This Week in Real Estate: February 5, 2017

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CoreLogic released data This Week in Real Estate that suggests the real estate market has completely recovered from the “boom-bust” cycle that started a dozen years ago. In other news this week, the Federal Reserve decided not to increase the federal funds rate. Below are a few highlights from the last week of January and the first few days of February that influence our business:
 
* Case-Shiller: Housing Market Now Officially, Completely Recovered. According to the latest data released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, increased 5.6% annually. “With the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index rising at about 5.5% annual rate over the last two-and-a-half years and having reached a new all-time high recently, one can argue that housing has recovered from the boom-bust cycle that began a dozen years ago,” said David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices managing director and chairman of the Index Committee. “The recovery has been supported by a few economic factors: low interest rates, falling unemployment, and consistent gains in per-capita disposable personal income.” Seattle, Portland, and Denver reported the highest annual gains among the top 20 cities for each of the past 10 months.
 
* U.S. Distressed Sale Share Drops to Nine-Year Low in 2016, U.S. Home Sellers in 2016 Realized Biggest Average Profits Since 2007, 44% of Markets Reached New All-Time Home Price Peaks in 2016. ATTOM Data Solutions released its Year-End 2016 U.S. Home Sales Report on Thursday, which shows 16.2 percent of single family home and condo sales in 2016 were distressed sales – bank-owned sales, short sales or foreclosure auctions – down from 18.8 percent of all sales in 2015 to the the lowest level since 2007. “The housing market hit several important milestones in 2016, with distressed sales at a nine-year low and home prices at a 10-year high, just barely below the pre-recession peak in 2006,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “This was all good news for home sellers, who realized their biggest average profits since purchase nationwide in 2016. Even distressed property sellers are benefitting from this hot seller’s market, with a record-high share of homes at foreclosure auction being purchased by third-party buyers rather than reverting back to the foreclosing bank.” Homeowners who sold in 2016 realized an average home price gain since purchase of $38,206, which translated into an average 21 percent gain since purchase, up from an average 13 percent gain in 2015 to the highest since 2007, a nine-year high. Among 201 Metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000 and sufficient home price data, 89 metro areas (44 percent) reached new all-time home price peaks in 2016. Nationwide home sales to all-cash buyers represented 28.3 of all home sales in 2016, the lowest level since 2007 – a nine-year low.
 
* Federal Open Market Committee January/February Meeting – No News is Good News. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the monetary policy arm of the Federal Reserve System, concluded its two-day meeting and released a statement announcing no change in the target range for the federal funds rate. The current 50-75 basis point range was expected to be maintained following this first meeting since the December meeting, at which the target range for the funds rate was raised for only the second time since the financial crisis. The pace of rate increases is expected to accelerate. Among FOMC participants, the median projection of the “appropriate” level for the funds rate indicates three rate increases by the end of 2017. The CME Group’s FedWatch Tool indicates the FOMC meeting in June is currently the most popular bet for the next increase. With payroll gains steady, the unemployment rate below 5% and inflation grudgingly moving toward the Fed’s 2% target, economic conditions are right for a faster pace for monetary policy normalization, but the mantras of “only gradual increases” and “below levels expected to prevail in the longer run” still apply. 

Have a productive week,
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: January 30, 2017

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The National Association of Realtors reported This Week in Real Estate that 2016 recorded the highest number of existing-home sales since 2006. Below are a few highlights from the fourth week of January that influence our business:

* Consumer Confidence Hits Highest Level in 12 Years. Consumers are now more confident in the economy than they have been in the previous 12 years. The Index of Consumer Sentiment increased 0.3% from December to 98.5 in January. This marks an increase of 7.1% from January of last year. “Consumers expressed higher level of confidence January than any other time in the last dozen years,” Surveys of Consumers Chief Economist Richard Curtin said. “The post-election surge in confidence was driven more a more optimistic outlook for the economy and job growth during the year ahead as well as more favorable economic prospects over the next five years.” “Consumers also reported much more positive assessments of their current financial situation due to gains in both incomes and household wealth, and anticipated the most positive outlook for their personal finances in more than a decade,” Curtin said. The Index of Consumer Expectations also increased by 0.9% from last month’s 89.5 and up 9.2% from 82.7 last year to 90.3 in January.

Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/39057-consumer-sentiment-hits-highest-level-in-12-years?eid=322520585&bid=1648380

* 2016 Sales Best Since 2006. Existing-home sales had a banner 2016, amounting to 5.45 million sales and surpassed the 5.25 million sales in 2015 as the highest since 2006 (6.48 million), according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). “Solid job creation throughout 2016 and exceptionally low mortgage rates translated into a good year for the housing market,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The inventory of homes for sale fell to the lowest level in the 17 years for which data is available,” Nationwide Chief Economist David Berson said. “Looking at just single-family sales, the inventory of home for sale dropped to the second lowest level in the nearly 34 years for which data is available.” “This low level of inventories has two significant impacts: it reduces the number of sales as there are fewer homes to be purchased and it pushes up re-sale prices, with the median sales price of existing homes sold up by 5.5% in 2016 – the fifth consecutive year in which prices rose by more than 5%,” Berson said. “Given current population and economic growth trends, housing starts should be in the range of 1.5 million to 1.6 million completions and not stuck at recessionary levels. More needs to be done to address the regulatory and cost burdens preventing builders from ramping up production,” Yun said.

Full Story…  https://www.nar.realtor/news-releases/2017/01/existing-home-sales-slide-in-december-2016-sales-best-since-2006

* Sold Out: These 10 U.S. Cities Have The Biggest Housing Shortages. Increasingly across the U.S., there just aren’t enough homes being listed to meet demand. For the past 28 months, the housing market has been defined not just by demand, but also by the shrinking number of available homes for sale. First-time buyers are especially hard hit as housing shortages drive up prices. Realtor.com recently took a look at the 150 largest housing markets in the U.S., studying the proportion of homes available for sale in each city. These numbers were then compared to 2015-2016 percentages. Half of the top 10 lowest inventory markets are concentrated on the West Coast, with the other half composed mostly mid-sized midwestern cities. “More than two-thirds of the markets are seeing less inventory now compared to a year ago,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Realtor.com. Seattle took the cake with just 0.4 percent of the city’s homes up for sale, a decrease of 13.4 percent from 2016. Eugene, Oregon is next on the list with just 0.6 percent of homes on the market at an inventory decrease of 27.3 percent from last year. Sacramento, Portland and Santa Rosa also broke the top 10.

Full Story… http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/top-10-housing-markets-constrained-by-tight-inventory/?aid=11921783&pid=7597981&cid=aff_cj_rdcandrental_allaffiliates_cj

Have a productive week,
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: January 23, 2017

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Favorable year-over-year increase in single-family construction starts were reported This Week in Real Estate while the National Association of Home Builders expects a 10 percent growth in single-family construction in 2017. Below are a few highlights from the third week of January that influence our business:

* Builder Confidence Holds Firm in January. Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes remained on firm ground in January, down two points to a level of 67 from a downwardly revised December reading of 69 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The solid reading is consistent with building expectations heading into the new year. NAHB expects 10 percent growth in single-family construction in 2017, adding to the gains of 2016. However, ongoing industry concerns include rising mortgage interest rates as well as a lack of lots and access to labor. The HMI rose sharply in December as the election results raised hopes among builders that a new Congress and administration will help create a better business climate for small businesses, particularly with respect to improving regulatory costs, which increased more than 29% over the last five years. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose two points to 52 and the Midwest posted a three-point gain to 64. The South and West each held steady at 67 and 79, respectively.

Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/01/builder-confidence-holds-firm-in-january-2/

* Single-Family Housing Starts Up 9% in 2016. For 2016 as a whole, single-family construction improved 9.3% over the 2015 level of starts. And as measured on a three-month moving average, single-family starts are at a post-cycle high. This increase is consistent with the recent growth in the NAHB/Wells Fargo measure of single-family builder confidence. Single-family permits also point to more growth in 2017. Single-family permits grew 4.7% in December, reaching an annual rate of 817,000, the fastest pace in the current cycle. Total starts were up 11.3% in December, rising to a 1.226 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. Focusing on housing’s economic impact, in December 57% of homes under construction were multi-family (604,000). This multifamily count is 8% higher than a year ago. There were 450,000 single-family units under construction, a gain of 7% from this time in 2015. This is the highest count of single-family units under construction since 2008.

Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/01/single-family-housing-starts-up-9-in-2016/

* Ellie Mae: Closing Rates in December Hit Highest Point For The Year. Closing rates for all loans in December hit their highest point of 2016, according to Ellie Mae’s Origination Insight Report. Closing rates for all loans increased to 73.2% in December. While refinance closing rates increased from 68.7% in November to 69.6%, purchase closing rates increased from 76.1% in November to 77% in December. As more loans closed, the market also shifted slightly away from refinances and towards purchase loans. With the increase in interest rates, the total number of refi originations shrank to 46% in December, down from 47% the previous month. But the purchase origination market remained strong, increasing from 54% of all closed loans. “As rates began to increase we saw purchases tick back up in December, signaling the start of a trend we expect to continue into 2017,” Ellie Mae president and CEO Jonathan Corr said. The time to close a loan continued to increase in December, increasing from 49 days in November to December’s 50 days. Time to close a refinance increased to 52 days while time to close a purchase loan increased to 48 days, both an increase of one day from the previous month. Average FICO scores slipped to 726 from 728 in November. Conventional purchase FICO scores held steady at 753 for the third month in a row while conventional refis decreased from 743 in November to 739 in December. FHA purchase FICOs also stayed the same at 686 and refinance FICO scores increased one point to 655 in December.

Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38984-ellie-mae-closing-rates-in-december-hit-highest-point-for-the-year?eid=322520585&bid=1639858

Have a productive week,
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: January 16, 2017

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The attention grabbing headline This Week in Real Estate was from the Federal Housing Administration and their decision to reduce the annual insurance premiums on most FHA mortgages. Below are a few highlights from the second week of January that influence our business:

* Supply Watch: Gradual Single-Family Construction Expected in 2017. More single-family homes will be constructed in 2017, but at a gradual rate, reported economists at the recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show. The NAHB expects single-family construction to rise 10 percent to 855,000 units, and to 12 percent to 961,000 in 2018. Sixty-four percent of home builders, according to NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz, are seeing “low” to “very low” lot supplies. “While positive developments on the demand side will support solid growth in the single-family housing sector in 2017, builders in many markets continue to face supply-side constraints led by the three Ls – lots, labor and lending,” said Dietz. Confidence and growth in the economy could give home-building a boost, with home builders optimistic that the new administration will lower construction costs. Said Dietz, “Regulatory requirements make up nearly 25% of the cost of a new home.
Full Story… http://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/press-releases/2017/01/housing-will-continue-gradual-climb-to-higher-ground-in-2017.aspx

* FHA To Reduce Annual Insurance Premiums on Most Mortgages. As the nation’s housing market continues to improve, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro announced this week the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce the annual premiums most borrowers will pay by a quarter of a percent. FHA’s new premium rates are projected to save new FHA-insured homeowners an average of $500 this year. FHA is reducing its annual mortgage insurance premium by 25 basis points for most new mortgages with a closing date on or after January 27, 2017. “After four straight years of growth and with sufficient reserves on hand to meet future claims, it’s time for FHA to pass along some modest savings to working families,” said Secretary Castro. “This is a fiscally responsible measure to price our mortgage insurance in a way that protects our insurance fund while preserving the dream of homeownership for credit-qualified borrowers.”
Full Story…  https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2017/HUDNo_17-003

* Foreclosure Inventory Declines Another 30%. Once again, foreclosure inventory declined 30% annually in November, and completed foreclosures decreased 25.9% from November 2015, according to the November 2016 National Foreclosure Report from CoreLogic. Since November of 2015, foreclosures dropped from 35,000 to 26,000. This represents a decrease of 78.2% from September 2010’s peak of 118,339 foreclosures. “The 7% appreciation in home prices through November 2016 has added an average of $12,500 in home-equity wealth per homeowner across the U.S. during the last year,” CoreLogic President and CEO Anand Nallathambi said. “Sustained growth in home prices is clearly bolstering homeowners’ spending power and balance sheets and, as a result, spurring a continued drop in defaults.”
Full Story… http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-reports-26,000-completed-foreclosures-in-november-2016.aspx

Have a productive week.
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: January 9, 2016

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As we welcomed in the new year This Week in Real Estate, confidence levels, both consumer and builder, reportedly have reached their highest points in more than a decade. Below are a few highlights from the first week of January that influence our business:

* U.S. Consumer Confidence Jumps to Highest Level Since 2001. Consumer confidence climbed in December to the highest level since August 2001 as Americans were more upbeat about the outlook than at any time in the last 13 years, according to a report from the New York-based Conference Board. Confidence index increased to 113.7 from a revised 109.4 in November. Measure of consumer expectations for the next six months rose to 105.5, the highest since December 2003, from 94.4. Share of Americans expecting better business conditions six months from now rose to 23.6 percent, the highest since February 2011, from 16.4 percent. “The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices which reached a 13-year high, was most pronounced among older consumers,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.
Full Story… https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-27/u-s-consumer-confidence-index-increased-to-113-7-in-december

* Home Builder Confidence Ends the Year at Highest Point Since 2005. Home builders saw a significant boost in confidence after President-elect Donald Trump won the election, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. This increase brought builder sentiment up seven points to a level of 70, the index’s highest point since July 2005. “This notable rise in builder sentiment is largely attributable to a post-election bounce, as builders are hopeful that President-elect Trump will follow through on his pledge to cut burdensome regulations that are harming small businesses and housing affordability,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady. “The rise in the HMI is consistent with recent gains for the stock market and consumer confidence,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said. “At the same time, builders remain sensitive to rising mortgage rates and continue to deal with shortages of lots and labor.”
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38764-home-builder-confidence-ends-the-year-at-highest-point-since-2005?eid=322520585&bid=1624886

* Foreign Investors Remain Bullish on U.S. Real Estate Despite Increasing Caution. Reflecting a lack of suitable global alternatives and a proven track record of steady returns generated by U.S. real estate, the latest annual survey of overseas investors by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) confirmed once again that the United States remains by far the world’s most popular destination for foreign real estate capital. An overwhelming 95% of respondents to the AFIRE survey said they planned to increase or maintain their level of U.S. investment, and 66% said their sentiment was unchanged or more optimistic about the prospect for U.S. real estate. In addition to securing its status as the leading U.S. city for foreign capital for a seventh consecutive year, New York City ranked as the world’s top city for foreign capital for the third year in a row. Los Angeles again ranked #2 among U.S. cities for the second straight year, followed by Boston, Seattle and San Francisco.
Full Story… http://www.costar.com/News/Article/Survey-While-Signaling-Caution-Foreign-Investors-Remain-Bullish-on-US-Real-Estate/187814

Have a productive week.
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: December 27, 2016

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As 2016 comes to a close there are varying degrees of optimism about the 2017 market. Regardless of what may or may not materialize in the future, what exists today, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors, is the annualized pace of sales ending November 2016 is now the highest since February 2007. Below are a few highlights from the third week of December that influence our business:

* Existing-Home Sales Forge Ahead in November. A big surge in the Northeast and a smaller gain in the South pushed existing-home sales up in November for the third consecutive month, according to NAR. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says its been an outstanding three-month stretch for the housing market as 2016 nears the finish line. “The healthiest job market since the Great Recession and the anticipation of some buyers to close on a home before mortgage rates accurately rose from their historically low level have combined to drive sales higher in recent months,” he said. Total existing-home sales rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million in November. November’s sales pace is now the highest since February 2007 (5.79 million) and is 15.4 percent higher than a year ago (4.86 million). The median existing-home price for all housing types in November was $234,900, up 6.8 percent from November 2015. November’s price increase marks the 57th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Existing-home sales in the West declined 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.25 million in November, but are still up 19.0 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the West was $345,400, up 8.5 percent from November 2015.
Full Story… https://www.nar.realtor/news-releases/2016/12/existing-home-sales-forge-ahead-in-november

* Third Quarter Produces Highest Quality Loans Since 2001. CoreLogic released a report this week featuring it’s Housing Credit Index (HCI) that measures variations in home mortgage credit risk attributes over time – including borrower credit score, debt-to-income ratio (DTI) and loan-to-value ratio (LTV). A rising HCI indicates that new single-family loans have more credit risk than during the prior period, and a declining HCI means that new originations have less credit risk. The current HCI shows mortgage loans originated in Q3 2016 continued to exhibit low credit risk versus the previous quarter and Q3 2015. In terms of credit risk, Q3 2016 loans are among the highest-quality home loans originated since the year 2001. HCI highlights as of Q3 2016: (1) the average credit score for homebuyers increased 5 points year-over-year between Q3 2015 and Q3 2016, rising from 734 to 739, (2) the average debt-to-income for homebuyers fell slightly between Q3 2015 and Q3 2016, falling from 35.7 percent to 35.4 percent, (3) the loan-to-value for homebuyers decreased about 1 percentage point between Q3 2015 and Q3 2016, declining from 86.8 percent to 85.6 percent.
Full Story…  http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-introduces-housing-credit-index-to-track-mortgage-credit-risk-trends.aspx

* Foreclosure Inventory Below 500,000 For 1st Time in Nearly 10 Years. There was a slight uptick in a couple of housing distress measures in November, but the general trend continues down. Foreclosures, foreclosure starts and delinquency rates all ticked up from October levels. The 60,400 starts represented an increase of 6.9 percent from the previous month, but were 9.31 percent below starts in November 2015 and still near a 10-year low. A decline of 6,000 homes in the process of foreclosure compared to October brought the foreclosure inventory below the half million mark for the first time in nearly 10 years. The inventory now numbers 498,000 units, 0.98 percent of all homes with a mortgage.
Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/12232016_black_knight_first_look.asp

Have a productive week.
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: December 19, 2016

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As expected, the Federal Reserve announced This Week in Real Estate that it was raising the target federal funds rate by a quarter of a percentage point to between 0.5% and 0.75%, marking the first time the Fed has raised rates since December 2015 and only the second time in a decade. It is important to remember that Federal Reserve decisions can influence mortgage rates, but they aren’t set or established by the Federal Reserve. Rather, mortgage rates are determined by the price of mortgage backed securities, a security sold via Wall Street. So, a Fed move by itself does not lead to an increase in consumer mortgage rates. On the contrary, mortgage rates dropped more than 50 basis points (.50%) after the Fed’s late-2015 move. Below are a few highlights from the second week of December that influence our business:

* What The Fed Rate Hike Means For Your Wallet. The long awaited Fed rate hike came Wednesday, as predicted by many. The Fed’s decision indirectly influences many interest rates because it controls the federal funds rate – the interest rate that major banks and credit unions charge each other when lending money. The impact of a federal funds rate increase on mortgage interest rates remains unclear. Potentially, the initial Fed interest rate hike could raise rates on the long-term bonds used to set mortgage rates. Yet, the 10-year Treasury bonds are also influenced by inflation expectations and the worldwide economic outlook. In the short term, adjustable-rate mortgage and home equity lines of credit would be more sensitive to a federal interest rate hike. So, although it’s impossible to say exactly how a rate hike will impact mortgage rates, it might be best to eliminate uncertainty. If you’re seeking a new home mortgage or considering refinancing an existing mortgage in the near future, you might want to lock in a loan sooner rather than later.
Full Story… https://www.yahoo.com/news/fed-rate-hike-means-wallet-133229405.html

* Growth in Homeowner’s Equity Continues. According to the Federal Reserve Board’s third quarter of 2016 release of its Financial Accounts of the United States report, household holdings of real estate totaled $22.725 trillion in the third quarter of 2016, $1.520 trillion higher than its level in the third quarter of 2015, $21.204 trillion. At the same time, home mortgage debt outstanding, $9.708 trillion in the third quarter of 2016, rose by $185 billion over the same four-quarter period. Since the total value of household-held real estate rose faster than the aggregate amount of mortgage debt outstanding, then home equity held by households grew. Over the year, total home equity held by households grew by $1.336 trillion, 11.4 percent, to $13.018 trillion. Household’s home equity is now 57.3 percent of household real estate.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/12/growth-in-homeowners-equity-continues/

* Home Builder Confidence Ends The Year at Highest Point Since 2005. Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped seven points to a level of 70 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the highest reading since July 2005. All three HMI components posted healthy gains in December. The component gauging current sales conditions increased seven points to 76 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months jumped nine points to 78. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic rose six points to 53, marking the first time this gauge has topped 50 since October 2005. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose six points to 51, the Midwest posted a three-point gain to 61, the South rose one point to 67 and the West registered a two-point gain to 79.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/12/builder-confidence-closes-year-on-a-high-note/

Have a productive week.
Jason


This Week in Real Estate with Jason Waugh: December 12, 2016

image001CoreLogic reported This Week in Real Estate that home equity grew by more than $700 billion dollars when comparing Q3 2016 to the same time period in 2015 and nearly 94% of all properties with a mortgage have positive equity. Below are a few highlights from the first week of December that influence our business:

* Home Equity Increased $726 Billion in the Third Quarter Compared With a Year Ago. U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all homeowners) saw their equity increase by a total of $227 billion in Q3 2016 compared with the previous quarter, an increase of 3.1%. Additionally, 384,000 borrowers moved out of negative equity, increasing the percentage of homes with positive equity to 93.7 percent of all mortgaged properties, or approximately 47.9 million homes. Year-over-year, home equity grew by $726 billion, representing an increase of 10.8 percent in Q3 2016 compared to Q3 2015. In Q3 2016, the total number of mortgage residential properties with negative equity stood at 3.2 million, or 6.2% of all homes with a mortgage. This is a decrease of 10.7 percent quarter over quarter from 3.6 million homes or 7.1% or mortgage properties, in Q2 2016 and a decrease of 24.1% year-over-year from 4.2 million homes, or 8.4% of mortgaged properties, in Q3 2015. “Home equity rose by $12,500 for the average homeowner over the last four quarters,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. “There was wide geographic variation with homeowners in California, Oregon and Washington gaining an average of at least $25,000 in home equity wealth.”
Full Story… http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-reports-home-equity-increased-726-billion-dollars-in-the-third-quarter-2016.aspx

* Suburbs Outstrip Cities in Population Growth, Study Finds. Big cities may be getting all the attention, but the suburbs are holding their own in the battle for population and young earners. That is the thrust of a study of population trends and housing set to be released Monday by the Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center for Housing. Property developers and urban-policy experts have trumpeted the influx of young, affluent professionals into big central cities in recent years. The shift has transformed downtown areas, sparking a historic boom in luxury-apartment construction and retail development. But research shows that suburbs are continuing to outstrip downtowns in overall population growth, diversity and even younger residents. The suburban areas surrounding the 50 largest metropolitan areas make up 79% of the population of those areas but accounted for 91% of population growth over the past 15 years, according to the study. What’s more, three-quarters of people age 25 – 34  in these metro areas live in suburbs.
Full Story…  http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/suburbs-outstrip-cities-in-population-growth-study-finds/

* Home Renovation Projects With The Best ROI. The top five projects to prioritize when it comes to the best return on investments are: replacing the entry door, installing a new fireplace, remodeling the kitchen, converting the attic into a bedroom, and replacing the exterior siding. When it comes to house sales and particular rooms, the kitchen is often the room that will make or break a sale. Kitchen projects that are budgeted between 6 – 10 percent of the total home value will see the highest ROI. Putting your finances into kitchen upgrades is a worthwhile endeavor when it comes to optimizing your home for selling purposes.
Full Story… http://blog.rismedia.com/2016/home-renovation-projects-best-roi/

Have a productive week.
Jason


This Week in Real Estate with Jason Waugh: Dec. 5, 2016

image001Home price appreciation has been a consistent story in real estate the past 3 years, so it was simply a matter of time before the data supported findings similar to the ones reported This Week in Real Estate. Case-Shiller released their National Home Price Index on Tuesday concluding the Index reached an all-time high at the end of the third quarter. Below are a few highlights from the final week of November that influence our business:

* Case-Shiller National Index at New All-Time High. Home prices finally surpassed all-time highs set in July 2006 as the housing boom topped out. According to the latest data released Tuesday by the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 5.5% annual gain in September, up from 5.1% last month. Seattle, Portland and Denver were again the cities in the 20-City Composite with the highest rate of annual appreciation. Seattle led the way with an 11% year-over-year price increase, followed by Portland with 10.9%, and Denver with an 8.7% increase.
Full Story… https://www.spice-indices.com/idpfiles/spice-assets/resources/public/documents/443948_cshomeprice-release-1129.pdf?force_download=true

* Consumer Confidence Now Back to Pre-Recession Levels. With the ongoing job and economic growth, in November consumer confidence improved. Consumers were optimistic about the current situation and the near term outlook. The Conference Board reported that the Consumer Confidence Index jumped to 107.1 in November, from an upwardly revised 100.8 in October. Both the present situation index and the expectations index rebounded. The present situation index increased to 130.3, from 123.1 and the expectations index hit 91.7, up from 86. This brings the index back to pre-recession levels. The index stood at 111.9 in July 2007. “A more favorable assessment of current conditions coupled with a more optimistic short-term outlook helped boost confidence,” said Lynn Franco, The Conference Board director of economic indicators.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38634-consumer-confidence-now-back-to-pre-recession-levels?eid=322520585&bid=1601529

* Pending Home Sales Maintain Pace. The Pending Home Sales Index increased a slight 0.1% in October, but was 1.8% higher than last October. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased 110.0 in October from a downwardly revised 109.9 in September. The PHSI increased 1.6% in the Midwest, 0.7% in the West, and 0.4% in the Northeast, but fell 1.3% in the South. Year-over-year, the PHSI increased in all regions, ranging from 3.9% in the Northeast to 0.8% in the South. Commenting on the continued tight supply of homes for sale, NAR reported that 40% of October sales were at or above list price, compared to 33% last October.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/11/pending-sales-maintain-pace/

Have a productive week.
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: Nov. 28, 2016

image001Strong October existing home sales reported This Week in Real Estate result in the highest annualized pace of sales since February 2007 and the federal government acknowledges the continued price appreciation by increasing the conforming loan limit in 2017. Below are a few highlights from the fourth week of November that influence our business:

* Existing Sales Revival. Existing home sales, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased 2.0% in October to become the highest annualized pace since February 2007. October 2016 sales were up 5.9% from the same month a year ago. Total existing home sales in October increased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.60 million units combined for single-family homes, townhomes, condominium and co-ops, up from an adjusted 5.49 million units in September. October existing sales increased in all four regions, ranging from 2.8% in the South to 0.8% in the West. Year-over-year, October sales also increased in all regions, ranging from 10.4% in the West to 1.4% in the Northeast. Total housing inventory decreased slightly by 0.5% in October, and remains 4.3% lower than its level a year ago. At the current sales rate, the October unsold inventory represents a 4.3-month supply, compared to a 4.4-month supply in September. The first-time home buyer share was 33% in October, down a point from the solid September report, but above the first-time buyer share of 31% in October 2015. The October median sales price of $232,200 was 6.0% above the same month a year ago, and represents the 56th consecutive month of year-over-year increases.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/11/existing-sales-revival/

* Conforming Mortgage Limits Rise for 2017. For the first time since 2006 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced Wednesday that the limit for conforming mortgages for single-family homes will increase from $417,000 to $424,100 in most regions of the United States starting January 1, 2017. The FHFA bases the loan cap on its quarterly Housing Price Index, which gauges average single-family home prices. The index rose 1.5 percent during the third quarter of 2016 and is up 6.1 percent over the past year, enough to push it above its previous high point. Conforming loan limits are significant because they apply to home loans that meet the underwriting guidelines of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored entities that acquire mortgages from lenders and ensure a steady flow of money to the mortgage market. “Today’s conforming loan limit increase is a much-needed recognition of rising home prices in high-cost markets, and a help to first-time and lower-income borrowers looking to utilize an FHA mortgage,” said NAR President William Brown.
Full Story…  http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/11/23/conforming-mortgage-limits-rise-for-2017

* Homeowners Becoming Homebodies. CoreLogic says it is now able to closely track household mobility through various data sets including property taxes and sales transactions. CoreLogic senior economist Kristine Yao says the median time between the recorded purchase and the subsequent sale of homes nationally was 4.4 years in 1985, but had increased to 6.6 years by 2015. Yao says this trend is similar to that noted in the Census Bureau’s latest Current Population Survey; only 5.1 percent of owner-occupied households moved between 2014 and 2015 compared to 9.2 percent between 1987 and 1988. When people did move last year, Yao says, 61 percent stayed within the same metropolitan area while only 24.6 percent moved to a different state, a 15 year-low. Those who moved within their own metro area tended to trade up, buying a home that was a median of $61,000 more costly than the old one. However, those who moved to another state tended to buy laterally – paying about the same for the new home as they had gotten for the old one.
Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/11212016_homeowner_mobility.asp

Have a productive week.
Jason


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