This Week in Real Estate: May 8, 2017

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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


This Week in Real Estate: March 20, 2017

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Favorable news This Week in Real Estate from the new construction sector as builder confidence hits a 12-year high and single-family housing starts reach its highest level since late 2007. Below are a few highlights from the second full week of March that influence our business:

* Builder Confidence Hits 12-Year High. Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped six points to a level of 71 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the highest reading since June 2005. All three HMI components posted robust gains in March. The component gauging sales conditions increased seven points to 78 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months rose five points to 78. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic jumped eight points to 54. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Midwest increased three points to 68 and the South rose one point to 68. The West dipped three points to 76 and the Northeast edged one point lower to 48.
Full Story… http://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/press-releases/2017/03/builder-confidence-hits-twelve-year-high.aspx

* MBA: Mortgage Applications Rise Three-Weeks Straight. Mortgage applications increased three-weeks straight as the market gears up for the spring home-buying season. The latest update from the Mortgage Bankers Association Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 10 found that applications increased 3.1% from one week earlier. This is similar to the previous week’s 3.3% increase in applications. Both refinance and purchase applications rose, helping boost overall application volume. The Refinance Index increased 4% from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 2% from one week earlier. Mortgage interest rates for most products jumped close to two-year highs. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) now sits at its highest level since April 2014, growing to 4.46% from 4.36%. Also reaching its highest level since April 2014, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) increased to 4.44% from 4.27%.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/39572-mba-mortgage-applications-rise-three-weeks-straight?eid=322520585&bid=1693359

* Single-Family Housing Starts Reach Highest Level Since Late 2007. Nationwide housing starts rose 3 percent in February from an upwardly revised January reading to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.288 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Single-family production increased 6.5 percent to 872,000 units – its highest reading in nearly a decade – while multifamily starts fell 3.7 percent to 416,000 units. “This month’s gain in single-family starts is consistent with rising builder confidence in the housing market,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “We should see single-family production continue to grow throughout the year, tempered somewhat by supply-side constraints such as access to lots and labor.” Regionally in February, combined single-family and multifamily housing production (starts) rose 35.7 in the West. Starts fell by 3.8 percent in the South, 4.6 percent in the Midwest and 9.8 percent in the Northeast. Regionally, overall permits rose 25.4 percent in the Midwest. Permits fell 10 percent in the West, 10.4 percent in the South and 22.3 percent in the Northeast.
Full Story… http://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/press-releases/2017/03/single-family-housing-starts-reach-highest-level-since-late-2007.aspx

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: March 13, 2017

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As the market prepares for the spring selling season, Fannie Mae reported This Week in Real Estate that consumers have never felt better about housing than they do right now. Below are a few highlights from the first week of March that influence our business:

* Fannie Mae: Consumers Have Never Felt Better About Housing Than They Do Right Now. Consumers’ faith in the housing market is stronger than it’s ever been before, according to a newly released survey from Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index shows that consumer confidence in housing hit an all-time high in February, continuing a climb in confidence that began in January. According to the Fannie Mae report, the Home Purchase Sentiment Index increased by 5.6 percentage points in February to 88.3, setting a new all-time high. Overall, five of the six components that make up the HPSI were up, with three hitting record highs. According to the report, the net share of Americans who said that now is a good time to buy rose by 11 percentage points, and the net share of consumers who believe that now is a good time to sell also rose by 7 percentage points.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/39502-consumers-have-never-felt-better-about-housing-than-they-do-right-now?eid=322520585&bid=1685872

* CoreLogic: 1 Million US Borrowers Regained Equity in 2016. CoreLogic released a new analysis on Thursday showing that U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all homeowners) saw their equity increase by a total of $783 billion in 2016, an increase of 11.7 percent. Additionally, just over 1 million borrowers moved out of negative equity during 2016, increasing the percentage of homeowners with positive equity to 93.8 percent of all mortgage properties, or approximately 48 million homes. In Q4 2016, the total number of mortgaged residential properties with negative equity stood at 3.17 million, or 6.2 percent of all homes with a mortgage. That is a decrease of 25 percent year over year from 4.23 million homes, or 8.4 percent of all mortgaged properties in Q4 2015. Negative equity peaked at 26 percent of mortgage residential properties in Q4 2009. “Average home equity rose by $13,700 for U.S. homeowners during 2016,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The states with the largest home-price appreciation last year, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index, were Washington and Oregon at 10.2 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively, with average homeowner equity gains of $31,000 and $27,000, respectively.” This is doubt the pace for the U.S. as a whole. Texas had the highest percentage of homes with positive equity at 98.4 percent followed by Hawaii at 98.1 and five states, including Oregon and Washington at 97.9 percent.
Full Story…  http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-reports-1-million-us-borrowers-regained-equity-in-2016.aspx

* MBA: Average Loan Size For Purchase Applications Hits All-Time High. The average loan size for purchase mortgage applications hit an all-time high last week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The data comes courtesy of the MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 3, 2017, which showed that the average loan size for purchase applications was $313,300. That’s the highest that figure has been during any week since the MBA began conducting its weekly application survey in 1990. The report showed that the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 45.4% of total applications. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity also increased to 7.7% of total applications, which marks the highest level since October 2014.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/39512-mba-average-loan-size-for-purchase-applications-hits-all-time-high?eid=322520585&bid=1686410

Have a productive week!
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: March 6, 2017

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Home price appreciation continues to capture headlines. Case-Shiller reported This Week in Real Estate that the annual December number was the largest increase in 30 months, while consumer confidence reached it’s highest peak in a decade and a half to close out February. Below are a few highlights from the last week of February that influence our business:

* Case-Shiller: Home Price Appreciation Highest in 30 Months. Home prices accelerated their growth again in December. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, rose by 5.8% compared to one year earlier. The year-over-year increase has been larger each month since July and Case-Shiller called the annual December number the largest increase in 30 months. Among the 20 cities the largest annual gains were again registered in Seattle, Portland and Denver. Seattle led the way with a 10.8 percent year-over-year price increase followed by Portland with 10.0 percent and Denver at 8.9 percent. Case-Shilled says that an analysis of prices in Portland and Seattle, which have alternated in first and second place as price increase leaders, show that, over the course of 2016, prices in the highest tier, over $532,716 for Seattle and $411,335 for Portland, to be the most stable while those in the lowest tier, (under $335,111 and $296,361) are the most volatile.
Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/02282017_case_shiller_indices.asp

* Consumer Confidence Hits 15-Year High in February. Consumers are more confident in the economy than they’ve been in the previous 15 years, according to the Consumer Confidence Survey conducted by The Conference Board. The Consumer Confidence Index increased in February to 114.8, up from 111.6 in January. Similarly, the Present Situation Index increased from 130 to 133.4 and the Expectations Index increased from 99.3 to 102.4. In 1985, the index was set to 100, representing the index’s benchmark. This value is adjusted monthly based on results of a household survey of consumers’ opinions on current conditions and future economic expectations. Opinions on current conditions make up 40% of the index, while expectations of future conditions make up 60%. “Consumers rated current business and labor market conditions more favorably this month than in January,” said Lynn Franco, The Conference Board director of economic indicators. “Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue expanding in the months ahead.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/39393-consumer-confidence-hits-15-year-high-in-february?eid=322520585&bid=1679504

* Pace of Residential Construction Spending Continues Positive Trend. Private residential construction got off to an auspicious start in 2017, continuing the growth trend that began in October of last year. NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending grew 0.5% in January 2017 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $476.4 billion. Multifamily construction spending in January grew by 2.2% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $63.5 billion, more than double that of December. The SAAR spending on new multi-family structures was 9.0% higher than one year prior, while single-family construction grew by 2.3%.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/03/pace-of-residential-construction-spending-continues-positive-trend/

 

Have a productive week!
Jason


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