Have a productive week!
Have a productive week!
As the summer selling season quickly approaches its end, we are setting the stage for the fall cycle with favorable news. With continued home price appreciation, consumer confidence rises to the highest level since the beginning of the year and the 30-year mortgage rate reaches a new 2017 low. Below are a few highlights from the fourth week of August that influence our business:
* Consumer Confidence Rises to Highest Level Since January. Consumers became more confident during the first half of August than at any point since January, according to the Survey of Consumers conducted by the University of Michigan. The Index of Consumer Sentiment jumped 4.5% from last month’s 93.4 to 97.6 at the beginning of August. This is also up 8.7% from 89.8 in August 2016.
“Consumer confidence rose in the first half of August to its highest level since January due to a more positive outlook for the overall economy as well as more favorable personal financial prospects,” Survey of Consumers Chief Economist Richard Curtin said. “The two component indices moved in opposite directions, with the Current Conditions Index falling slightly from its decade peak, and the Expectations Index posting a more substantial rebound,” Curtin said. “As with the overall Sentiment Index, the component indices nearly regained the peak levels recorded earlier in 2017.”
Full Story… https://www.housingwire.com/articles/41042-consumer-confidence-rises-to-highest-level-since-january?eid=322520585&bid=1843653
* Home Prices Jump 6.2% in Second Quarter; Eclipse 2016 High. The national median existing single-family home price in the second quarter was $255,600, which is up 6.2 percent from the second quarter of 2016 ($240,700) and surpasses the third quarter of last year ($241,300) as the new peak quarterly median sales price. The median price during the first quarter increased 6.9 percent from the first quarter of 2016. Single-family home prices last quarter increased in 87 percent of measured markets, with 154 out of 178 metropolitan statistical areas(MSAs) showing sales price gains in the second quarter compared with the second quarter of 2016. Twenty-three areas (13 percent) recorded lower median prices from a year earlier. Total existing-home sales, including single family and condos, slipped 0.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million in the second quarter from 5.62 million in the first quarter, but are still 1.6 percent higher than the 5.48 million pace during the second quarter of 2016. In the West, existing-home sales decreased 3.7 percent in the second quarter but are 3.1 percent above a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the West increased 7.5 percent to $372,400 in the second quarter from the second quarter of 2016.
Full Story… https://www.nar.realtor/news-releases/2017/08/home-prices-jump-62-percent-in-second-quarter-eclipse-2016-high
* 30-Year Mortgage Rate Hits 2017 Low. Mortgage rates decreased for the fourth consecutive week and the 30-year mortgage hit a new low for 2017, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. “The 30-year mortgage rate also declined for the fourth consecutive week, dropping three basis points to a new year-to- date low of 3.86%,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.86% for the week ending August 24, 2017. This is down from last week’s 3.89% but up from 3.43% last year. The 15-year FRM held steady at 3.16%, an increase from last year’s 2.74%. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage increased slightly, hitting 3.17%. This is up from 3.16% last week but down from 2.75% last year. “The 10-year Treasury yield fell six basis points this week amid concerns over lagging inflation,” Becketti said.
Full Story… http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/
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While default rates are at their lowest level in a decade, builder confidence in the single-family market has surged in August as reported This Week in Real Estate by the National Association of Home Builders. Below are a few highlights from the third week of August that influence our business:
* Builder Confidence Springs Back with Four Point August Jump. Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose four points in August to a level of 68 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builder sentiment is being supporting by ongoing job and economic growth, attractive mortgage rates, and growing consumer confidence. The fact that builder confidence has returned to the healthy levels we saw this spring is consistent with the NAHB forecast for a gradual strengthening in the housing market. GDP growth improved in the second quarter, which helped sustain housing demand. However, builders continue to face supply-side challenges, such as lot and labor shortages and rising building material costs. All three HMI components posted gains in August. The component gauging current sales conditions rose four points to 74 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months jumped five points to 78. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic increased a single point to 49. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose one point to 48. The West, South and Midwest all remained unchanged at 75, 67 and 66, respectively.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/08/builder-confidence-springs-back-with-four-point-august-jump/
* S&P/Experian: Mortgage Default Rate at Lowest Level in a Decade. Despite a slight increase in July, the default rate for first mortgage loans still sits at its lowest point in the last 10 years, according to the latest S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices. In fact, the mortgage default rate for first and second mortgages aren’t too far off from their July 2016 level, as homebuyers get better at paying their mortgage on time. “Default rates for autos and first mortgage loans are at their lowest points in the last ten years, while bank card defaults remain modest,” says David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.” “Consumers’ use of credit is growing and the level of consumer credit outstanding is at an all-time high. In the year ending June 2017, consumer credit outstanding rose 5.7%, outpacing most spending categories across the economy,” he said. “However, retail sales excluding autos as well as auto sales are down slightly since April, while home sales are little changed in recent months.
Full Story… https://www.housingwire.com/articles/41000-spexperian-mortgage-default-rate-at-lowest-level-in-a-decade?eid=322520585&bid=1839633
* We Are Definitely Not In A Housing Bubble. As home prices continue to rise across the U.S., the dreaded b-word is beginning to be heard in some overheated markets. However, many companies insist that despite the 8.3 million low-income residents who can’t afford their local rent, according to a new study from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the housing market is still not in a bubble. The most recent Case Shiller results pointed out the housing market is growing more expensive, however it is not about to repeat the bubble years. The chart below from Bloomberg shows home prices already passed up the 2005 and 2006 levels. “We’re definitely not in a bubble. We have a handful of markets that are frothy and probably have hit an affordability wall of sorts but the fact of the matter is, while prices nominally have surpassed the 2006 peak, we’re not talking about 2006 dollars. We’ve had 9 years of inflation to factor into home prices today…and, in fact, if you really dug into the analysis what you would find is that home prices today have basically recovered to about where they were in 2004,” said Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President at Ten-X.
Full Story… https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40988-charts-ten-x-we-are-definitely-not-in-a-housing-bubble?eid=322520585&bid=1837374
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Fannie Mae released their 2017 Second Quarter Credit Supplement Report This Week in Real Estate concluding that home prices hit an all-time new high, surpassing the previous 2006 peak. Below are a few highlights from the second week of August that influence our business:
* Housing Affordability Inches Lower in Second Quarter. Arising home prices offset a quarter-point drop in mortgage interest rates to move housing affordability slightly lower in the second quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. In all, 59.4 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of April and end of June were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $68,000. This is down from the 60.3 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the first quarter. The national median home price rose to $256,000 in the second quarter of 2017, up from $245,000 in the first quarter. Meanwhile, average mortgage rates fell 25 basis points in the second quarter to 4.08 percent from 4.33 percent in the first quarter.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/08/housing-affordability-inches-lower-in-second-quarter/
* Early Stage Delinquencies Hit Lowest Level in 17 Years. Delinquencies continued to drop in May, hitting lows not seen in the past decade or even nearly two decades, according to the latest Loan Performance Insights Report from CoreLogic. Mortgages in some stage of delinquency, 30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure, decreased 0.8 percentage points to 4.5% of mortgages. This is down from May 2016 when the delinquency rate was 5.3%. The foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process, decreased to 0.7%, down from 1% last year. The serious delinquency rate, 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure, remained at 2%, unchanged from last month and down 2.6% from May last year. This rate remains the lowest since November 2007 when it was also 2%. Early delinquencies, defined as 30 to 59 days past due, also decreased slightly, hitting 1.9% in May, down from 2% last year, a 17-year low.
Full Story… https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40947-early-stage-delinquencies-hit-lowest-level-in-17-years?eid=322520585&bid=1833309
* Fannie Mae: Home Prices Surpass Housing Boom Peak. Fannie Mae released its 2017 Second Quarter Credit Supplement report when it reported its earnings Thursday, which showed home prices hit an all-time new high, surpassing the previous 2006 peak. Home prices increased 2.4% in the U.S. from the previous peak in the third quarter of 2006 to the second quarter of 2017. While prices are up overall, it varies significantly from state to state. For example, North Dakota had the highest increase, seeing a growth rate of 53.7%, while on the other end of the spectrum, the growth rate in Nevada dropped 24.8% from 2006. Oregon and Washington have experienced a growth rate of 15.0% and 15.7%, respectively, during the same time period.
Full Story… http://www.fanniemae.com/resources/file/ir/pdf/quarterly-annual-results/2017/q22017_credit_summary.pdf
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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
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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
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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
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* 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
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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
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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).
* 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.
* 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.
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