so far in 2016 have averaged a 553,500 annual pace, 10% higher than the 503,000 notched in 2015. Regional performance was mixed, from a 52.8% surge in the Northeast to a 4.8% decline in the Midwest. The south saw a 15.8% increase, while in the West sales were up 18.8%.
Full Story…  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-home-sales-roar-back-crushing-forecasts-with-a-619000-annual-pace-in-april-2016-05-24

* Home Prices Heat Up In Sun Belt, Pacific Northwest. Home prices rose 5.7% in the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago, driven by growth in areas battered by the housing bust and in the hard-charging economies of the Northwest. It was the 19th quarter of price increases for the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s index, which tracks purchases of homes with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Prices were up in all states and the District of Columbia in the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago, but there was a big gap between the biggest price appreciations and the lowest. Oregon (11.77%) and Washington (10.93%) respectively rank #1 and #3 in the country in year-over-year price appreciation. Seattle (15.39%) and Portland (13.69%) respectively rank #2 and #4 among all metro areas in the country in year-over-year price appreciation.
Full Story…   http://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-prices-heat-up-in-sun-belt-pacific-northwest-2016-05-25

* Foreclosure Starts Hit 10-Year Low. There were fewer foreclosure proceedings initiated during the month of April than in any month in the last 10 years, a new report from Black Knight Financial Services shows. According to Black Knight’s “First Look” at April’s mortgage performance data, there were 58,700 foreclosure starts in April 2016, which is the lowest number of foreclosure starts since April 2006. Black Knight’s report showed that foreclosure starts declined by 19.37% from March to April. Foreclosure starts were also down 16.62% from April 2015.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37105-black-knight-foreclosure-starts-hit-10-year-low?eid=322520585&bid=1413888

Have a productive week!
Jason

 

This Week in Real Estate: May 23, 2016

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New construction, average time to close and cash sales top the headlines This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few highlights from the third week of May that influence our business:

* Strong Housing Market Helps Reduce Lingering Foreclosure Inventory. A little less than 20,000 residential properties in the foreclosure process lie vacant (zombies), representing 4.7% of all foreclosures, according to the Q2 2016 U.S. Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report by housing data provider RealtyTrac. Currently, 19,187 properties are undergoing zombie foreclosures, a decrease of 3.1% from last month. “Lenders have been taking advantage of the strong seller’s market to dispose of lingering foreclosure inventory over the past year, evidenced by 12 consecutive months of increasing bank repossessions ending in February and now evidenced by these numbers showing a sharp drop in vacant zombie foreclosures compared to a year ago,” RealtyTrac senior vice president Daren Blomquist said. Among states with at least 100 zombie foreclosures, these are the states with the highest zombie foreclosure rates: Oregon (11.8%), Indiana (9.5%), Kentucky (8%), Maryland (7.2%) and Washington (6.6%).
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37068-strong-housing-market-helps-reduce-lingering-foreclosure-inventory?eid=322520585&bid=1409482

* Time to Close a Loan Settles at 44 Days For The Second Month. For the second month in a row, the time to close all loans remained steady at 44 days in April, as lenders fall into a routine in the post-TRID environment, the latest Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae found. As a refresher, this is the shortest time to close since March 2015 and is down two days from February, when the time to close fell to 46 days. Broken up, the average time to close a purchase also remained steady at 45 days in April, while the time to close a refinance increased to 44 days in April, up from 41 days in March.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37080-time-to-close-a-loan-settles-at-44-days-for-the-second-month?eid=322520585&bid=1410681

* U.S. Home Construction Rebounds in April. Construction on new houses rebounded in April after a sharp did in the prior month, but a slowdown in building permits suggest work on new properties could taper off from last year’s double-digit pace. Housing starts climbed 6.6% last month to an annual pace of 1.17 million, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. In March, starts were revised to a 1.1 million rate. Housing has been one of the economy’s strongest sectors of growth over the past few years, but sales and construction are not growing as fast in early 2016 as they did in 2015. Permits for new construction, a sign of future demand, might offer another clue. They rose slightly to an annual rate of 1.12 million in April, but they are running 5.3% below year-ago levels. In April, new construction sped up in the Midwest and South and declined in the Northeast and West, the government said.
Full Story…  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-housing-starts-climb-66-in-april-2016-05-17

* Cash Sales on Pace to Fall to 8-Year Low. The share of homes bought in cash is on pace to hit an eight-year low after the first two months of the year saw the smallest portion of homes purchased in cash in the same time period since 2008, a new report from CoreLogic shows. According to CoreLogic’s Report, for the first two months of 2016, the cash sales share averaged 35.6%, the lowest start to any year since 2008. For perspective, the cash sales share peaked in January 2011 when cash transactions accounted for 46.6% of total home sales nationally. According to CoreLogic’s report, prior to the housing crisis, the cash sales share of total home sales averaged approximately 25%. In its report, CoreLogic states that if the cash sales share continues to fall at the same rate it did in February 2016, the share should fall back to the pre-crisis average by mid-2018. 24% of total sales were cash sales in Washington through the first 2 months of 2016, while 31% of total sales were cash sales in Oregon during the same time period.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37075-corelogic-cash-sales-on-pace-to-fall-to-8-year-low?eid=322520585&bid=1410546
Have a productive week!
Jason

 

This Week in Real Estate: May 16, 2016

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Despite the inventory challenge we face today it was reported This Week in Real Estate that home sales realized the best first quarter in 9 years. Below are a few highlights from the second week of May that influence our business:

* Existing-Home Sales Posted Best First Quarter in Nearly a Decade. In an odd conundrum, despite constant headlines on lack of inventory and outrageous home prices, existing-home sales witnessed the best first quarter in nearly a decade. “In spite of deficient supply levels, stock market volatility and the paltry economic growth seen so far this year, the housing market did show resilience and had its best first quarter of existing-sales since 2007 (5.66 million),” said Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist. “The demand for buying is there, but unless the stock of new and existing-homes for sale increases significantly – especially in several markets in the West – the housing market will struggle to reach its full potential,” added Yun. According to the latest quarterly report from NAR, total existing-home sales, including single family and condo, ticked up 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million in the first quarter, up from 5.20 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. This is also 4.8% higher than the 5.05 million pace during the first quarter of 2015. In the West, existing-home sales inched up 0.9% in the first quarter and are 2.1% above a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the West increased 7.1% to $315,900 in the first quarter from the first quarter of 2015.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36988-existing-home-sales-posted-best-first-quarter-in-nearly-a-decade?eid=322520585&bid=1399787

* Foreclosures, Seriously Delinquent Mortgages Fall to Lowest Level Since 2007. The number of homes in some stage of foreclosure and the number of serious delinquent mortgages are now at levels not seen since late 2007, according to a new report from CoreLogic. CoreLogic’s March 2016 National Foreclosure Report shows that the national foreclosure inventory, which is the total number of homes at some stage of the foreclosure process and completed foreclosures, was 427,000 homes. That figure represents 1.1% of all homes in the U.S., and is down from 556,000 homes, or 1.4%, in March 2015. March 2016’s foreclosure inventory is not only down from 2015, it’s the lowest that figure has been since October 2007. CoreLogic’s report also showed the foreclosure inventory declined by 23.2% and completed foreclosures declined by 14.9% when compared with March 2015.According to CoreLogic’s report, the number of mortgages that are seriously delinquent, which is defined as 90 days or more past due and includes loans in foreclosure or REO, fell by 19.1% from March 2015 to March 2016. The March 2016 serious delinquency rate is the lowest since November 2007.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36998-foreclosures-seriously-delinquent-mortgages-fall-to-lowest-level-since-2007?eid=322520585&bid=1400911

* 25 Cities With The Biggest Rent Hikes. The rental market is ripe for single-family rental investors, even on the secondary side, with the top markets on the list showing rents increasing by above 10% in the first quarter. RentRange, a provider of market data and analytics for the single-family rental industry, ranked the top 25 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas by average rental rate increase for single-family homes between first quarter 2016 and the same quarter in 2015. Ranked #17 Portland-Vancouver at 12.1% and #24 Eugene-Springfield at 11.0%. “Contractual rental rates have continued to increase, vacancy rates declined (but remain above issuance levels), tenant retention rates have remained relatively stable, and delinquency rates have remained low,” the report states. But what’s more, the securitized assets themselves are appreciating as well.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37030-here-are-the-25-markets-with-the-biggest-rent-hikes-for-sfr-investors?eid=322520585&bid=1405082
Have a productive week!
Jason

 

This Week in Real Estate: May 9, 2016

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Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms. Thank you for all you do each and every day as a mom. The significance you bring to a child and home is unparalleled.

Price appreciation in the West tops headlines This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few highlights from the first week of May that influence our business:

* West Leads Nation in Home-Price Appreciation. Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, moved higher year-over-year by 6.7% in March 2016 compared with March 2015 and increased month-over-month by 2.1% in March compared with February 2016, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 5.3% on a year-over-year basis from March 2016 to March 2017. “Home Prices reached the bottom five years ago, and since then have appreciated almost 40%,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “The highest appreciation was in the West, where prices continue to increase at double-digit rates.” “Demand is starting to weaken in some areas, particularly in the West, where the median home price has risen an astonishing 38% in the past three years,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
Full Story…  http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-us-home-price-report-shows-home-prices-up-6.7-percent-year-over-year-in-march-2016.aspx

* Distressed Property Sales Continue to Drop. Distressed sales accounted for 11.1% of total market sales in February 2016, down 2.9% annually and 0.4% from January, according to CoreLogic’s most recent report. Within those distressed sales, Real Estate Owned sales accounted for 7.8% and short sales accounted for 3.3% of total home sales for February. These REO sales decreased by 2.9% annually to their lowest level since 2007. Short Sales, on the other hand, hover between 3% and 4%. At their peak in January 2009, distressed sales totaled 32.4% of total market sales with REO’s making up 27.9%.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36973-distressed-sales-continue-to-drop?eid=322520585&bid=1397426

* 5 Charts That Reveal The Future of Residential Construction. Despite the lack of surging growth in homebuilding, economists are optimistic about the industry’s future. Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, said he expects 2016 to be housing’s “best year in a decade.” The single-family market is expected to see the strongest growth this year, as Robert Dietz, National Association of Home Builders chief economist, predicts 2016 will be the first year since the crash that single-family construction will outpace multifamily. His forecast includes a 14% rise in the sector this year and a 19% surge in 2017. “We see growth accelerating in 2017 as more workers and more lots are added,” Dietz said. Despite the positive predictions for the industry, economists emphasized the obstacles that continue to hinder new construction. Dietz referred to the three major issues as the “3Ls:” labor, lots and lending.
Full Story…  http://www.constructiondive.com/news/5-charts-that-reveal-the-future-of-residential-construction/418307/

Have a productive week!
Jason

 

1st Quarter Chairman’s Report 2016

We are happy to announce the 1st Quarter Chairman’s Report for 2016 is now available to read online. Discover where the real estate market is headed and review 1st Quarter Market Stats for the Portland Metro and SW Washington. Special thanks to our Chairman, Bert Waugh, Jr.


This Week in Real Estate: May 2, 2016

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The FOMC chose not to increase interest rates This Week in Real Estate, yet homeownership is near historic lows. Below are a few highlights from the last week of April that influence our business:

* Pending Home Sales Jump to Highest Level in Nearly a Year. Overcoming several roadblocks in housing, pending home sales managed to increase in March for the second consecutive month, reaching their highest level in almost a year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, grew 1.4% to 110.5 in March from a downwardly revised 109.0 in February. This is also 1.4% above March 2015 (109.0). With this new reading, the index has increased year-over-year for 19 consecutive months and is at its highest reading since May 2015 (111.0). Broken up regionally, “Demand is starting to weaken in some areas, particularly in the West, where the median home price has risen an astonishing 38% in the past three years,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “As a result, pending sales in the region have now declined in four of the last five months and are lower than one year ago for the third month in a row. Closed sales in the region in March were also below last year’s pace,” he added.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36897-pending-home-sales-jump-to-highest-level-in-nearly-a-year?eid=322520585&bid=1388864

* As Expected, Fed Holds Off Interest-Rate Hike. Just as many predicted, the Federal Open Market Committee, the group that sets the benchmark interest rate for bank lending, elected this week to hold steady and not increase federal funds rate. “A range of recent indicator, including strong job gains, points to additional strengthening of the labor market,” the FOMC said in its official statement. “The committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run,” the FOMC said.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36899-as-expected-fed-holds-off-on-interest-rate-hike?eid=322520585&bid=1388864

* Homeownership Near its Lowest in History. After gains in the second half of 2015, the homeownership rate fell to just 63.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, in the first quarter of this year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Homeownership hit a high of 69.4 percent in 2004, during one of the biggest housing booms in history. That was also when mortgage lending was arguably at its loosest level in history. The homeownership rate is now just one-tenth of 1 basis point higher that its all-time low in the second quarter of 2015. Economists continue to point to a recovering job market as fuel for growth in the housing market, but for young Americans, just having a job does not translate to homeownership. High levels of student loan debt, tight mortgage underwriting standards and overheating home prices are all contributing to very low homeownership rates among the nation’s youngest workers. Homeownership among those aged 25-34 today is nearly 10 percentage points lower than it was a decade ago. First-time homebuyers are still barely 30 percent of today’s buyers; traditionally, they compromise 40 percent of homebuyers.
Full Story…  http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/04282016_homeownership_near_its_lowest_in_history.asp
Have a productive week!
Jason

 

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