This Week in Real Estate: May 30, 2017

image001

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

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

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

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

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

 

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: May 22, 2017

image001

As we move closer towards the summer selling season, we have favorable news This Week in Real Estate relative to home builder confidence and average closing time of home loans. Below are a few highlights from the third week of May that influence our business:

* Homebuilder Confidence Soars in May. The housing market is showing signs of strength as homebuilder confidence grew in May to the second-highest point since the recession, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Home builders increased their confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes by two points in May to 70. “This report shows that builders’ optimism in the housing market is solidifying, even as they deal with higher building material costs and shortages of lots and labor,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. The index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as good, fair or poor. “The HMI measure of future sales conditions reached its highest level since June 2005, a sign of growing consumer confidence in the new home market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Especially as existing home inventory remains tight, we can expect increased demand for new construction moving forward.”
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/40120-homebuilder-confidence-soars-in-may?eid=322520585&bid=1755028

* New Single-Family Home Size Continues to Trend Down. After increasing and leveling off in recent years, new single-family home size continued along a general trend of decreasing size during the start of 2017. This change marks a reversal of the trend that had been in place as builders focused on the higher end of the market during the recovery. As the entry-level market expands, including growth for townhouses, typical new home size is expected to decline. According to first quarter 2017 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area was slightly lower at 2,389 square feet. This is down from 2,440 square feet last quarter and 2,465 square feet last year. Similarly, the average square footage also decreased slightly from 2,652 square feet in the fourth quarter and 2,658 square feet last year to 2,628 square feet. The post-recession increase in single-family home size is consistent with the historical pattern coming out of recessions. Typical new home size falls prior to and during a recession as home buyers tighten budgets and then sizes rise as high-end homebuyers, who face fewer credit constraints, return to the housing market in relatively greater proportions. This pattern was exacerbated during the current business cycle due to market weakness among first-time homebuyers. But the recent declines in size indicate that this part of the cycle has ended and size will trend lower as builders add more entry-level homes into inventory.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/05/new-single-family-size-continues-to-trend-down/

* Closing Time on a Mortgage Keeps Getting Faster. The time to close a loan fell once again, marking the third consecutive month of declines. Time to close all loans fell to 42 days in April, down from 43 in March and a substantial drop from the beginning of 2017’s 51 days in January. The time it takes to close a refinance dropped to 41 days in April, down from 43 days in March. The time to close a purchase also decreased from 43 days the previous month to 42 days in April. And while the time it takes to close a refinance came in lower than purchase loans, it is purchase originations that continue to rule the market. In April, refis represented 35% of the market, while purchases made up the other 65%.
Full Story… https://cdn.elliemae.com/origination-insight-reports/Ellie_Mae_OIR_APRIL2017.pdf

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: May 15, 2017

image001

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms. Thank you for the positive impact you make every single day.

Continued acceleration of home price growth leads to foreclosure activity dropping to its lowest level in nearly 12 years as reported by ATTOM Data Solutions This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few highlights from the second week of May that influence our business:

* U.S. Foreclosure Activity Drops to Lowest Level Since November 2005. ATTOM Data Solutions released its April 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market data on Thursday, which shows foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 77,049 U.S. properties in April, down 7 percent from the previous month and down 23 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since November 2005. A total of 34,085 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in April, down 6 percent from the previous month and down 22 percent from a year ago and continuing well below the pre-recession average of more than 77,000 foreclosure starts per month between April 2005 and November 2007. Lenders completed foreclosure (REO) on 25,990 U.S. properties in April, down 9 percent from the previous month and down 22 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since February 2015 – a 26-month low and running just above the pre-recession average of 25,796 per month between April 2005 and November 2007.
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/foreclosure-trends/april-2017-foreclosure-market-report/

* Homeowners Continue to Overestimate Their Home Value. Homeowners and appraisers continue to hold conflicting views on the value of their home, a gap that widened once again in April, according to the Home Price Perception Index from Quicken Loans. Appraised home values came in 1.9% lower than what homeowners expected as many Americans continued to overvalue their home. This marks the fifth consecutive month where the gap between appraiser and homeowner opinions widened. Although the gap continued to widen, appraised value increased in April. And while homeowners are overestimating the value of their homes, home price growth is accelerating. The HVI increased 5.08% annually in April, up from March’s annual increase of 3.3%.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/40081-homeowners-continue-to-overestimate-their-home-value

* 3 Reasons The Housing Market is Not in a Bubble. With housing prices appreciating at levels that far exceed historical norms, some are fearful that the market is heading for another bubble. To alleviate that fear, we just need to look back at the reasons that caused the bubble ten years ago. Last decade, demand for housing was artificially propped up because mortgage lending standards were way too lenient. People that were not qualified to purchase were able to attain a mortgage anyway. Prices began to skyrocket. This increase in demand caused homebuilders in many markets to overbuild. Eventually, the excess in new construction and the flooding of the market with distressed properties, caused by the lack of appropriate lending standards, led to the housing crash. If we look at lending standards based on the Mortgage Credit Availability Index we can see that though standards have become more reasonable over the last few years, they are nowhere near where they were in the early 2000s. If we look at new construction, we can see that builders are not “over building.” Average annual housing starts in the first quarter of this year were not just below numbers recorded in 2002 – 2006, they are below starts going all the way back to 1980. If we look at home prices, most homes haven’t even returned to prices seen a decade ago. Bottom line is mortgage lending standards are appropriate, new construction is below what is necessary and home prices haven’t recovered. It appears fears of a housing bubble are over-exaggerated.
Full Story… http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2017/05/11/3-reasons-the-housing-market-is-not-in-a-bubble/

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: May 8, 2017

image001

While a million plus more homes became “equity rich” compared to the same time period last year, as reported by ATTOM Data Solutions This Week in Real Estate, the unemployment rate for April dropped to the lowest level in a decade. Below are a few highlights from the first week of May that influence our business:

* Equity Rich Properties Increase 1.4 Million. ATTOM Data Solutions released is Q1 2017 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report on Thursday finding that at the end of Q1 2017, there were more than 13.7 million (13,718,473) equity rich U.S. properties – where the combined loan amount secured by the property is 50 percent or less than the estimated market value of the property – representing 24.3 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage. That is up nearly 1.4 million from a year ago, when there was 12.4 million equity rich properties representing 22.0 percent of all properties with a mortgage as of the end of Q1 2016. States with the highest share of equity rich properties were Hawaii (38.4 percent), California (35.8 percent), New York (34.6 percent), Vermont (32.8 percent) and Oregon (31.3 percent). The top 10 Metro areas for highest share of equity rich properties were San Jose, CA (51.3 percent), San Francisco, CA (46.6 percent), Honolulu, HI (39.9 percent), Los Angeles, CA (39.1 percent), Pittsburgh, PA (34.2 percent), San Diego, CA (33.6 percent), Portland, OR (33.6 percent), Austin, TX (32.1 percent), Seattle, WA (32.1 percent) and New York, NY (32.0 percent).
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/q1-2017-home-equity-underwater-report/

* Nationwide Recovery Continues. The NAHB/First American Leadings Markets Index (LMI), released Thursday, rose .01 point over the quarter to 1.0. Over the past year, the LMI grew by .05 point. The index uses single-family housing permits, employment, and home prices to measure proximity to a normal economic and housing market. The index is calculated for both the entire country and for 337 local markets, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). A value of 1.0 means the three components have individually, whether for the country as a whole or an individual metro area, achieved a level of recovery that combined averages 1.0. The current LMI Score combined with the upward trajectory of the Index was last observed in 2003, a period of normal. Over the housing boom years of 2004 – 2007, the LMI rose, peaking at 1.22 in 2006. The ensuing decline in the Index reflected the distress observed in the housing market and in the economy more generally. After falling to a low 0.78 in 2012, the LMI has been steadily climbing, in line with the overall economic recovery. Relative to 2003, a period when the Score of each of the LMI’s subcomponents reached 1.0, house prices are currently at 1.50, their peak level in 2007, while employment is currently at 0.98, .02 point below its peak level of 1.0. At 0.53 single-family permits are furthest away from normality. An alternative, but more speculative, interpretation of the trends in the components of the overall LMI is that the permits trend indicates that too few homes are in the pipeline to be built, contributing to the low housing inventory, while the prospects for housing demand, as suggested by the employment component, is closer to normalizing. Economic theory posits that, all else equal, in the presence of low housing inventory, healthy housing demand will be reflected in higher house prices.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/05/nationwide-recovery-continues/

* Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest Level in a Decade in April as Economy Adds 211,000 Jobs. The U.S. job market rebounded strongly last month and the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level seen in a decade, government data released Friday morning showed. Employers added 211,000 jobs in April as the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.4 percent, the lowest level since May 2007. The report offered a snapshot of an increasingly solid economy. The U.S. labor market is still expanding at a steady clip even after 79 straight months of job gains, helping to heal much of the damage still lingering from the recession. “The re-acceleration in jobs should assuage fears that economic growth is slowing in any meaningful way,” said James Marple, senior economist at TD Economics. Job gains were seen in mining and manufacturing, but the bulk of job growth in April came from the much larger sectors of leisure and hospitality, education and health, and business services. At 4.4 percent, the headline unemployment rate is now below the longer-term level targeted by the Federal Reserve. Broader measures of unemployment and underemployment also continue to improve. The U-6 rate, a measure that includes people who have given up looking for work, as well as those who are employed part time but would like to be full time, fell to 8.6 percent in the month, the lowest level seen since 2007.
Full Story… https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/05/05/the-u-s-job-market-is-expected-to-rebound-in-april-if-it-doesnt-that-could-be-cause-for-concern/?utm_term=.779d79f8b680

 

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: May 1, 2017

image001

Cities in the Pacific Northwest continue to experience this country’s highest year-over-year price appreciation as reported by Case-Shiller This Week in Real Estate. You can now add to the region’s profile some of the highest percent return on previous purchase price. Below are a few highlights from the fourth week of April that influence our business:

* ATTOM: Average Homeowner Gains 24% Return in Equity Since Purchase. ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q1 2017 U.S. Home Sales Report on Thursday, which shows that homeowners who sold in the first quarter realized an average price gain of $44,000 since purchase, representing an average 24 percent return on the purchase price – the highest average price gain for home sellers in terms of both dollars and percent returns since Q3 2007. Meanwhile the report also shows that homeowners who sold in the first quarter had owned an average of 7.97 years, down slightly from a record-high average homeownership tenure of 8.00 years in Q4 2016, but still up from 7.68 years in Q1 2016. “The first quarter of 2017 was the most profitable time to be a home seller in nearly a decade, and yet homeowners are continuing to stay put in their homes longer before selling,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. “This counterintuitive combination is in part the result of the low inventory of move-up homes available for current homeowners, while also perpetuating the scarcity of starter homes available for first-time homebuyers. Metro areas with the highest percent return on the previous purchase price were San Jose, CA (71 percent ROI); San Francisco, CA (65 percent); Seattle, WA (56 percent); Portland, OR (52 percent); and Modesto, CA (51 percent).
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/foreclosure-trends/q1-2017-u-s-home-sales-report/

* New Home Sales Soar Above Market Expectations. New home sales soared in March, beating out experts’ expectations, but new homes for sale dropped, according to the report released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales of new single-family homes in March 2017 came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000, according to the report. This is an increase of 5.8% from February’s 587,000 and is 15.6% higher than March 2016’s 537,000 sales. “New home sales increased to an annualized rate of 621,000, well above the Street expectations of 587,000,” iServe Residential Lending director of capital markets Brent Nyitray wrote in a note to his clients. The median sales price of new homes sold in March increased to $315,100, up from $296,200 in February.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/39947-new-home-sales-soar-above-market-expectations?eid=322520585&bid=1735876

* Case-Shiller: Home Prices Hit Fourth Consecutive All-Time High. Home prices continued to expand in February, hitting their fourth consecutive all-time high, according to the S&P Dow Jones Indices. Seattle, Portland and Dallas reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20-city composite. In February, Seattle led the way with a 12.2% year-over-year price increase, followed by Portland with 9.7%. Dallas replaced Denver in the top three with an 8.8% increase.
Full Story… https://www.spice-indices.com/idpfiles/spice-assets/resources/public/documents/516352_cshomeprice-release-0425.pdf?force_download=true

 

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: April 24, 2017

image001

The National Association of Realtors reported This Week in Real Estate that March’s sales pace was the strongest month of sales since February 2007. In addition, the average time to close a loan in March decreased to 43 days, marking the shortest time period since February 2015. Below are a few highlights from the third week of April that influence our business:

* Existing Home Sales Soar to Highest Pace in More Than a Decade. Existing home sales soared in March to the highest pace in more than 10 years as homes sold significantly faster than last month and last year, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors. Total existing home sales, completed transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 4.4% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.71 million in March, according to NAR’s report. March’s sales pace is 5.9% above last year’s pace, marking the strongest month of sales since February 2007. “Bolstered by strong consumer confidence and underlying demand, home sales are up convincingly from a year ago nationally and in all four major regions despite the fact that buying a home has gotten more expensive over the past year,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Last month’s swift price gains and the remarkably short time a home was on the market are directly the result of the homebuilding industry’s struggle to meet the dire need for more new homes.”
Full Story… http://bit.ly/2otIUM2

* Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rate Falls Below 4% Mark. Mortgage rates dropped below the 4% marks, hitting the lowest point since November last year. “The 30-year mortgage rate fell 11 basis points this week to 3.97%, dropping below the psychologically-important 4% level for the first time since November,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said. “Weak economic data and growing international tensions are driving investors out of riskier sectors and into Treasury securities,” Becketti said. “This shift in investment sentiment has propelled rates lower.”
Full Story…  http://bit.ly/2pXOcDG

* Ellie Mae: Average Closing Time Now Sits at Lowest Level in Two Years. The average time to close a loan in 2016 fluctuated around the high 40s, but this is no longer the case, according to the latest Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae. The average time to close all loans decreased to 43 days in March, down from 46 days in February, the shortest time to close since February of 2015. Similarly, the time to close a refinance dropped to 43 days from 47 days the month prior, and time to close a purchase dropped to 43 days, down from 45 days in February.
Full Story… http://bit.ly/2q7t22c

 

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: April 17, 2017

image001

The spring selling season is in full swing This Week in Real Estate, as mortgage rates hit the lowest mark of 2017 and the preliminary April report of consumer sentiment advanced to a three month high. Below are a few highlights from the second week of April that influence our business:

* Q1 2017 Foreclosure Activity Below Pre-Recession Levels. ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q1 and March 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report on Thursday, which shows first quarter foreclosure activity was below pre-recession levels nationwide. Nationwide the report shows foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 234,508 U.S. properties in the first quarter of 2017, down 11 percent from the previous quarter and down 19 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since Q3 2006. The first quarter foreclosure activity total was 16 percent below the pre-recession average of 278,912 properties with foreclosure filings each quarter between Q1 2006 and Q3 2007. “U.S. foreclosure activity on a quarterly basis first dipped below pre-recession averages in the fourth quarter of last year, and this report shows that trend continuing for the second consecutive quarter,” said Daren Blomquist, ATTOM Data Solutions senior vice president.
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/foreclosure-trends/march-and-q1-2017-u-s-foreclosure-market-report/

* Mortgage Rates Hit Lowest Mark of 2017. Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey on Thursday, showing the 30-year mortgage rate dropping for the fourth consecutive week and hitting a new low for 2017. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending Thursday. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.58 percent. 15-year fixed rate mortgage this week averaged 3.34 percent with an average 0.5 point. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 2.86 percent. 5-year adjustable rate mortgage averaged 3.18 percent this week with an average 0.4 point. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.84 percent.
Full Story…  http://freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com/press-releases/mortgage-rates-hit-lowest-mark-of-2017-otcqb-fmcc-1304919?feed=429e0be3-9aef-4a3a-9775-43f8e470d510

* Affordability, Tight Supply Cause Vacation Home Sales to Plummet in 2016; Investment Sales Climb 4.5%. Last year’s strongest pace of home sales in a decade included a sizable drop in activity from vacation buyers and a jump from individual investors. NAR’s 2017 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey revealed that vacation home purchases last year descended to an estimated 721,000, down 21.6 percent from 2015 (920,000) and the lowest since 2013 (717,000). Investment-home sales in 2016 rose 4.5 percent to 1.14 million from 1.09 million in 2015. Owner-occupied purchases jumped 12.5 percent to 4.21 million last year from 3.74 million in 2015 – the highest level since 2006 (4.82 million). “Sales to individual investors reached their highest level since 2012 (1.20 million) as investors took advantage of record low mortgage rates and recognized the sizable demand for renting in their market as renters struggle to become homeowners,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. Vacation sales accounted for 12 percent of all transactions in 2016, which was the lowest share since 2012 (11 percent) and down from 16 percent in 2015. The portion of investment sales remained unchanged for the third consecutive year at 19 percent, and owner-occupied purchases increased to 70 percent (65 percent in 2015).
Full Story… https://www.nar.realtor/news-releases/2017/04/affordability-tight-supply-cause-vacation-home-sales-to-plummet-in-2016-investment-sales-climb-45

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: April 10, 2017

image001

As home prices continue to surge, ADP reported This Week in Real Estate that the labor market continues to strengthen, recording the best month for new jobs since December 2014. Below are a few highlights from the first week of April that influence our business:

* New Homes Strengthen Economy, Spur Job Growth. As the housing industry celebrates New Home Month in April, newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department confirms the significant contribution that residential construction has on the U.S. economy. Final estimates of fourth quarter 2016 gross domestic product (GDP) growth show that housing’s share of GDP stands at 15.6%. “Home building is a key driver of the American economy,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Housing creates new income and jobs, purchases of goods and services, and revenue for local governments.” NAHB research shows that building 100 single-family homes in a typical metro area creates 297 full-time jobs and generates $28 million in wage and business income and $11.1 million in federal, state and local tax revenue.
Full Story… http://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/press-releases/2017/04/new-homes-strengthen-economy-spur-job-growth.aspx

* U.S. Home Price Report Shows Prices Up 7 Percent in February. CoreLogic released its Home Price Index (HPI) and HPI Forecast for February 2017 on Tuesday which shows home prices are up both year over year and month over month. Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year over year by 7 percent in February 2017 compared with February 2016 and increased month over month by 1 percent in February 2017 compared with January 2017. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 4.7 percent on a year over year basis from February 2017 to February 2018, and on a month over month basis home prices are expected to increase by 0.4 percent from February 2017 to March 2017. “Home prices and rents have risen the most in local markets with high demand and limited supply, such as Seattle, Portland and Denver,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. The CoreLogic Home Price Index is projecting an additional 5 percent rise in home prices nationally over the next 12 months.
Full Story…  http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-us-home-price-report-shows-prices-up-7-percent-in-february-2017.aspx

* ADP: U.S. Companies Hire Most Workers in Over Two Years. U.S. companies added 263,000 workers in March, the most since December 2014, suggesting further tightening of the labor market, payrolls processor ADP said on Wednesday. ADP’s March figure easily beat the median forecast of 187,000 increase among economists surveyed by Reuters. Strong job gains in the coming months will likely add upward pressure on wages, supporting the Federal Reserve’s view for at least two more interest rate increases by the end of 2017.
Full Story… http://reut.rs/2ojmJKT

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: April 3, 2017

image001

As Q1 comes to a close and we welcome in the spring selling season, This Week in Real Estate, we do so at a time when consumer confidence reaches a decade and a half high. Below are a few highlights from the last week of March that influence our business:

* Consumer Confidence Surges to 16-Year High. Consumer confidence leapt forward in March to the highest level in 16 years, according to the Consumer Confidence Survey conducted by The Conference Board by Nielsen. The Consumer Confidence Index improved significantly in March to 125.6, up from 116.1 in February. The Present Situation Index increased from 134.1 to 143.1 and the Expectations Index increased to 113.8, up from 103.9 last month. “Consumer confidence increased sharply in March to its highest level since December 2000,” said Lynn Franco, The Conference Board director of economic indicators. “Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved considerably. Consumers also expressed much greater optimism regarding the short-term outlook for business, jobs and personal income prospects. Thus, consumers feel current economic conditions have improved over the recent period, and their renewed optimism suggests the possibility of some upside to the prospects for economic growth in the coming months.”
Full Story… https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerconfidence.cfm

* Pending Sales Spring Up. The Pending Home Sales Index increased 5.5% in February 2017 to its highest level since April 2016, and the second highest since May 2006. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased to 112.3 in February, up from 106.4 in January and up 2.6% from the same month a year ago. The PHSI increased in all four regions, ranging from 11.4% in the Midwest to 3.1% in the West. Year-over-Year, the PHSI increased 6.6% in the Northeast and 4.2% in the South, while falling slightly in the West and Midwest. February existing sales were slowed by inventory constraints, and these shortages are expected to continue, especially in the lower- and mid-market price ranges. However, builder sentiment remains strong, and new home sales are trending positive. As the economy continues to add jobs, increased demand among first-time buyers will help fuel new and existing sales in 2017.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/03/pending-sales-spring-up/

* Home Prices in the First Month of 2017. S&P Dow Jones Indices released the Home Price Index for January 2017 on Tuesday. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 7.9%, slower than the 9.2% increase in December. House prices dropped to the lowest level in the first month of 2012. Five years later, house prices surpassed the pre-recession peak of 2006 and hit the highest level historically. Of the twenty (20) major U.S. metropolitan areas highlighted in the report Seattle had the highest annual home price appreciation growth rate at 22.6%, followed by Chicago (16.5%), Denver (14%), Washington D.C. (12.7%) and Portland (12.2%).
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/03/home-prices-in-the-first-month-of-2017/

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: March 27, 2017

image001

A theme of highs and lows This Week in Real Estate. The value of the housing market hits a 10-year high while both cash and distressed sales totals hit nine-year lows in 2016. Below are a few highlights from the third full week of March that influence our business:

* Value of the Housing Market Hits a 10-Year High. The value of the housing market hit a 10-year high in 2016 as equity reached new levels, according to the Urban Institute’s latest report. The Federal Reserve’s Flow of Funds report has consistently indicated an increasing total value of the housing market driven by growing household equity since 2012, and 2016 was no different. Total debt and mortgages held steady at $10.3 trillion, but household equity reached a new high of $14 trillion. The total value of the housing market increased to $24.3 trillion, surpassing even the pre-crisis peak of $23.9 trillion in 2006.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/39669-value-of-housing-market-hits-10-year-high

* 2016 Cash and Distressed Sales Totals Hit Nine-Year Lows. The share of homes sold for cash fell to the lowest level in nearly a decade in full-year 2016. CoreLogic said that 32.1 percent of all home sales in the 12-month period ending in December closed without the benefit of a mortgage. This was a decrease of 2.2 percentage points from the 2015 share. The previous low point for such sales was in 2007 when cash sales accounted for a 27 percent of sales. CoreLogic also noted that distressed home sales, a total of both short sales and sales of lender-owned real estate (REO) accounted for 8.9 percent of all sales for the year, also the lowest share since 2007. At its peak in January 2009, distressed sales totaled 32.4 percent of all sales with REO sales representing 27.9 percent of that share.
Full Story…  http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/03222017_corelogic_distress_cash_sales.asp

* Positive Trend For New Home Sales. Contracts for new home sales expanded by 6.1% in February, according to estimates from the joint data release of HUD and the Census Bureau. The growth in sales continues along a positive trend for the market, which is supported by solid job growth, improving household formations, continuing favorable housing affordability conditions, and tight existing home inventory. The seasonally adjusted annual pace for February new single-family home sales was 592,000. This is 6.1% better than January and a 12.8% gain over a year ago. The most recent data also indicate a growing share of homes not-yet-started in builder inventory. For example, on a year-over-year basis, homes under construction in inventory have increased by almost 6% over the last year. Completed, ready-to-occupy homes (there are only 63,000) are up 5% since February of last year. In contrast, homes not-yet-listed in inventory have increased 42%, from 36,000 in February of 2016 to 51,000 last month. Regionally, all areas except the Northeast saw monthly growth in sales, with notable growth of 31% in the Midwest. Sales in the Northeast were down 21%. Smaller growth of 4% and 8% was recorded in the South and West respectively.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/03/positive-trend-for-new-home-sales/

Have a productive week!
Jason


©2016 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc. Equal Housing Opportunity.