This Week in Real Estate: July 6, 2015

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This week marked the start of the second half of 2015 which begs the question: will the momentum of Q2 carry forward into Q3 and Q4? The Pending Home Sales Index suggests an affirmative yes to that question in This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few of the highlights from the first couple of days in July that influence our business:

* Price Gains Accelerating Again – Black Knight. Nationally the Home Price Index (HPI) is now within 7.6 percent of the peak value it reached in July 2006 of $268,000. Several states have already established new high-water marks for prices including Colorado and Texas which have done so nearly monthly for over a year. Among the largest metropolitan areas Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio all hit new peaks along with Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Honolulu, Nashville, San Francisco and San Jose. Both Boston and Portland, Oregon are now less than 0.75 percent away from doing so as well. Prices as measured by the HPI went up in every state from March to April, led by Washington with a 2.0 percent gain. Michigan and Colorado followed, each at 1.7 percent, Oregon at 1.6 percent, and both Minnesota and the District of Columbia at 1.3 percent. Full story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/06292015_black_knight_hpi.asp

* Pending Home Sales Continue Momentum. The Pending Home Sales Index increased for the fifth straight month to the highest level in over nine years. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors, increased .9% in May to 112.6, and climbed to 10.4% above the May level a year ago. It is now at its highest point since April 2006 when it hit 113.7. Regionally, the May PHSI increased 6.3% in the Northeast and 2.2% in the West. However, the May PHSI declined slightly by .6% in the Midwest and .8% in the South. Year-over-year, the PHSI was up 13% in the West, 10.6% both in the Northeast and South, and 7.8% in the Midwest. Full story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/06/pending-sales-continue-momentum/

* Housing Prices – Slowing to Sustainable Growth. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Standard and Poor’s/Case-Shiller recently released their respective home price indices for April. House prices have been recovering since reaching the bottom of the downturn in 2012. The annualized growth rate of the FHFA price index has been volatile month-to-month but provides a detailed measure of the pre-boom stability, boom period acceleration, subsequent collapse and recovery of prices. The post-crash growth rate reached a double digit peak in 2013, but has decelerated to more sustainable levels since then. The annual growth rate is 3.4% in April, comparable with the 4.1% in March and lower than the 8.6% in February. House prices reported by the Standard and Poor’s/Case-Shiller show the same dynamics as the FHFA index, sharply rising prices during the boom followed by steep declines and finally recovery beginning in 2012. Full story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/06/housing-prices-slowing-to-sustainable-growth/

* Cash Sales Fall to Six Year Low; Distressed Sales Plummet. Only one out of four single family home and condo sales in May – 24.6 percent – were all-cash purchases, down from 30.4 percent a year ago to the lowest level since November 2009. The cash sales share in May was close to its long-term average going back to January 2000 of 24.8 percent and well below its recent peak of 42.2 percent in February 2011. Distressed sales also fell to a new low of 10.5 percent of all sales in May, down from 18.3 percent a year ago to the lowest level since January 2011. “As housing transitions from an investor-driven, cash-is-king market to one more dependent on traditional buyers, sales volume has been increasing over the last few months and is on track in 2015 to hit the highest level we’ve seen since 2006,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
Full story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/foreclosure-trends/may-2015-u-s-home-foreclosure-sales-report/

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: June 29, 2015

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Good Morning!

The headliner This Week in Real Estate were the strong sales numbers reported in May for both new and existing homes. We are definitely in the middle of the strongest selling season we have experienced in the past six or seven years. Below are a few of the highlights from the final full week of June that influence our business:

* Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Reach Their Highest Level Since 2009. More first-time homebuyers took the plunge in May, helping catapult U.S. sales of previously owned properties to their highest level since 2009. Closings on existing houses rose 5.1 percent to a 5.35 million annualized rate. First-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of purchases during the month, matching the highest share since September 2012. Excluding November 2009, when demand was bolstered by the expiration of a federal government first-time homebuyer tax credit, sales last month were the strongest in more than eight years. Full story… http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-22/sales-of-existing-u-s-homes-rose-in-may-to-highest-since-2009

* Sales of New U.S. Homes Rise to Highest Level in Seven Years. Purchase of new homes in the U.S. rose in May to the highest level in seven years, signaling the industry is gaining momentum heading toward the second half of the year. Sales climbed 2.2 percent to a 546,000 annualized pace, exceeding all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists and the most since February 2008, Commerce Department data showed Tuesday in Washington. May 2015 sales were an astounding 19.5 percent higher than in May 2014. While housing starts declined 11.1 percent in May to a 1.04 million annualized rate, that followed a revised 1.17 million pace in April to cap the best back-to-back readings since late 2007. Permits for future projects rose to the highest level in almost eight years. Full story… http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-23/sales-of-new-u-s-homes-increase-to-highest-level-in-seven-years

* OCC: Mortgage Performance Better in 1Q15. The performance of first-lien mortgages serviced by eight national banks improved during the first quarter of 2015, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s quarterly report on mortgage performance. The OCC Mortgage Metrics Report, First Quarter 2015, showed 94.2% of mortgages included in this report were current and performing at the end of the quarter, compared with 93.1% a year earlier. The percentage of mortgages that were 30 to 59 days past due was 1.9% of the portfolio, a 7.0% decrease from a year earlier. Seriously delinquent mortgages made up 2.6% of the portfolio, a 16.4% decrease from a year earlier.
Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/34312-occ-mortgage-performance-better-in-1q15

* FNC Index: April Prices Post Largest Seasonal Gain Since 2005. The latest FNC Residential Price Index (RPI) shows U.S. home prices climbed rapidly since March, as strong sales and limited inventory relative to demand continue to be the key narratives highlighting the spring housing market countrywide. April’s gain marks the largest March-to-April increase since spring 2005. Full story… http://www.fncresidentialpriceindex.com/ViewFile.aspx?ref=pr_95

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: June 22, 2015

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Good Morning!

From a practitioner’s standpoint the best news This Week in Real Estate is the CFPB’s proposal to delay the effective date of TRID to October 1. There continues to be a lot of positive momentum as we move through our peak selling season. Below are a few of the highlights from the third week of June that influence our business:

* Builder Confidence Hits Yearly High in June. Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single family homes in June rose five points to a level of 59 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released Monday. This is the highest reading since September 2014. Two of the HMI’s component indices reached the highest levels in nearly a decade. “The HMI indices measuring current and future sales expectations are at their highest levels since the last quarter of 2005, indicating a growing optimism among builders that housing will continue to strengthen in the months ahead,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.  Full story… http://nahbnow.com/2015/06/builder-confidence-hits-yearly-high-in-june/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mmb0615

* Aggregate Market Value of Housing Nearing 4th Quarter 2006 Peak. The aggregate market value of owner-occupied housing hit its high point in the last part of 2006, reaching a high-water mark of $22.5 trillion. Aggregate market value fell from that point until the fourth quarter of 2011, when it reached $16.1 trillion. Homeowner equity fell by $6.2 trillion to just 40% of aggregate value, as home values declined at the same time the amount of outstanding mortgage debt barely changed. By first quarter of 2015, the total market value of housing recovered to $21.1 trillion, 6% below the peak valuation. Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/34245-aggregate-market-value-of-housing-nearing-4q06-peak

* CFPB Proposes to Delay TRID Date to October 1. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced on Wednesday a proposal to delay the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule until October 1. It was originally set to go into effect on August 1. These new forms consolidate the TILA-RESPA forms and are meant to give consumers more time to review the total costs of their mortgage. The Loan Estimate is due to consumers three days after they apply for a loan, and the Closing Disclosure is due to them three days before closing. The public will have an opportunity to comment on this proposal and a final decision is expected shortly thereafter.
Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/34226-cfpb-moves-trid-effective-date-to-oct-1

Have a productive week!

Jason

 

 


This Week in Real Estate: June 15, 2015

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Good Morning!

The most popular word to describe consumer’s feelings This Week in Real Estate is optimistic. There is a lot of positive momentum as we move through our peak selling season. Below are a few of the highlights from the second week of June that influence our business:

* Americans’ Housing Optimism Gains More Momentum. Consumer attitudes about the housing market showed marked improvement last month, according to results from Fannie Mae’s May 2015 National Housing Survey. Among those surveyed, the share who believe now is a good time to sell home continued its steady climb, reaching an all-time survey high in May – six percentage points higher than at the same time last year. Additionally, those saying they would prefer to buy rather than rent a home on their next move increased another three percentage points to 66 percent. Full story… http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2015/6259.html

* 217,726 Reasons to Buy a Home Now! With interest rates and home prices expected to climb in the next year, the financial penalties of delaying or forgoing a home purchase in today’s market have become very steep, according to the inaugural Opportunity Cost Report released by realtor.com. The report estimates that, based on today’s dollars, the average purchaser would accumulate $217,726 in increased wealth over a 30-year period. The cost, assuming projected increases in mortgage rates and continuing price appreciation, of waiting 1 year to buy is $18,672 and waiting 3 years to buy is $54,879. Full story… http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2015/06/10/217726-reasons-to-buy-a-home-now/

* Households Remain Broadly Optimistic about Housing Market; Most Renters Want to Own. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently released the 2015 SCE Housing Survey. The survey revealed that most current renters would prefer owning and that 61.9% of them plan to buy a home within the next five years. 68.3% stated they would prefer owning (45.6% saying they ‘strongly’ prefer owning). When asked at what point in the future do they think they will own a primary residence: 8.2% said within a year, 15.3% said in 1 to 2 years and 38.4% said between 3 to 5 years. Of the 68.3% who would prefer to own, 2 out of 3 cited difficulty in getting a mortgage for the reason they do not own.
Full story… http://www.newyorkfed.org/microeconomics/sce/downloads/data/2015-SCE-Housing-Survey.pdf

* REO Sales Share Below One-Third of Peak. At the peak in January 2009 distressed sales totaled 32.4 percent of all sales and REO sales for 27.9 percent. CoreLogic said on Monday that short sales and sales of owned real estate (REO) fell 3.2 percentage points from March 2014 to March 2015. REO properties accounted for 8.4 percent of home sales in March and short sales made up 3.7 percent for a total distressed property share of 12.1 percent. CoreLogic said there will always be some amount of distress in the housing market but the pre-crisis share of distressed sales was traditionally about 2 percent. If the current year-over-year decrease in the distressed sales share is maintained, that share would reach its “normal” 2 percent mark in mid-2017. Full story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/06082015_corelogic_distressed_sales.asp

Have a productive week!

Jason

 

 


This Week in Real Estate: June 8, 2015

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Good Morning!

The question every economist is asking This Week in Real Estate, is after a better than expected May jobs report, will the Fed raise rates this year—June, September, early 2016? Below are a few of the highlights from the first week of June that influence our business:

* The Employment Situation in May—Better Than You Think. A strong jobs report for May adds strength to the argument that the weakness in March was an aberration. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that payroll employment expanded by 280,000 in May. Job gains in March were revised upward by 34,000 to 119,000 and April was revised downward 2,000 to 221,000. The best news in the report is the uptick in the unemployment rate. This is actually a strengthening rather than weakening of the labor market. The increases in the unemployment rate in January and May were based on strong job gains but stronger gains in the labor force. At 5.5% the unemployment rate is at or near what some economists consider a normal level, consistent with a dynamic labor force and job switching, rather than sustained unemployment. “Today’s report showed the U.S. labor market has tremendous momentum. All those factors that parked a weak jobs number in March were short-term,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor. Full story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/06/the-employment-situation-in-may-better-than-you-think/

* Home Prices Ignoring Predictions. For some time conventional wisdom has held that home price increases are slowing and would continue to do so, but the CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) has joined the S&P Down Jones Case-Shiller Index in belying that prediction. Its HIP has now posted larger year-over-year increase in prices every month but one since the beginning of 2015. “For the first four months of 2015, home sales were up 9 percent compared to the same period a year ago,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “One byproduct of the increased sales activity is rising house prices, and, as a result, month-over-month home prices are up almost 3 percent for April 2015 and up more than 6 percent from a year ago.”
Full story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/06022015_corelogic_hpi.asp

* Average Down Payment Drops to Three Year Low of 14.8% for U.S. Home Purchased in the First Quarter. The average down payment for single family homes, condos and townhomes purchased in the first quarter was 14.8 percent of the purchase price, down from 15.2 percent in the previous quarter and down from 15.5 percent a year ago to the lowest level since Q1 2012. The Q1 2015 U.S. Home Purchase Down Payment Report also shows that the average down payment for FHA purchase loans originated in the first quarter was 2.9 percent of the purchase price while the average down payment for conventional loans was 18.4 percent of the purchase price. “Down payment trends in the first quarter indicate that first time homebuyers are finally starting to come out of the woodwork, albeit gradually,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. The share of low down payment loans – defined as purchase loans with a loan-to-value ration of 97 percent or higher, which would mean a down payment of 3 percent or lower—was 27 percent of all purchase loans in the first quarter, up from 26 percent in the fourth quarter and also 26 percent a year ago to the highest share since Q2 2013. Full story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/q1-2015-u-s-home-purchase-down-payment-report/

* Owners Tend to Overvalue Homes. A new statistical study, published in the Journal of Housing Economics, found that homeowners on average “overestimate the value of their properties by about 8 percent.” Tapping into federal databases, researchers concluded that overvaluations are likely tied to erroneous owner estimations of the capital gains they’ve accumulated in the house.
Full story… http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/owners-tend-to-overvalue-homes/

Have a productive week!

Jason

 

 


This Week in Real Estate: June 1, 2015

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Good Morning!

Thursday’s report by NAR that homes are going under contract at the fastest pace since 2006 is the feature news of This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few of the highlights from the final week of May that influence our business:

* ​​Pending Home Sales Reaches Nine-Year High. The NAR Pending Home Sales Index increased for the fourth straight month in April to a level 14% above April 2014. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts produced by the National Association of Realtors, increased 3.4% in April to 112.4, up from an upwardly revised 108.7 in March. The PHSI increased year-over-year for the eighth consecutive month and reached its highest level since May 2006.
Full story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/05/pending-existing-homes-sales-reaches-nine-year-high/

* Housing Bubble? Despite Rising Prices, Most Economists Still Say No. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released on Tuesday was the latest report to show a relentless rise in housing prices, causing some economists to ask: Is another bubble forming? According to Tuesday’s data housing prices have been climbing for 35 consecutive months, but economists pointed to several reasons why that isn’t a concern, namely that while prices keep rising the rate of growth has slowed. In the first three months of this year home prices gained 0.8%, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller national index. That’s down from 2.8% in the first three months of 2013 and 1.2% during the same period of last year. “There is no bubble to be anxious about,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. Price growth in most markets is “a lot softer” than it was a year ago, he noted. Economists also aren’t concerned about a price bubble because far fewer new homes are being built than a decade ago so there is little concern about oversupply. And most buyers are using cash or getting 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages that don’t carry the same risks as the subprime, adjustable-rate mortgages that many received during the boom.
Full story… http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2015/05/26/housing-bubble-despite-rising-prices-most-economists-still-say-no/

* Fannie Mae: Mortgage Serious Delinquency Rate Declined in April, Lowest Since September 2008. Friday Fannie Mae reported that the single-family serious delinquency rate declined in April to 1.73% from 1.78% in March. The serious delinquency rate is down from 2.13% in April 2014, and this is the lowest level since September 2008. The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 5.59%. Earlier this week Freddie Mac reported that the single family serious delinquency rate was declined in April to 1.66%. Freddie’s rate is down from 2.15% in April 2014, and is at the lowest level since November 2008. Freddie’s serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%.
Full story… http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/05/fannie-mae-mortgage-serious-delinquency.html

* Buyers Purchasing Below Market Value in 59 Percent of U.S. Housing Markets, Sellers Getting More Than Market Value in 27 Percent of Markets. RealtyTrac released its April 2015 U.S. Home Sales Report on Thursday. RealtyTrac analyzed average sales prices and estimated market values at time of sale for single family homes and condos sold in April in 315 U.S. counties to identify the nation’s hottest seller’s markets, best buyer’s markets and those markets evenly balanced between buyers and sellers. “Nationwide, in April single family homes and condos sold for almost exactly 100% of their estimated full market value on average – indicating a good balance between supply from sellers and demand from buyers,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “At the local level, however, most markets tipped in favor or either sellers or buyers – although there were some Goldilocks markets exhibiting a ‘just right’ balance between buyers and sellers.” Out of 315 counties nationwide with a population of at least 100,000, there were 27% where homes on average sold for at least 101% of their estimated full market value, 59% where homes on average sold for less than 100% of their estimated full market value and 14% where homes on average sold for 100% of their estimated full market value. Nearly 29% of April single family home sales and condos were all cash. Full story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/of-u-s-home-sales-report-april-2015/

Have a productive week!

Jason

 

 


This Week in Real Estate: May 26, 2015

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Good morning!

The topic dominating the headlines This Week in Real Estate are the surging construction start numbers in April. In addition, there is an overwhelming sense of pride and responsibility about being part of one of the most significant companies in the world…Berkshire Hathaway. Below are a few of the highlights from the third week of May that influence our business:

* ​​Construction Numbers Highest Since 2007, Crushing Expectations. Construction started on new U.S. homes sprang up 20.2% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million. That’s the biggest monthly percentage gain in more than 24 years and the highest level since November 2007, the U.S. Commerce Department reported. “The April data also strengthens the view that the weakness in February and March was largely transitory and likely caused by harsh weather conditions,” Robert Wetenhall, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a research note. Starts for single-family homes rose 16.7% to an annual rate of 733,000, the fastest pace since early 2008, while starts in buildings with at least five units jumped 31.9% to a pace of 389,000. Full story… http://www.marketwatch.com/story/housing-starts-surge-20-in-april-2015-05-19

* Total Loans in Foreclosure Fall to Lowest Level Since 2008. Black Knight Financial Services, a Fidelity National Financial company, released its “first look” at the housing data from April reporting that foreclosure starts were down 22% from March to April, falling to a level of 73,500. That total is also down 7% from a year ago. Additionally, national inventory of loans in foreclosure continued its decline toward pre-crisis norms, falling roughly 25.5% from last April to 1.51%, the lowest it’s been since January of 2008. Black Knight notes that there was a slight seasonal increase in April delinquencies, up by 1.46%, which pushed the national rate up to 4.77%. That’s still low by post-crisis historical standards, and down 15.04% from last year at this time.
Fully story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33975-black-knight-total-loans-in-foreclosure-fall-to-lowest-level-since-2008

* Ellie Mae Report Shows Continued Transition Into Purchase-Driven Market. As interest rates slowly tick up, purchase originations are now again outpacing refinance originations, according to a new report from EllieMae. Ellie Mae’s Origination Insight Report for April, which is derived from a “robust sampling” of approximately 66% of all mortgage applications that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass mortgage management solution, showed that 52% of mortgage loan originations were purchases in April. Refinance originations made up 47% of the total originations for the month of April, marking the first month since December that purchases outpaced refinances. Overall, conventional loans made up 64% of all originations in April, according to Ellie Mae’s report. FHA loans made up 24% of the total, followed by VA loans made up 9% of the total, and “other,” which made up 3%. Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33973-ellie-mae-report-shows-continued-transition-into-purchase-driven-market

* Yellen: If Nothing Changes, Expect Higher Interest Rates This Year. As predicted by many economists, the Federal Reserve is indeed considering raising the Federal Funds Rate later this year, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Friday. In a speech on Friday Yellen said that the Fed is seeing widespread economic improvement and expects that improvement to continue. And if the economy improves as expected, she believes it will be “appropriate” for the Fed to raise the Federal Funds Rate this year. “If the economy continues to improve as I expect, I think it will be appropriate at some point this year to take the initial step to raise the federal funds rate target and begin the process of normalizing monetary policy,” Yellen said. “To support taking this step, however, I will need to see continued improvement in labor market conditions, and I will need to be reasonably confident that inflation will move back to 2% over the medium term.” Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33981-yellen-if-nothing-changes-expect-higher-interest-rates-this-year

* Berkshire Hathaway: The Largest, Most Powerful Public Company in the U.S. The Forbes Global 2000 is a comprehensive list of the world’s largest, most powerful public companies. This year’s Global 2000 companies hail from 61 countries. Berkshire Hathaway ranked 5th behind China’s four biggest banks making Berkshire Hathaway the only non-bank to finish in the top 5 and the largest U.S. company.
Full story… http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/mutualfunds/the-worlds-25-biggest-companies/ar-BBjhgQC#image=BBjrSBW|21​

I hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend. I encourage you at some point today to intentionally pause, remember and give thanks to all the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

Have a productive week!

Jason

 


This Week in Real Estate: May 18, 2015

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Good Morning!

This Week in Real Estate, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun predicted existing home sales will reach their highest level since 2006. That years sales total was the second highest ever on record. ​Below are a few of the highlights from the second week of May that influence our business:

* ​​Existing Home Sales to Finish 2015 at Record Level. Existing home sales are expected to finish the year at their highest level since 2006, the National Association of Realtors’ economic forecast forum revealed at its 2015 Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. In the most recent existing-home sales report, sales surged to their highest annual rate in 18 months, showing a promising beginning to the spring homebuying season. Total existing home sales jumped 6.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in March from 4.89 million in February – the highest annual rate since September 2013 (also 5.19 million). “Sustained job growth and interest rates below 4% have been the catalyst behind the improvement in sales,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR. “Housing supply needs to increase measurably to meet the pent-up demand for buying,” said Yun. “To put it in perspective, there were 37 million more people in the U.S. last year compared to 2000, yet existing-home sales that year were higher (5.2 million) than last year (4.9 million).”
Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33912-existing-home-sales-to-finish-2015-at-record-level

* Housing Affordability Posts Solid Gain in First Quarter. Lower interest rates and home prices contributed to a solid boost in nationwide affordability in the first quarter of 2015, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) released Thursday. “The past two quarters have seen an improvement in affordability as mortgage rates remain low,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Eighty-five percent of the metropolitan areas measured experienced an increase in affordability.” In all, 66.5 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of January and end of March were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $65,800. This is up from the 62.8 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the fourth quarter.
Fully story… http://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/Press-Releases/2015/may/housing-affordability-posts-solid-gain-in-first-quarter.aspx

* U.S. Residential Loan Originations Increase 17 Percent in Q1 From a Year Ago. According to RealtyTrac’s Q1 2015 U.S. Residential Loan Origination Report, which shows that 1,551,865 loans were originated on single family homes and condos in the first quarter, down 6 percent from the previous quarter but up 17 percent from a year ago. Total dollar volume of loans originated in the first quarter was $377 billion, up 32 percent from a year ago. Refinance originations represented nearly $256 billion in the first quarter, 67.8 percent of total loan origination dollar volume, and purchase loan originations represented $121 billion, 32.2 percent of total origination dollar volume. “A dip in interest rates early in the year combined with lowered mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans breathed some life back into the refinancing market in the first quarter,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.  Full story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/realtytrac-reports/q1-2015-u-s-residential-loan-origination-report/​

* Metro Home Prices Maintain Steady Growth in First Quarter 2015. Stronger demand amidst lagging inventory levels caused home prices to accelerate in many metro areas during the first quarter of 2015, and the number of areas experiencing double-digit price appreciation doubled compared to last quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. The number of rising markets in the first quarter was mostly unchanged compared to the fourth quarter of last year, when price increases were recorded in 85 percent of metro areas. Fifty-one metro areas in the first quarter (29 percent) experienced double-digit increases, a sharp increase from 24 metro areas in the fourth quarter of 2014. Thirty-seven metro areas (21 percent) experienced double-digit increases in the first quarter of 2014.
Full story… http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2015/05/metro-home-prices-maintain-steady-growth-in-first-quarter-of-2015

* More Millenials Renting, But Just as Many Want to Own. Those are the two findings of an Urban Land Institute commissioned survey of Americans age 19 to 36 discussing their housing preferences and finances. Millennials, loosely defined as people born in the 1980s and 1990s, are the largest customer segment since the Baby Boomers. At an estimated 75 million to 80 million, millenials account for a quarter of the U.S. population. The trouble for the housing industry is that millenials have abstained from buying a home for longer than previous generations did at their age. “The millenials are telling us they want to own a home eventually, no different from the aspirations of their parents or grandparents,” said Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae. “But they’re not in a hurry. They still need some income rebuilding.”
Full story… http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2015/05/13/survey-more-millennials-renting-but-just-as-many-want-to-own/

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: May 11, 2015

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Happy Mother’s Day!

This Week in Real Estate rental rates continue to climb making buying more attractive. Will the April jobs report answer the question of when the Feds will increase interest rates: June or September? ​Below are a few of the highlights from the first full week of May that influence our business:

* ​​More Consumers Positive on Housing, But Not Quite Ready to Leave the Sidelines. The spring and summer home buying season has gotten off to a stronger start, reflected in some of the improvement in consumer housing sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. The share of consumers who intend to own rather than rent their next home rebounded after a two-month slide. Meanwhile, home price growth expectations strengthened to the strongest pace since last October. “sWhen we consider both the continued caution of consumers and the positive start to the year, we believe that these results support our expectations that 2015 will be a year of modest growth in housing activity,” Duncan said. Full story… http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2015/6248.html

* 4 Percent of All U.S. Single Family Home Sales in First Quarter Were Flips. According to RealtyTrac’s Q1 2015 U.S. Home Flipping Report, 17,309 single family homes were flipped – sold as part of an arms-length sale for the second time within a 12-month period – in the first quarter, 4.0 percent of all single family home sales during the quarter. The average gross profit for completed flips in the first quarter was $72,450, up from $65,290 in the previous quarter and up from $61,684 in the first quarter of 2014 to the highest level going back to the first quarter of 2011, the earliest where data is available. “The strong returns for home flippers in the first quarter demonstrates that there is still a need in this recovering real estate market for move-in ready homes rehabbed to more modern tastes, particularly given the dearth of new homes being built,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. The challenge for flippers in 2015 will be finding inventory to flip. Full story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/real-estate-investing/q1-2015-u-s-home-flipping-report/​

* The Cost of Renting vs. Buying? If you are renting and think you can’t afford a home… THINK AGAIN! Renting will cost you 30.1% of your income compared to buying a median home at 15.3% of your income. Full story… http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2015/05/08/do-you-know-the-cost-of-renting-vs-buying-infographic/

* April Jobs Report Comes in Below Expectations. Employers added 223,000 jobs in April according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, below consensus expectations of 228,000. This pushed the three month average below replacement levels, and based on Federal Reserve comments before, means employment probably won’t be pulling forward expectations for a rate hike. “The strengthening in overall hiring is in line with our forecast for a moderate rebound in economic activity, though not quite the bounce-back we saw a year ago, as the economy is facing more than just transitory headwinds. With today’s report, we are comfortable with our call for a September liftoff in the fed funds rate.” Full story…
http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33829-april-jobs-report-comes-in-below-expectations

* Housing Regulator Extends Mortgage Modification Programs Through 2016. The director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said that the companies would extend for another year the deadline to participate in a pair of programs meant to help struggling borrowers. Fannie and Freddie had been set to stop allowing modifications under the programs at the end of the year, but both will participate in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) through December 2016. FHFA Director Melvin Watt said that the FHFA wouldn’t extend Fannie’s and Freddie’s participation in HAMP again, and that he didn’t expect for there to be another extension of HARP after 2016. Full story…
http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2015/05/08/housing-regulator-extends-mortgage-modification-programs-through-2016/?mod=WSJ_Real+Estate_BLOGSDEVELOPMENTSFEED&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wsj%2Fdevelopments%2Ffeed+%28WSJ.com%3A+Developments+Blog%29

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: May 4, 2015

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Good Morning!

This Week in Real Estate ​consumer optimism is reported to be at it’s second highest level since 2007​. Below are a few of the highlights from the week ending May 3, 2015 that influence our business:

* ​​Consumer Sentiment at 2nd Highest Level Since 2007. U.S. consumer sentiment rose in April according to The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final reading. The index was 95.9 up from the previous month’s reading of 93.0. Consumer sentiment in April was at its second highest level since 2007, and was higher than the average level during the last five months than anytime since May 2004. 37% of all consumers expect personal-financial gains – the greatest share since April 2007. 58% of consumers reported favorable home selling conditions, the highest proportion since May 2006. Full story… ​​​​http://www.marketwatch.com/story/as-consumer-sentiment-perks-up-the-question-of-spending-looms-2015-05-01

* Pending Home Sales Increase in March for Third Consecutive Month. Pending home sales in March continued their recent momentum, rising for the third straight month and remaining at their highest level since June 2013. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.1 percent to 108.6 in March from an upward revision of 107.4 in February and is now 11.1 percent above March 2014 (97.7). The index has now increased year-over-year for seven consecutive months and is at its highest level since June 2013 (109.4). Full story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/04292015_pending_home_sales.asp

* It’s Official: The First Quarter Saw a Refinance Mini-Boom. A continually low-interest rate climate led to borrowers refinancing at an increased rate in the first quarter, according to a new report from Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac’s quarterly refinance analysis for the first quarter of 2015 found that 63% of the single-family loans originated in the first quarter were refinances, compared to approximately 52% for the full year 2014, according to Freddie’s data. In addition, approximately 27% of borrowers increased their loan amount when refinancing in the first quarter compared to 17% during the same time period in 2014. “We estimate that borrowers who refinanced in the first quarter will save on net more than $1.4 billion in interest payments over the first 12 months of their new loan,” said Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist. Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33745-its-official-the-first-quarter-saw-a-refinance-mini-boom

Have a productive week!

Jason

 

 


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