This Week in Real Estate: August 7, 2017

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For only the second time in 11 years, and for the second consecutive quarter, the number of owner-occupied households grew faster than renter households over the year according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Housing Vacancies and Homeownership Report released This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few highlights from the first week of August that influence our business:

* Pending Home Sales Recover in June, Grow 1.5 Percent. After declining for three straight months, pending home sales reversed course in June as all major regions, except for the Midwest, saw an increase in contract activity, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.5 percent to 110.2 in June from an upwardly revised 108.6 in May. At 0.5 percent, the index last month increased annually for the first time since March. The PHSI in the Northeast inched forward 0.7 percent to 98.0 in June, and is now 2.9 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index decreased 0.5 percent to 104.0 in June, and is now 3.4 percent lower than June 2016. Pending home sales in the South rose 2.1 percent to an index of 126.0 in June and are now 2.6 percent above last June. The index in the West grew 2.9 percent in June to 101.5, but is still 1.1 percent below a year ago. Heading into the second half of the year, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, expects existing-home sales to finish around 5.56 million, which is an increase of 2.6 percent from 2016 (5.45 million).
Full Story… https://www.nar.realtor/news-releases/2017/07/pending-home-sales-recover-in-june-grow-1-5-percent

* Solid Job Gains in July. In July, the number of employed persons increased by 345,000; the number of unemployed persons was little changed; the number of persons not in the labor force declined by 156,000. All of these favorable changes accounted for the decrease in the unemployment rate and the increase in the labor force participation rate. The unemployment rate was back to the 16-year low of 4.3%, from 4.4% in June. Residential construction employment is now 2.7 million, broken down as 767,000 builders and 1.93 million residential specialty trade contractors. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction now was close to 3,000 a month. Over the last 12 months home builders and remodelers have added 118,300 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point of industry employment following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 717,200 positions. In July, the unemployment rate for construction workers climbed to 6.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis, from 5.1% in June. After reaching a peak rate of 22% in February 2010, the unemployment rate for the construction occupation had been on a general decline and remained relatively low recently.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/08/solid-job-gains-in-july/

* Beyond Bottom? Homeownership Rate Creeps Back Up. The homeownership rate crept up close to a full percentage point from one year ago to 63.7 percent in the second quarter, encouraged by more owner household formation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s recent Quarterly Housing Vacancies and Homeownership report. The owner household formation rate over took the renter household formation rate in the first quarter, and remained ahead in the second quarter—evidence that the shift toward owner-occupied is more than a one-off trend. Roughly 87 percent of housing was occupied in the second quarter, with 55.5 percent owner-occupied and 31.6 percent renter-occupied. The rate in the second quarter was again highest in the Midwest, at 68 percent, and the South, at 65.5 percent, though both regions have seen minimal movement year-over-year. Rates have gone up year-over-year in the Northeast and West, at 60.4 percent and 58.9 percent in the second quarter, respectively.
Full Story… http://rismedia.com/2017/07/30/beyond-bottom-homeownership-rate-creeps-back-up/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eNews#close

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: July 31, 2017

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While the managing director of the S&P Dow Jones Indices, as well as other economists, contend housing is not repeating a bubble that preceded the Great Recession, ATTOM Data Solutions released This Week in Real Estate that homeowners who sold during the second quarter realized the highest average price gain in ten years. Below are a few highlights from the fourth full week of July that influence our business:

* Case-Shiller: Housing is Not Repeating the Bubble Period. “Home prices continue to climb and outpace both inflation and wages,” said David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices managing director and chairman of the index committee. “Housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000 to 2006: price increases vary across the country unlike the earlier period when rising prices were almost universal; the number of homes sold annually is 20% less today than in the earlier period and the months’ supply is declining, not surging.” The small supply of homes for sale is one cause of rising prices. New home construction, higher than during the recession but still low, is another factor in rising prices. “For the last 19 months, either Seattle or Portland was the city with the fastest rising home prices based on 12-month gains,” Blitzer said. “Since the national index bottomed in February 2012, San Francisco has the largest gain. Using Census Bureau data for 2011 to 2015, it is possible to compare these three cities to national averages.” “The proportion of owner-occupied homes is lower than the national average in all three cities with San Francisco being the lowest at 36%, Seattle at 46%, and Portland at 52%,” he said. “Nationally, the figure is 64%. The key factor for the rise in home prices is population growth from 2010 to 2016: the national increase is 4.7%, but for these cities, it is 8.2% in San Francisco, 9.6% in Portland and 15.7% in Seattle. A larger population combined with more people working leads to higher home prices.”
Full Story… https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40772-case-shiller-housing-is-not-repeating-the-bubble-period?eid=322520585&bid=1821427

* U.S. Home Sellers Realized Average Price Gain of $51,000 in Second Quarter of 2017, Highest in 10 Years. Homeowners who sold in the second quarter realized an average price gain of $51,000 since purchase – the highest average price gain for home sellers since Q2 2007, when it was $57,000. The average home seller price gain of $51,000 in Q2 2017 represented an average return of 26 percent on the previous purchase price of the home, the highest average home seller return since Q3 2007, when it was 27 percent. The report also show that homeowners who sold in the second quarter had owned an average of 8.05 years, up from 7.85 years in the previous quarter and up from 7.59 years inn Q2 2016 to the longest average homeownership tenure as far back as data is available, Q1 2000.
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/q2-2017-home-sales-report/

* Consumers Grow More Confident in Future of Economy. Consumers’ assessment of their current conditions remained at a 16-year high even as their confidence in the future edged higher, according to the Consumer Confidence Survey conducted by The Conference Board by Nielsen. The Consumer Confidence Index increased to 121.1 in July up from 117.3 in June. The Present Situation Index increased from 143.9 last month to 147.8 in July and the Expectations Index increased to 103.3, up from 99.6 last month. “Overall, consumers foresee the current economic expansion continuing well into the second half of this year,” said Lynn Franco, The Conference Board Director of Economic Indicators.
Full Story… https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40775-consumers-grow-more-confident-in-future-of-economy?eid=322520585&bid=1821427

 

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: July 24, 2017

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The National Association of Realtors released a report This Week in Real Estate that concluded the investment in U.S. real estate by foreign buyers reached a record high of $153 billion in sales volume for the 12-month period between April 2016 and March 2017. Below are a few highlights from the third full week of July that influence our business:

* Single-Family Starts Bounce Back in June. Total housing starts bounced back in June after a weak May. Total starts increased 8.3% to a 1.215 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. Single-family starts moved forward, increasing to an 849,000 annual rate in June. Single-family starts are up 8% year-to-date compared to 2016 as limited existing inventory and solid builder confidence make for positive market conditions for additional building. Single-family permits were up 4% in June. On a year-to-date basis, single-family permits are almost 11% higher compared to this time in 2016. Multifamily starts also increased in June, after five consecutive months of decline. Multifamily starts were up 13% in June, but are down 5% on a year-to-date basis. This matches our forecast expecting a small decline in multifamily construction in 2017. With respect to housing’s economic impact, 57% of homes under construction in June were multi-family (610,000). There were 460,000 single-family units under construction, a gain of 7% from this time in 2016.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/07/single-family-starts-bounce-back-in-june/

* Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate Surges 49% to Record $153 Billion in Sales Volume. Foreign investment in the U.S. housing market saw an explosion of growth from last year as it surged to an all-new high. This increase was fueled by an increase in sales dollar volume from Canadian buyers, but transactions grew in all five of the top countries, according to the 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate report from the National Association of Realtors. Nearly half of all foreign sales were in three states: Florida, California and Texas. Between April 2016 and March 2017, foreign buyers and recent immigrants purchased $153 billion of residential property, which is a 49% jump from 2016 ($102.6 billion) and surpasses 2015 ($103.9 billion) as the new survey high. Overall, 284,455 U.S. properties were bought by foreign buyers (up 32% from 2016), and purchases accounted for 10% of the dollar volume of existing-home sales (8% in 2016). Although China maintained its top position in sales dollar volume for the fourth straight year, the significant rise in foreign investment in the survey came from a massive hike in activity from Canadian buyers. After dipping in the 2016 survey to $8.9 billion in sales ($11.2 billion in 2015), transactions from Canadians this year totaled $19 billion – a new high for Canada. Buyers from China exceeded all countries by dollar volume of sales at $31.7 billion. Chinese buyers also purchased the most housing units for the third consecutive year (40,572 units). Rounding out the top five, the sales dollar volume from buyers in Canada ($19 billion), the United Kingdom ($9.5 billion), Mexico ($9.3 billion) and India ($7.8 billion) all increased from their levels one year ago.
Full Story… https://www.nar.realtor/news-releases/2017/07/foreign-us-home-sales-dollar-volume-surges-49-percent-to-record-153-billion

* Credit Availability Hits Highest Level Since 2016. Credit availability remained historically tight in the first quarter of 2017, but increased slightly from the previous quarter to the highest level since 2016. The credit availability index from Housing Finance Policy Center shows mortgage credit availability increased 5.4 in the first quarter. This is up from 5.2 in the fourth quarter. The HCAI measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan. A higher HCAI indicates that lender are willing to tolerate defaults and are taking more risks, making it easier to get a loan. Credit availability at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remains at the highest level since its low in 2011. Earlier this summer, Fannie Mae raised its debt-to-income ratio requirement to further expand mortgage lending. The Urban Institute pointed out there is still plenty of space to expand the credit box. If the current default risk doubled across all channels, risk would remain within the standard 12.5% seen in the 2001 to 2003 mortgage market.
Full Story… https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40689-credit-availability-hits-highest-level-since-2016?eid=322520585&bid=1812874

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: July 11, 2017

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A much stronger than expected June job growth report coupled with continued strong price appreciation results in a record high for Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey as released This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few highlights from the first week of July that influence our business:

 

* Housing Sentiment at Record High as Consumers’ Confidence in Home-Selling Environment Strengthens. It may be good news for those skinny housing inventories, homebuyers are allegedly confronting that increasing numbers of homeowners think now is a good time to sell. Fannie Mae says net positive responses to that question on its June National Housing Survey (NHS) increased by 7 points, reaching a new survey high of 39 percent. Those responses helped drive Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) up by 2.1 percentage points to 88.3, tying last February’s all-time high for the index. The HPSI is up 5.1 percentage points compared with the same time last year. Full Story…http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/media/corporate-news/2017/june-home-purchase-sentiment-index-6577.html?p=Media&s=News+Releases&from=RSS

 

* CoreLogic: U.S. Home Price Report Shows Prices Up 6.6 Percent in May 2017. CoreLogic released its Home Price Index (HPI) and HPI Forecast for May 2017 on Wednesday which showed home prices are up strongly both year over year and month over month. Home prices nationally increased year over year by 6.6 percent from May 2016 to May 2017, and on a month-over-month basis, home prices increased by 1.2 percent in May 2017 compared with April 2017, according to the CoreLogic HPI. Looking ahead, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 5.3 percent on a year over year basis from May 2017 to May 2018, and on a month over month basis home prices are expected to increase by 0.9 percent from May 2017 to June 2017. Full Story… http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-us-home-price-report-shows-prices-up-6.6-percent-in-may-2017.aspx

 

* Job Growth Surged in June. The U.S. labor market rebounded in June, new government data showed Friday, as employers surpassed the expectations of most economists by adding 222,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent, from 4.3 percent in May, but it did so for a good reason – more people joined the labor force to look for work. The Labor Department also revised its estimates for job gains in April and May, raising the combined figure by 47,000 jobs. “We’ve been creating close to 200,000 jobs a month now for more than seven years. That’s just an incredible achievement. And that machine is still humming,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said Friday. Eight years into the current economic expansion, the pace of hiring remains strong. Full Story… https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/06/what-to-watch-for-in-the-june-jobs-report/?utm_term=.6cb80322526e

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: July 3, 2017

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With the summer selling season in full swing This Week in Real Estate, The Conference Board released its Consumer Confidence Index finding the present situation index rose to a nearly 16-year high. Below are a few highlights from the last week of June that influence our business:

* Consumer Confidence Gets Stronger in June. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 118.9 last month from 117.6. The increase in June exceeded the 116 forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch. The “present” situation index, which tracks how consumers view the current health of the economy, rose to a nearly 16-year high of 146.3 from 140.6. Just three months earlier the full index hit the highest level since 2001. “Overall, consumers anticipate the economy will continue expanding in the months ahead, but they do not foresee the pace of growth accelerating,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the board.
Full Story… http://www.marketwatch.com/story/consumer-confidence-stays-strong-in-june-2017-06-27

* Fannie Mae: As Mortgage Demand Cools and Competition Heats Up, More Lenders Are Planning to Ease Credit Standards. More mortgage lenders say they have eased credit standards recently and expect further easing in the coming months, according to Fannie Mae’s second quarter 2017 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey. On net, the share of lenders reporting they have eased mortgage credit standards over the prior three months has ticked up gradually since the fourth quarter of 2016. Additionally, when anticipating the next three months, the net share of lenders saying they plan to ease credit standards for GSE eligible, non-GSE eligible, and government loans reached or surpassed survey highs this quarter. “Expectations to ease credit standards climbed to survey high points in the second quarter as more lenders reported slowing mortgage demand and increasing concerns about competition from other lenders,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Lenders cited additional contributing factors such as diminishing compliance concerns and more support from the GSEs.”
Full Story… http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/research-insights/surveys/mortgage-lender-sentiment-survey.html

* Black Knight: Home Price Index Hits All-Time High. Home prices hit their all-time high in April, according to Black Knight Financial Services’ latest Home Price Index report. Home prices increased a total of 3.6% in April since the start of 2017 to the HPI’s all-time high of $275,000. This is an increase of 1.2% from the previous month and 6% from last year. One city stood out above the rest as it led its state to the highest monthly appreciation for the third consecutive month. Seattle home prices increased a full 8.4% since the start of the year. All the largest 20 states and the 40 largest metros saw an increase in home prices in April, and the top 10 best-performing metros all increased by 2% or more. Of the top six best performing metros, five are located in Washington. In fact, nine of the top 10 metros are in the Western U.S. The one exception is Detroit, which came in as the 10th best performing metro with its increase of 2% from the month before.
Full Story… https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40525-black-knight-home-price-index-hits-all-time-high?eid=322520585&bid=1796925

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: June 26, 2017

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The National Association of Realtors released This Week in Real Estate that the median sales price reached a new high in May while the median days on the market decreased to a new low. Below are a few highlights from the third week of June that influence our business:

* As Existing Home Sales Rise, Median Home Price Hits New High. Existing-home sales rebounded in May and low inventory levels helped propel the median sales price to a new high while pushing down the median days a home is on the market to a new low, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions except for the Midwest saw an increase in sales last month. Total existing-home sales climbed 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.62 million in May from a downwardly revised 5.56 million in April. Last month’s sales pace is 2.7 percent above a year ago and is the third highest over the past year. The median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $252,800. This surpasses last June ($247,600) as the new peak median sales price, and is up 5.8 percent from May 2016 ($238,900) and marks the 63rd straight month of year-over-year gains. Total housing inventory at the end of May rose 2.1 percent to 1.96 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 8.4 percent lower than a year ago (2.14 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 24 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.7 months a year ago. Properties typically stayed on the market for 27 days in May, which is down from 29 days in April and 32 days a year ago; this is the shortest timeframe since NAR began tracking in May 2011. Inventory data from realtor.com reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in May were Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (20 days); San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA (24 days); San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (25 days) and Salt Lake City, UT (26 days).

Full Story… https://www.nar.realtor/news-releases/2017/06/existing-home-sales-rise-11-percent-in-may-median-sales-price-ascends-to-new-high

* Housing Remains a Bright Spot for the Economy. Freddie Mac released its monthly outlook for June on Friday, which shows that despite some recent bumps, the U.S. housing market remains on track to exceed last year’s best-in-a-decade levels for housing starts and home sales. May marked the 80th consecutive month of job gains. In the first quarter of 2017, the homeownership rate was 63.6 percent – six percentage points lower than its peak in 2004 when it reached its all time-high of 69.2 percent. Strong demand and a short supply of housing in many markets continues to push house prices higher. Expect house price appreciation to be over 5 percent in 2017.

Full Story…  http://freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com/press-releases/freddie-mac-june-2017-outlook-otcqb-fmcc-1313709?feed=429e0be3-9aef-4a3a-9775-43f8e470d510

* Mortgage Default Rate Falls to Near Record Low in May. Borrowers are going into default on their first mortgages less often than at nearly point in the last 13 years, a new report from the S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian showed. The newest S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, which is a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults, showed that the default rate for first mortgages fell to 0.64% in May. That’s down five basis points from April’s level of 0.69%. The default rate in May was also just one basis point above May 2016’s level of 0.63%, which was the lowest that figure had been since July 2004. That means that May 2017’s default rate of 0.64% is the second lowest for any month in nearly 13 years. “The default rate on first mortgage remains at 1%, lower than the pre-crisis period,” said David Blitzer, the managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Full Story… https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40475-mortgage-default-rate-falls-to-near-record-low-in-may?eid=322520585&bid=1791352

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: June 19, 2017

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Happy Father’s Day to all you Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices dads, as well as to the dads of our entire team, including my hero, mentor, friend, and dad Bert Waugh.

As home equity grows and builder confidence remains strong, HUD released This Week in Real Estate a drop in both construction permits and starts for the second straight month, which could put additional downward pressure on future inventory. Nonetheless, single-family starts are up 7% compared to the same time period the year before. Below are a few highlights from the second week of June that influence our business:

* Home Equity Grows As The Composition of (Fewer) Refinancing Shifts. According to the Federal Reserve Board’s first quarter of 2017 release of its Financial Accounts of the United States report, household holdings of real estate, measured on a not seasonally adjusted basis, totaled $23.526 trillion in the first quarter of 2017, $1.597 trillion higher than its level in the first quarter of 2016. Home mortgage debt outstanding, $9.813 trillion in the first quarter of 2017, rose by $252 billion over the same four-quarter period. As the change in the total value of household-held real estate exceeded growth in mortgage debt outstanding, total home equity held by households grew. Over the year, total home equity held by households rose by $1.346 trillion, 10.9 percent, to $13.714 trillion. Households’ home equity is now 58.3 percent of household real estate.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/06/home-equity-grows-as-the-composition-of-fewer-refinancings-shifts/

* Housing Starts Decline in May. Total housing starts declined in May after a few, strong early months to begin 2017. Total starts were down 5.5%, falling to a 1.092 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. Declines were recorded for both single-family and multifamily development. Single-family starts fell back, declining to a 794,000 annual rate. The February annualized rate, 877,000, was the fastest monthly pace since the Great Recession. Nonetheless, single family starts are up 7% year-to-date compared to 2016 as limited existing inventory and solid builder confidence make for positive demand conditions. Single-family permits were down 4.9% in May. There has also been a noticeable increase in the number of single-family homes permitted but not started, consistently with survey data indicating supply-side bottlenecks. For example, in May there were 78,000 single-family homes permitted but not started construction. This is almost 15% higher than a year ago. With respect to housing’s economic impact, 57% of homes under construction in May were multifamily (612,000), that is 6% higher than a year ago. There were 455,000 single-family units under construction, a gain of 6% from this time in 2016. This is slightly lower than the April total (457,000), which was a post-recession high. Regionally, single-family starts declined in the South (-8.9%) and the West (-4.9%), the two largest market areas. Single-family starts were up in the Northeast (12.5%) and the Midwest (9.5%).
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/06/housing-starts-decline-in-may/

* Builder Confidence Remains Solid in June. Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes weakened slightly in June, down two points to a level of 67 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). “Builder confidence levels have remained consistently sound this year, reflecting the ongoing gradual recovery of the housing market,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. “As the housing market strengthens and more buyers enter the market, builders continue to express their frustration over an ongoing shortage of skilled labor and buildable lots that is impeding stronger growth in the single-family sector,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. All three HMI components posted losses in June but remain at healthy levels. The components gauging current sales conditions fell two points to 73 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months dropped two points to 76. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Midwest and South each edged one point lower to 67 and 70, respectively. The Northeast and West both dropped two points to 46 and 76, respectively.
Full Story… http://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/press-releases/2017/06/builder-confidence-remains-solid-in-june.aspx

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: June 12, 2017

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Homeowners realized the largest increase in equity growth in the first quarter since mid-2014, as reported by CoreLogic This Week in Real Estate, with Washington state homeowners experiencing the largest year-over-year increase. Below are a few highlights from the first week of June that influence our business:

* Homeowner Equity Soars in First Quarter. Homeowner equity increased significantly in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Q1 2017 home equity analysis from CoreLogic. Homeowners with a mortgage, about 63% of all homeowners, saw their equity increase by 11.2% a total of $766.4 billion since the first quarter last year. The average homeowner gained about $13,400 in equity over the last year. The total number of mortgaged residential properties with negative equity decreased 3% from the fourth quarter to 3.1 million homes, or 6.1% of all mortgaged properties. This is a drop of 24% from 4.1 million homes in the first quarter of last year. “Homeowner equity increased by over $750 billion during the last year, the largest increase since mid-2014,” CoreLogic President and CEO Frank Martell said. “The rising cushion of home equity is one of the main drivers of improved mortgage performance. It also supports consumer balance sheets, spending and the broader economy.” Texas had the highest percentage of homes with positive equity at 98.4 percent, followed by Utah (98.2%), Washington (98.2%), Hawaii (98.1%) and Colorado (98%). Washington had the highest year-over-year homeowner equity increase at $37,900.
Full Story…  http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-reports-nearly-9-million-borrowers-have-regained-equity-since-the-height-of-the-crisis-in-2011.aspx
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* U.S. Job Creation Index Returns to Record High. Gallup’s Job Creation Index was +37 in May, tied with the record high found in March. This marks 15 straight months of the index reaching +30 or higher. The index has generally been moving upward since bottoming out at -5 in April 2009 during the Great Recession. It has been in positive territory since February 2010. The Job Creation Index is a nearly real-time indicator of the nation’s employment picture across all industries and business sectors. This is the first time index scores in all regions have been above +30 since January.  The West has rebounded the most from the Great Recession in terms of the Job Creation Index, rising to +37 after falling to -11 three times in 2009. Gallup’s Job Creation Index is at an all-time high, reflecting an improving job market. These findings generally match the U.S. government’s data on the job market, as evidenced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ unemployment rate reaching 4.3% in May and the underemployment rate falling from 8.6% in April to 8.4% in May.
Full Story… http://www.gallup.com/poll/211820/job-creation-index-returns-record-high.aspx?utm_source=tagrss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=syndication

* “Good Time to Sell” Hits Highest Levels in Fannie Mae Survey. The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) decreased fractionally in May, however the change in each of its internal components was decidedly more pronounced. The HPSI, based on six of the questions from Fannie Mae’s monthly National Housing Survey, was 86.2, down 0.5 percent compared to April. Three of its components moved higher and three lost ground. The index is 0.9 percent higher than its May 2016 version. The most striking changes come from answers to the questions regarding whether respondents thought it was a good time to buy and/or a good time to sell. The net share of Americans who said that now is a good time to buy a home reached a record low (27 percent) after falling 8 percentage points, while the net share who stated that it is a good time to sell a home reached a record high of 32 percent, a gain of 6 percentage points. Fannie Mae said it was only the second time in the survey’s history that the net share of those saying it’s a good time to sell surpassed the net share of those saying it’s a good time to buy. The “sell” component is 19 points higher than at the same time in 2016.
Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/06082017_national_housing_survey.asp

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: June 5, 2017

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The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index reported This Week in Real Estate that housing prices in March rose at the strongest pace in nearly three years, and the top 2 cities in the country were Seattle and Portland, respectively. Below are a few highlights from the last week of May that influence our business:

* Single Family Sector is Rare Winner in Construction Spending Report. The total amount of construction put in place nationally fell in April, but continues at a pace higher than at the same point in 2016. The U.S. Census Bureau puts the seasonally adjusted annual rate of spending on all types of construction during the month at $1.22 trillion, a decrease of 1.4 percent from the March total, but up 6.7 percent from April of last year. Total spending on residential construction was down 0.9 percent from March, but was 15.6 percent higher than a year earlier. Residential spending in the private sector was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $516.65 billion in April, an 0.7 percent dip from $520.36 billion in March, but 16.0 percent higher than the April 2016 pace. Spending on new single family construction managed to be one of the few gainers for the month, eking out an 0.8 percent month-over-month gain to a rate of $262.14 billion. This made the spending rate 7.7 percent higher than a year earlier.
Full Story…  http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/06012017_construction_spending.asp

* May Employment Numbers Show “Rip-Roaring” Job Growth. ADP and Moody’s Analytics released the National Employment Report showing a huge surge in employment numbers for May. Private-sector employment increased by a seasonally adjusted 253,000 from April to May. “May proved to be a very strong month for job growth,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Professional and business services had the strongest monthly increase since 2014.” “The current pace of job growth is nearly three times the rate necessary to absorb growth in the labor force. Increasingly, businesses’ No.1 challenge will be a shortage of labor,” Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi said.
Full Story… https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40306-may-employment-numbers-show-rip-roaring-job-growth

* Case-Shiller: No Telling When Prices, Rates Will Force Housing Slowdown. Home prices across the nine U.S. census divisions hit a 33-month high in March. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index rose 5.8 percent from its level in March 2016, a 0.1 percentage point more than the annual increase it posted in February. Seattle, Portland and Dallas reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20-City Composite. “Home prices continue rising with the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index up 5.8 percent in the year ended March, the fastest pace in almost three years,” David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices said. As of March, the National Index is 1.3 percent higher than the pre-crash peak it reached in July 2006, having bounced back by 39.5 percent from its low point in February 2012.
Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/05302017_case_shiller_indices.asp

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: May 30, 2017

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As you celebrate the remainder of this holiday weekend I encourage you to pause at some point over the next two days to honor and remember all the men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

Favorable news This Week in Real Estate in two of the most influential lead indicators of a real estate market: employment and interest rates. Interest rates hit the lowest level of 2017 this week and the jobless rate is at a 10-year low. Below are a few highlights from the fourth week of May that influence our business:

* Existing-Home Sales Slip 2.3 Percent in April; Days on Market Falls to Under a Month. Stubbornly low supply levels held down existing-home sales in April and also pushed the median number of days a home was on the market to a new low of 29 days, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales dipped 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million in April from a downwardly revised 5.70 million in March. Despite last month’s decline, sales are still 1.6 percent above a year ago and at the fourth highest pace over the past year. “Last month’s dip in closings was somewhat expected given that there was such a strong sales increase in March at 4.2 percent, and new and existing inventory is not keeping up with the fast pace homes are coming off the market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. Total housing inventory at the end of April climbed 7.2 percent to 1.93 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 9.0 percent lower than a year ago (2.12 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 23 consecutive months. Properties typically stayed on the market for 29 days in April, which is down from 34 days in March and 39 days a year ago and surpasses last May (32 days) as the shortest timeframe since NAR began tracking in May 2011. Inventory data from realtor.com reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in April were San Jose, CA (23 days), San Francisco, CA (25 days), Denver (27 days) and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (28 days). Matching the highest percentage since last September, first-time buyers were 34 percent of sales in April.
Full Story…  https://www.nar.realtor/news-releases/2017/05/existing-home-sales-slip-23-percent-in-april-days-on-market-falls-to-under-a-month

* Mortgage Rates Drop to Lowest of 2017. Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey on Thursday showing average mortgage rates hitting their lowest mark of the year. “As we predicted, the 30-year mortgage rate fell 7 basis points this week in a delayed reaction to last week’s sharp drop in Treasury yields,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.95 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 4.02 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.64 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.19 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.27 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.89 percent. A 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.07 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 3.13 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.87 percent.
Full Story… http://freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com/press-releases/mortgage-rates-drop-to-lowest-of-2017-otcqb-fmcc-1310392

* Jobless Claims Rose Slightly, but Four-Week Average is at a 44-Year Low. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week and the four-week moving average of claims fell to a 44-year low, suggesting further tightening in the labor market. It was the 116th straight week that claims were below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market. That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was smaller. The labor market is near full employment, with the jobless rate at a 10-year low of 4.4 percent. The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 5,750 to 235,250 last week, the lowest level since April 1973. The four-week moving average of continuing claims dropped 16,000 to 1.93 million, the lowest level since January 1974.
Full Story… http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/initial-jobless-claims-hit-234k-vs-estimate-of-238k.html

 

Have a productive week!
Jason


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