This Week in Real Estate: Jan. 25, 2016

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This Week in Real Estate there is news of the significant rebound of existing home sales in December as well as the healthy year-over-year increase in housing permits and starts, which bodes well for 2016. Below are a few of the highlights from the third week of January that influence our business:

* Existing-Home Sales Surge Back in December. Existing-home sales snapped back solidly in December as more buyers reached the market before the end of the year, and the delayed closings resulting from the rollout of the Know Before You Owe (TRID) initiative pushed a portion of November’s would-be transactions into last month’s figure. Led by the South and West, all four major regions saw large increases in December. Total existing-home sales ascended 14.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in December from 4.76 million in November. After last month’s turnaround (the largest monthly increase ever recorded), sales are now 7.7 percent above a year ago. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says December’s robust bounce back caps off the best year of existing sales since 2006. “While the carryover of November’s delayed transactions into December contributed greatly to the sharp increase, the overall pace taken together indicates sales these last two months maintained the healthy level of activity seen in most of 2015,” he said.
Full Story… http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/01/existing-home-sales-surge-back-in-december

* Mortgage Performance Continues to Improve. It was a year of significant improvement in the distressed home arena. According to Black Knight Financial Services there was a 22 percent decrease in the national foreclosure inventory while the number of delinquent mortgages declined by nearly 15 percent.
Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/01222016_black_knight_first_look.asp

* Home Starts Up 10.8 Percent in 2015. Total housing starts were up in 2015, weighing in at 1.11 million – that’s 10.8 percent higher than in 2014. Single-family starts were up 10.4 percent to 715,300 and multifamily starts were up 11.4 percent to 396,000. “All in all, we’ve made significant gains in 2015 as we closed out at the strongest calendar year for housing starts since 2007,” said Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield. Housing permits were up for the year by 12 percent to 1.18 million with increases in both single-family (up 7.9%) and multifamily (11.4%). “We expect total starts to grow to 1.23 million in 2016, which would be an increase of 11 percent over the number initially reported for 2015. 1.23 million starts will be the highest year for starts since 2007,” said realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/01/home-construction-up-for-2015/

* An Inside Look at Millenial Credit Profiles. Only 3% of Millenials have taken out a mortgage, while 24% have taken out student loans and 27% have opened credit card accounts. So, where is all their cash going? After all, this is the largest generation, with 92 million Millenials.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36079-infographic-an-inside-look-at-millennial-credit-profiles?eid=322520585&bid=1288852

 
Have a productive week!
Jason

This Week in Real Estate: January 18, 2016

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Despite the Dow Jones rough start to 2016, This Week in Real Estate continued to report very favorable year-end results from November and December, carrying forward the positive momentum in U.S. real estate. Below are a few of the highlights from the second week of 2016 that influence our business:

* All-Cash Share of U.S. Home Sales in November Jumps to Highest Level Since March 2013. RealtyTrac November home sales data shows the share of cash sales jumped to 38.1 percent of U.S. single family home and condo sales during the month – up from 29.8 percent in October and up from 30.9 percent a year ago to the highest level since March 2013, when 38.8 percent of all sales were all-cash. The 23 percent year-over-year increase in share of cash sales nationwide followed 29 consecutive months of annual declines in the share of all-cash home sales. “The jump in cash sales is likely a knee-jerk reaction to the new documentation and disclosure rules for mortgages that took effect in October, making it even more difficult for buyers using financing to compete with cash buyers in the already competitive housing market,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Global economic instability may also be driving more foreign cash buyers back to the relative safety of U.S. real estate.” November cash share of home sales in the metro areas of Portland and Seattle were 37.9 percent and 31.9 percent respectively.
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/november-2015-u-s-cash-sales-report/

* Consumer Confidence in December. The Consumer Confidence Index, recently released by the Conference Board, rose to 96.5 in December from 92.6 in November. Both subcomponents, the present situation and expectations indices, rebounded in December as well. The present situation index rose to 115.3 in December from 110.9 in November; the expectations index climbed up to 83.9 in December from 80.4 in November. As the recovery from the Great Recession continues, consumer confidence is climbing up toward to the pre-recession levels.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/01/consumer-confidence-in-december-beyond-the-monthly-volatile-data/

* Home Appraisals Fall Short of Owner Expectations Last 11 Months of 2015; Spread Tightens in December. The average appraised values in December were 1.8% lower than the homeowner’s opinion of their home’s value, according to Quicken Loans national Home Price Perception Index (HPPI). December is the 11th straight month when appraised values were lower than homeowners expected, although December marks the fourth month the gap between the two values have narrowed. Appraised values increased a modest 0.18 percent from November, but have risen a steady 5.81 percent since December 2014 and 3.8 percent since the beginning of the year. The West remains the leader in annual home value growth, rising 8.61 percent since December 2014, while the Northeast trails all other regions with a 1.87 percent increase. “2015 bookends with the same story we have heard throughout the year – a housing supply that trails the demand, continuing to push values higher,” said Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters.
Full Story… http://www.quickenloans.com/press-room/2016/01/13/home-appraisals-fall-short-spread-tightens/

* CoreLogic: Foreclosures Fall to Lowest Level Since 2007. The inventory of homes in foreclosure continued to decrease in November 2015, falling to the lowest level since November 2007, a new report from CoreLogic showed. “Tight post-crash underwriting standards coupled with much improved economic and housing market fundamentals have combined to push new mortgage delinquencies to 15-year-lows,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. The report shows that during the month of November foreclosure inventory declined by 21.8% and completed foreclosures declined by 18.8% compared with November 2014. The number of completed foreclosures in November was down 71.6% from the peak of 117,657 in September 2010. “30 states have foreclosure rates below the national average of 1.2% which is evidence of the solid improvement,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist of CoreLogic. The foreclosure inventory rate at the end of November was 1.0% and 1.3% in Washington and Oregon respectively.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36008-corelogic-foreclosures-fall-to-lowest-level-since-2007?eid=322520585&bid=1275777

 
Have a productive week!
Jason

This Week in Real Estate: Jan. 11, 2016

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This Week in Real Estate realized a strong start to 2016 fueled by a robust December jobs report and continued historically low mortgage rates. Below are a few of the highlights from the first week of 2016 that influence our business:

* U.S. Real Estate to Draw More Foreign Investors in 2016. Most foreign investors expect to put more money into U.S. property this year than they did in 2015, according to a survey by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they intend to make modest or major increases to investments in U.S. real estate this year, while thirty-one percent expect to maintain their holdings or reinvest sales proceeds into other U.S. assets. Sixty percent said the U.S. was the country providing the most stable and secure real estate investments and forty-six percent said the U.S. was the country providing the best opportunity for capital appreciation, according to the 24th annual survey by the group, known as AFIRE. Foreign purchases of U.S. real estate have soared since the financial crisis, jumping to $87.3 billion of completed deals last year, from less than $5 billion in 2009, according to Real Capital Analytics Inc. “The recent passage of legislation easing taxes for foreign pension funds that buy U.S. real estate  probably will boost investment further,” said Jim Fetgatter, chief executive of AFIRE.
Full Story… http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-04/u-s-real-estate-to-draw-more-foreigners-in-2016-survey-says

* U.S. Adds 2.65 Million Jobs in 2015 For 2nd Best Year Since 1999. The year ended with a particularly strong sprint. In December, employers hired an additional 292,000 people, the Labor Department said, and October and November were revised up by a total of 50,000, pushing the average for the last three months to 284,000. For all of 2015, the nation added 2.65 million jobs, the second best year of jobs gains since 1999. The unemployment rate stayed at 5% for the third straight month, falling by more than half since exceeding 10 percent in October 2009.
Full Story… http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/08/news/economy/us-economy-jobs-second-best-year-since-1999/?iid=TL_Popular

* CoreLogic: Home Prices Surge 6.3% in November. Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, surged 6.3% in November 2015 compared with November 2014 and increased by 0.5% in November 2015 compared with October 2015, according to the latest report from CoreLogic. Next year is projected to post similar results, with the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicating that home prices will increase by 5.4% on a year-over-year basis from November 2015 to November 2016. “Heading into 2016, home price growth remains in its sweet spot as prices have increased between 5 and 6 percent on a year-over-year basis for 16 consecutive months,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35948-corelogic-home-prices-surge-63-in-november?eid=322520585&bid=1268130

* Black Knight: Home Prices Keep Rising, Now Just 5% off Pre-Crisis Peak. Home prices continued rising in October, marking the 42nd straight month of year-over-year home price appreciation, according to a new report from Black Knight Financial Services. According to Black Knight’s report, October’s national home price index of $254,000 puts national home prices up 26.9% since the bottom of the market at the start of 2012, and just 5.3% off the June 2006 peak of $268,000.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35937-black-knight-home-prices-keep-rising-now-just-5-off-pre-crisis-peak?eid=322520585&bid=1266221

 
Have a productive week!
Jason

This Week in Real Estate: Jan. 4, 2015

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Happy New Year!
 
This Week in Real Estate brought a close to a memorable year. Below are a few of the highlights from the final week of 2015 that influence our business:
 
* Consumers Have Confidence in 2016. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased moderately in November, improved in December. The Index now stands at 96.5, up from 92.6 in November. The Present Situation Index increased from 110.9 last month to 115.3 in December, while the Expectations Index improved to 83.9 from 80.4 in November. “As 2015 drew to a close, consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy remains positive, particularly their assessment of the job market. Looking ahead to 2016, consumers are expecting little change in both business conditions and labor market. Expectations regarding their financial outlook are mixed, but the optimists continue to outweigh the pessimists,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.
 
* What Fed Rate Hike? Interest Rates Hold Steady for 2nd Straight Week. Despite some declarations that the Federal Open Market Committee’s recent decision to raise the federal funds rate for the first time since June 2006 was a “disaster,” the FOMC’s decision is having a limited impact on mortgage interest rates thus far. Mortgage rates ticked up a little in the week that ended December 10 in anticipation of a Fed rate hike, with the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increasing during that week from 3.93% to 3.95%, according to Freddic Mac. And in the week that ended December 17, the week that included the FOMC’s decision to raise rates, mortgage rates ticked up slightly again, from 3.95% to 3.97%, but Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Sean Becketti said that interest rates should remain at “historically low levels” throughout 2016, in spite of whatever moves the Federal Reserve is expected to make. And according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey report from Freddie Mac, interest rates held steady for the second week in a row, with the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage actually falling slightly in the week that ended December 24, from 3.97% to 3.96%. 
 
Freddie Mac: Improving Mortgage Performance Equals Best MiMi in 15 Months. Housing markets across the country are steadily making their way into the stable range, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi). The MiMi monitors and measures the stability of the nation’s housing market, as well as the housing markets of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the top 100 metro markets. The most recent report said the national MiMi value now stands at 81.9, indicating a housing market that is on its outer range of stable housing activity. On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved 6.31%. “The strong annual change of 6.31% is the best improvement we’ve seen in the MiMi on a year-over-year basis since July 2014,” said Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer. “While strong home purchase applications and rising home values in some markets are contributing to this improvement, its largely more of a reflection of mortgage delinquencies continuing to decline at a steady pace, especially in those hardest hit markets, and a better employment picture overall,” he said. On an annual basis the leaders were Florida (+14.47%), Oregon (+12.2%), Colorado (+11.97%), Washington (+11.69%) and Nevada (+11.13%).
 
* Case-Shiller: Home Prices Continue Upward Trend. Home prices once again trended higher in October as positive economic news continues to support increases, according to the most recent S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions. Home prices posted a slightly higher year-over-year gain with a 5.2% annual increase in October, up from a 4.9% increase in September. “Generally good economic conditions continue to support gains in home prices,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Among the positive factors are consumers’ expectations of low inflation and further economic growth as well as recent increases in residential construction including single-family housing starts,” he continued. 
 
Have a productive week!
Jason

This Week in Real Estate: Dec. 28, 2015

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Hoping you all had a great holiday week. Industry news from employment to new construction to distressed inventory continues to be very favorable This Week in Real Estate as we close out the year. Below are a few of the highlights from the fourth week in December that influence our business:

* New Home Sales Nudge Forward. The number of new homes sold in November increased by 4.3% from a downwardly revised October level to 490,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. On a year to date level, sales are up 14.5% from the eleven month total in 2014. Inventories of new homes also increased to 232,000, the highest since January 2010 even as builders continue to seek workers and lots. The increase in sales and inventories signifies continued builder optimism and customer demand growth. Regionally, sales increased the most in the West at 20.5% month-over-month. For the year, the West is ahead of last year’s 11 month sum by 19.5%.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/12/new-home-sales-nudge-forward/

* Foreclosure Starts Fall to Lowest Level Since April 2006. The number of homes that had foreclosure proceedings started against them hit the lowest level in nine years in the month of November, a new report from Black Knight Financial Services showed. According to Black Knight’s “First Look” at November’s mortgage performance data, there were only 66,000 foreclosure starts in the month of November, the lowest total since April 2006. That’s down 9.02% from October and down 9.76% from November 2014. Additionally, the inventory of loans in foreclosure continued to decline in November, falling 21% year-over-year to 1.38%. The year-over-year decline means that there were 185,000 fewer loans in foreclosure in November 2015 than there were in November 2014. Overall, there are less than 700,000 active foreclosures remaining, Black Knight’s report showed.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35887-black-knight-foreclosure-starts-fall-to-lowest-since-april-2006?eid=322520585&bid=1263067

* Freddie Mac’s Five Housing Predictions for 2016. With just a few days left in 2015, Freddie Mac is looking towards 2016 and trying to predict just what’s going to happen in housing over the next 12 months. Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Sean Becketti, said that interest rates should remain at “historically low levels” throughout 2016, in spite of whatever moves the Federal Reserve is expected to make. Here are five more housing predictions for 2016, courtesy of Freddie Mac: (1) Expect the 30-year fixed-mortgage to average below 4.5% for 2016 on an annualized basis, (2) Gradually higher mortgage interest rates will present an affordability challenge, but expect a strengthening labor market and pent-up demand to carry 2015’s home sales momentum into 2016, (3) Expect house price growth to moderate a bit to 4.4% in 2016, (4) Expect total housing starts to increase 16% year-over-year and total home sales to increase 3% and (5) While home purchases will increase next year, higher interest rates will reduce the refinance volume pushing overall mortgage originations lower in 2016 than in 2015.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35894-here-are-freddie-macs-five-housing-predictions-for-2016

* Record-Setting Solar Market Shines Light on New Design Trends. 2015 could very well be a record-setting year for the solar market. The third quarter set another record for growth of residential solar installations, increasing 69% year-over-year and accounting for 41% of the U.S. solar market. Coupled with the likely extension of several energy efficient tax credits, the solar market is poised for an even bigger boom over the next five years. As the United States increasingly embraces solar energy, design trends in home building will continue to evolve. This evolution is changing perspectives of builders, architects and home owners alike, many of whom previously considered solar panels to be eyesores, more than anything. “The key is to integrate them as early as possible into the overall design process,” said James Hannah, director of client energy services at Bright Power.
Full Story… http://nahbnow.com/2015/12/record-setting-solar-market-shines-light-on-new-design-trends/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mmb1221

* U.S. Jobless Claims Near 42-Year Low as Labor Market Tightens. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, nearing a 42-year low as labor market conditions continued to tighten in a boost to the economy. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 267,000 for the week ended December 19, not far from levels last seen in late 1973, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims have been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a buoyant labor market, for 42 consecutive weeks. That is the longest stretch since the early 1970s.
Full story… http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-idUSKBN0U711A20151224?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: Dec. 21, 2015

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Finally, speculation ends after more than 9 years (June 2006) of no rate increase the Federal Reserve increased rates 0.25 percent This Week in Real Estate. The impact of the Feds action: still historically low rates. Below are a few of the highlights from the third week in December that influence our business:

* CoreLogic’s Equity Report Has Good News For Homeowners. The Equity Report provides a quarterly overview of the distribution of equity across all U.S. single-family residential properties with a mortgage. Nationwide, borrower equity increased year-over-year by $741 billion. During Q3, 256,000 residential properties regained equity, putting the number of mortgaged residential properties with equity at 46.3 million. That’s 92 percent of total mortgaged properties, CoreLogic said. The number of underwater home decreased year-over-year by 1.1 million, or 20.7 percent. 37.5 million borrowers have at least 20% equity in their home. Metro areas with the highest percentages of equity homes are: Seattle, Dallas, Denver, Portland, Oregon, Houston. The percentage of homes with positive equity in Washington is 96.5% and 96.4% in Oregon.
Full Story… https://www.inman.com/2015/12/16/corelogics-equity-report-has-good-news-for-homeowners/

* Washington Ends Year With Extended Tax Benefits For Homeowners. A significant piece of tax legislation is now on its way to the President’s desk, and the bill includes the extension of a number of expired tax provisions important to supporting homeowners and real estate investment including mortgage debt forgiveness and mortgage insurance premium deductions. Under the 2007 “Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act,” Congress changed the rules and said unpaid mortgage debt would not be regarded as taxable income, but only for five years. The rule has been continued through a series of extensions and now mortgage borrowers will be protected through 2016. The ability to write off mortgage insurance premiums has been in the tax code for several years but it’s a rule which is only extended annually. Under this regulation borrowers can deduct the cost of mortgage insurance premiums in the same way that they deduct mortgage interest. The mortgage insurance deduction was scheduled to end on December 31st but now Congress has decided it should continue until the end of 2016, at which point we can go through the extension process once again.
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/company-news/washington-ends-year-with-extended-tax-benefits-for-homeowners/

* Single-Family Starts Reach Seven-Year High in November. Nationwide housing starts rose 10.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.173 million units in November.
Single-family starts were up 7.6% to 768,000, their highest level since January 2008. Every region except the Midwest experienced a rise in single-family starts. Permits also peaked at their highest level since August 2007 at 1.289 million which was up 11% from an upwardly revised October. Single-family permits were up modestly but enough to also set an eight year record of 723,000. Regionally, the Midwest, South and West posted respective permit gains of 22%, 5.6% and 21.7%. Permit levels in the Northeast held steady.
Full Story… http://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/Press-Releases/2015/december/single-family-starts-reach-seven-year-high-in-november.aspx

 

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: Dec. 7, 2015

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Due to a healthy November employment report, This Week in Real Estate once again fueled speculation that the Fed will raise interest rates before years end. Below are a few of the highlights from the first week in December that influence our business:

* 35 Percent of U.S. Markets at New All-Time Home Price Peaks. RealtyTrac released its October 2015 U.S. Home Sales Report, which shows that among 94 major metro areas analyzed for the report, 33 markets (35%) have now reached new all-time home price peaks in 2015. “More than one-third of the nation’s major housing markets have now reached new home price peaks this year. Home sellers are sitting pretty in this market, realizing an average profit-since-purchase of 16 percent – the highest in any month since December 2007,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. Metro areas that have reached new home price peaks in 2015 include Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Denver, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Portland, San Antonio and Columbus, Ohio. There were a total of 2,815,704 single family homes and condos sold in the first 10 months of 2015. That was a nine-year high for the first 10 months of the year and a 6 percent jump from the same time period in 2014.
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/realtytrac-reports/october-2015-home-sales-report/

* Does November Jobs Report Signal December Interest Rate Hike? With the addition of 211,000 jobs in November, the economy continues to recover at a steady clip. It was the 69th consecutive month of private sector job growth, to the tune of 13.7 million jobs created – the longest streak on record. For the first time since 1999, we are on track to have back-to-back years of average monthly job growth over 200,000 jobs. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.0 percent. Job growth in November was not just solid but also widespread, including very strong growth in construction.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35763-november-jobs-report-signals-december-rate-hike-likely

* U.S Construction Spending Rises Solidly to Near Eight-Year High. U.S. construction spending rose more than expected in October as outlays rose across the board. Construction spending increased 1.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted $1.11 trillion rate, the highest level since December 2007, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. Construction outlays were up 13 percent compared to October of last year. Construction spending has risen every month this year.
Full Story… http://www.reuters.com/article/us-construction-spending-idUSKBN0TK4ZP20151201?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews#kSZlaGI0OzKR1Mdt.97

* Pending Sales Hold. After two consecutive monthly declines, the Pending Home Sales Index increased modestly in October from an upwardly revised September reading, and has increased year-over-year for 14 consecutive months. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors, increased 0.2% in October to 107.7 and is 3.9% above the same month a year ago. The PHSI increased in the Northeast and West by 4.5% and 1.7%, but declined in the South and Midwest by 1.7% and 1.0% respectively. Year-over-year, the West, Northeast and Midwest were up 10.4%, 6.8% and 3.3% respectively.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/11/pending-sales-hold/

Have a productive week!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: Nov. 30, 2015

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Breaking news This Week in Real Estate: Google is now in the mortgage business. Below are a few of the highlights from the final week in November that influence our business:

* New Home Sales Beat Expectations. Sales of new single-family houses in October 2015 beat expectations and came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 495,000, according to estimates released jointly Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 10.7% above the revised September rate of 447,000 and is 4.9% above the October 2014 estimate of 472,000. The median sales price of new houses sold in October 2015 was $281,500, while the average sales price was $366,000. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 226,000. This represents a supply of 5.5 months at the current sales rate.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35694-new-home-sales-beat-expectations

* Home Prices Continue Defying Gravity and Expectations. Price increases did not slow in the third quarter as expected the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said today. The agencies purchase-only seasonally adjusted House Price Index (HPI) for the quarter shows that prices rose for the 17th consecutive quarter and posted the largest month-over-month gain since at least that in March to April. The quarterly measure was 5.7 percent higher than in the third quarter of 2014. Year-over-year the increase for the entire U.S. was 6.1 percent. The 8 percent monthly gain crushed analysts expectations.”The long-anticipated slowdown in home price appreciation did not occur in the third quarter,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. “The factors that have contributed to extraordinary price growth over the last few years-low interest rates, tight inventories, strong buyer confidence, and improving income growth-continued to drive prices upward in much of the country. However, as prices continue to rise, reduced affordability will be a stronger market headwind,” Leventis said.
Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/11252015_fhfa_hpi.asp

* Google Launches Mortgage Comparison Tool. Well, it’s official. Google has come to mortgages. Google is launching its own mortgage comparison tool via its Compare service. Google Compare is no stranger to mortgages, just not in this country. Google Compare in the United Kingdon previously offered car insurance, travel insurance, credit cards and mortgages. Google began laying the groundwork in February, when it launched its own built-in mortgage calculator. Beginning very soon, consumers all over the country will be able to shop for a mortgage on Google. Imagine a consumer searching for “mortgage” on Google and being prompted to review a list of Google-approved lenders and their rates. “Google Compare for mortgages provides a seamless, intuitive experience that connects lenders with borrowers online,” Google posted on its website Monday.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35677-google-launches-mortgage-comparison-tool

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: Nov. 23, 2015

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This Week in Real Estate Fannie Mae reported their expectation of improved economic growth through the rest of the fourth quarter. Below are a few of the highlights from the third week in November that influence our business:

* Mortgage Foreclosures and Delinquencies at Lowest Level since 2007. The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four unit residential properties maintained its downward trend and dropped to 4.99% of all loans outstanding at the end of the third quarter of 2015, the latest Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey stated. The delinquency rate includes loans that are at least one payment past due but does not include loans in the process of foreclosure. This marks the lowest level since the first quarter of 2007. The percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at the end of the third quarter was 1.88%, posting the lowest foreclosure inventory rate seen since the third quarter of 2007. “The factors influencing this outcome include a nationwide housing market recovery, resolution of long-standing troubled loans that eventually proceeded through the foreclosure process, and an improving employment outlook that provided distressed borrowers viable alternatives to foreclosure,” said Marina Walsh, MBA’s vice president of Industry Analysis.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35624-mba-mortgage-foreclosures-and-delinquencies-at-lowest-level-since-2007

* Housing Starts Fall 11% in October, Building Permits Up. U.S. housing starts in October fell to a seven-month low, weighed down by a steep decline in the construction of multi-family homes, but a surge in building permits suggested the housing market remained on solid ground. “Overall, fundamentals for the sector remain solid. Household formation is rising, demand for new homes is outstripping supply, and home builder confidence remains near its highest level in a decade,” said Michelle Girard, chief economist at RBS. Groundbreaking dropped 11% in October, the lowest level since March. However, October marked the seventh straight month that starts remained above 1 million units, the longest stretch 2007. Building permits increased 4.1 percent. The October permit requests were above the starts number, and for the past three months permits have been running a little ahead of the building pace, so don’t be surprised if housing activity rebounds solidly in November.
Full Story… http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/18/us-usa-economy-idUSKCN0T71UQ20151118

* Economy Remains on Firm Footing. Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group expects economic growth to pick up in the fourth quarter, bringing growth for all of 2015 to 2.2 percent with a slight expansion to 2.4 percent in 2016. Solid consumer spending and an increase in construction activity, home sales, and home prices appear poised to offset global headwinds. “Our forecast for housing activity is little changed over the past several months. The supply of existing homes remains lean amid slowing new single-family construction, putting significant upward pressure on home prices. While this helps boost home equity, it hurts affordability, especially for potential first-time homebuyers. Meanwhile, we expect mortgage rates to rise only gradually through next year, and an improving income trend should help support affordability. We foresee total home sales improving further in 2016, albeit at less than half of the 8.0 percent increase expected this year,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Chief Economist.
Full Story… http://fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/financial-news/2015/6318.html

Have a productive week and a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Jason


This Week in Real Estate: Nov. 16, 2015

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This Week in Real Estate, the National Association of Realtors declared Q3 2015 the best quarter in a decade. Below are a few of the highlights from the second week in November that influence our business:

* Existing-Home Sales on Track for Further Expansion in 2016. Following the housing market’s best year since the recession, existing-home sales are expected to increase in 2016 at a moderate pace; although affordability pressures from inventory shortages and rising mortgage rates could slow the potential for even stronger sales momentum, according to an economic forecast forum at the 2015 REALTORS Conference & Expo. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, the pent-up demand for buying in recent years finally broke out in a meaningful way in 2015, fueled by sustained job growth in many parts of the country and rising home values giving more homeowners the incentive to sell – a trend that he expects to continue next year. “Sales activity in 2016 will once again be primarily driven by the ongoing release of more pent-up sellers finally realizing their equity gains and using it towards the down payment on their next home,” said Yun. Yup forecasts home sales to finish 2015 at a pace of 5.30 million and then expand 3 percent to around 5.45 million in 2016. Full Story… http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2015/11/existing-home-sales-on-track-for-further-expansion-in-2016

* Third Quarter 2015 the Best Quarter in a Decade. The National Association of Realtors is calling the third quarter 2015 unquestionably the best quarter for the housing market in a decade. Existing home sales and the continuing shortages of product kept home prices rising in most of the country. Overall price appreciation did slow to what NAR calls a healthier pace. The median existing single-family home price increased in 154 of the 178 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) tracked by the association (87 percent) compared to median prices in the third quarter 2014. In the West, existing-home sales increased 3.9 percent in the third quarter and are 9.7 percent above a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the West increased 7.3 percent to $324,300. Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/11122015_metro_home_prices_sales.asp

* Affordability Edges Lower in Third Quarter. Modest home price and interest rate increases resulted in a slight drop in nationwide housing affordability in the third quarter of 2015, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). In all, 62.2 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of July and end of September were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $65,800. This is down from the 63.2 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the second quarter. The national median price increased slightly from $230,000 in the second quarter to $231,000 in the third quarter. Meanwhile, average mortgage rates edged higher from 3.99 percent to 4.18 percent in the same period. Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/11/affordability-edges-lower-in-third-quarter/

Have a productive week!

Jason


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