This Week in Real Estate: Nov. 21, 2016

image001Favorable news reported This Week in Real Estate from the construction sector, both in terms of builder confidence and October housing starts, which climbed to the strongest pace since 2007. Below are a few highlights from the third week of November that influence our business:

* Builder Confidence Holds Firm in November. Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes held steady in November at a level of 63 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builder sentiment has held well above 60 for the past three months, indicating that single-family housing sector continues to show slow, gradual growth. Ongoing job creation, rising incomes and attractive mortgage rates are supporting demand in the single-family housing sector. These factors will help keep housing on a steady, upward path in the months ahead. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast, Midwest and West each posted respective two-point gains to 45, 58 and 77. The South remained unchanged at 68.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/11/builder-confidence-holds-firm-in-november/

* Housing Starts See Greatest Leap in Nearly a Decade. A big jump up in single family starts combined with an anticipated rebound in multifamily to push the annual pace of total housing starts above 1.3 million in October. The Census Bureau and HUD reported that the seasonally adjusted annual rate of single family housing starts was 869,000 in October, up 10.7% from the September pace of 785,000. Starts in structures with 5 or more units rebounded from 255,000 to 445,000, a pace more consistent with recent months. Overall, total housing starts quickened from a pace of 1.054 million in September to 1.323 million in October, a 25.5% annualized gain. The surge in October was well ahead of the average pace of 768,000 so far in 2016. The number of building permits also increased in October 0.3% to 1.229 million. This is up from September’s 1.225 million, and up 4.6% from last year’s 1.18 million. We expect single family starts to remain strong, if not at the October pace, through the end of the year and continue to strengthen in 2017.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/11/october-housing-starts-pop-goes-single-family/

* Equity Rich U.S. Homeowners Increase by 2.6 Million in Q3 2016. ATTOM Data Solutions released Thursday its Q3 2016 U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report, which shows that 13,125,367 U.S. homeowners were equity rich (loan-to-value ratio of 50 percent or lower) as of the end of Q3 2016, representing 23.4 percent of all U.S. homeowners with a mortgage and an increase of more than 2.6 million from a year ago. The report also shows that 6,063,326 U.S. homeowners were seriously underwater (LTV of 125 or higher) as of the end of Q3 2016, representing 10.8 percent of all U.S. homeowners with a mortgage, and a decrease of more than 854,000 homeowners from a year ago. Since the peak in seriously underwater homeowners at 12.8 million representing 28.6 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage in Q2 2012, the number of seriously underwater homeowners has decreased by more than 6.7 million. “Close to one in every five U.S. homeowners with a mortgage is now equity rich thanks to a combination of rising home prices and lengthening homeownership tenures,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. Median home prices increased on a year-over-year basis for the 18th consecutive quarter in Q3 2016. Among 88 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 500,000 or more, Portland ranks 6th and Seattle ranks 9th, with the highest share of equity rich homeowners at 33.1% and 31.5% respectively.
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/mortgage-and-finance/q3-2016-u-s-home-equity-and-underwater-report/

Have a productive week.
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: November 14, 2016

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The 2017 housing market forecast and affordability were topics that received the most attention This Week in Real Estate coming off the heels of the National Association of Realtors Conference and Expo. Below are a few highlights from the second week of November that influence our business:


* What’s In Store For Housing In 2017? For the majority of this year, the housing market could not get past low inventory levels, which were continuously cited as the main road block to a fully healthy housing market. Next year should be better, according to the newly released forecast from the National Association of Realtors, but its going to take time. “It’s evident that demand and sales slightly weakened over the summer as stubbornly low supply buyers’ choices, accelerated price growth and hindered some consumers’ belief that now is a good time to buy a home,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. Looking to next year, Yun stated that he thinks the tight supply and affordability issues affecting buyers in many markets will very slowly but surely start to abate. Yup predicts that housing starts will jump 5.3% next year to 1.22 million. However, this is still under the 1.5 million new homes needed to make up for the shortfall in recent years and keep up with the growing demand. The report added that new single-family home sales are likely to total 570,000 this year and rise to around 620,000 in 2017. According to Yun’s forecasts for next year, existing-home sales are projected to grow roughly 2% to around 5.46 million, and then experience a more prominent jump of 4% in 2018 (5.68 million). The national median existing-home price is expected to rise around 4% both this year and in 2017, and by the end of 2017, Yun said he expects rates to be around 4.5%. As for the rest of 2016, Yun added that he expects existing-home sales to finish at a pace of about 5.36 million – the best year since 2006 (6.47 million).
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38456-whats-in-store-for-housing-in-2017?eid=322520585&bid=1581068


* Housing Affordability Edges Lower In Third Quarter. Ongoing home price appreciation offset a small decline in mortgage interest rates to move housing affordability slightly lower in the third quarter of 2016, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). In all, 61.4 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of July and end of September were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $65,700. The national median home price increased from $240,000 in the second quarter to $247,000 in the third quarter. Meanwhile, average mortgage rates edged lower from 3.88 percent to 3.76 percent in the same period.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/11/housing-affordability-edges-lower-in-third-quarter/

* Balancing Act of Low Rates, Rising Home Prices is Keeping Affordability Stable For Now.
“The latest Black Knight Home Price Index (HPI) report showed that, as of the end of August, U.S. home prices were within just 0.7 percent of hitting a new peak,” said Black Knight Executive Vice President Ben Graboske. “This is important for a number of reasons, not least of which is the impact it could have on home affordability. Right now, however, affordability remains steady as low interest rates continue to offset rising home prices. In fact, even though the value of the average home in the U.S. increased by about $13,500 over the last year, thanks to declining interest rates it actually costs almost exactly the same in principal and interest each month to purchase as it did this time last year.” The most recent HPI data is also important when it comes to the growing discussion surrounding conforming loan limits. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 restricted any additional increases in the conforming loan limit until national home values returned to pre-crisis levels. Now that we’ve reached that point by multiple measures, the GSEs can consider raising the national conforming limit above the static $417,000 where it has stayed for the last 10 years. Black Knight also found that while Oregon, Washington and Colorado continue to see the highest levels of HPA, of the three, Colorado’s rate of appreciation is down one percent from last year. Both Washington and Oregon continue to accelerate, with annual rates of HPA over 1.5% higher than one year ago.
Full Story… http://www.bkfs.com/CorporateInformation/NewsRoom/Pages/20161107.aspx

Have a productive week.
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: Nov. 7, 2016

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Good Morning!

Multiple third quarter analyses were released This Week in Real Estate by groups like CoreLogic and NAR, highlighted by the continued growth of home equity and home price appreciation. Below are a few highlights from the first week of November that influence our business:

* Home Equity Wealth Doubled in Last 5 Years. Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year-over-year by 6.3 percent in September compared with September 2015 and increased month-over-month by 1.1 percent in September 2016 compared with August 2016, according to the CoreLogic HPI. “Home equity wealth has doubled during the last five years to $13 trillion, largely because of the recovery in home prices,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said. “Nationwide during the past year, the average gain in housing wealth was about $11,000 per homeowner, but with wide geographic variation.” Going into next year, CoreLogic predicts that home prices will only continue to rise, with the company estimating an increase of 5.2% from September 2016 to September 2017. Monthly, home prices are expected to increase 0.3%.
Full Story…  http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-us-home-price-report-shows-prices-up-6.3-percent-in-september-2016.aspx

* Housing Supply Crunch Accelerates Metro Home Price Growth During Third Quarter. Persistent supply shortages throughout the country led to slightly faster home price appreciation during the third quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. The report also revealed that seven of the ten most expensive housing markets in the U.S. are in the West, including San Jose, California, which had a median single-family home price of $1 million for the second straight quarter. The national median existing single-family home price in the third quarter was $240,900, which is up 5.2% from the third quarter of 2015 ($228,900) and surpasses this year’s second quarter ($240,700) as the current peak quarterly median sales price. Total existing-home sales, including single-family and condos, slid 2.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million in the third quarter from 5.50 million in the second quarter of this year, and are 0.4% lower than the 5.40 million pace during the third quarter of 2015. At the end of the third quarter, there were 2.04 million existing homes available for sale, which was 6.8% below the 2.19 million homes for sale at the end of the third quarter in 2015.
Full Story…  http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/11/housing-supply-crunch-accelerates-metro-home-price-growth-during-third-quarter

* 2.5 Million Consumers Hit By Financial Crisis Ready to Reenter Housing. The time frame for borrowers who were significantly hit after the financial crisis to improve their credit score is about to happen, opening the door for a lot of consumers to reenter the housing market. According to Experian’s latest analysis, foreclosures, short sales and bankruptcies remain on a credit report for seven years, which means these items are due to fall off credit files of 2.5 million consumers between June 2016 and June 2017. And even better for the housing market, the analysis shows that 68% of these consumers are scoring in the near-prime or higher credit segments, meaning the opportunity for this group to qualify for mortgage loans is growing. “In the coming years, boomerang borrowers will be a critical segment of the real-estate market,” said Michele Raneri, vice president of analytics and new business development at Experian. “While many of these borrowers have gone through a very difficult time, it is encouraging to see them taking control of their finances with better credit scores and all-around better credit management.”
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38405-5-million-consumers-hit-by-financial-crisis-ready-to-reenter-housing?eid=322520585&bid=1572876

Have a productive week.
Jason


This Week in Real Estate: Oct. 31, 2016

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Home prices are now just 0.1% below the all-time highs set in 2006 according to Case-Shiller data released This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few highlights from the final week of October that influence our business:

* Pending Home Sales Edge Up in September. Boosted by increases in the West and South, the Pending Home Sales Index increased 1.5% in September, and climbed 2.4% higher than the same month last year. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased to 110.0 in September from a downwardly revised 108.4 in August. The PHSI increased 4.7% in the West and 1.9% in the South, but decreased 0.2% in the Midwest and 1.6% in the Northeast. Year-over-year, the PHSI was up 7.7% in the Northeast, 4.0% in the West and 1.7% in the South, while falling 1.0% in the Midwest. The PHSI has increased year-over-year for 22 of the past 25 months, so the September increase suggests that the upward trend in existing sales will continue.
Full Story…  http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/10/pending-home-sales-edge-up-in-september

* Case-Shiller: Rising House Prices Just Below Record Highs. Home prices are continuing to rise; now mere basis points below the all-time highs for prices, set in 2006. 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, reported a 5.3% annual gain in August, up from 5.0% in July. Per the report, the Index is currently at 184.42, which is within 0.1% of its record high of 184.62, set in July 2006. The increase in August represents the 52nd consecutive month of positive gains. The report states the Portland, Seattle and Denver turned in the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities for the seventh consecutive month, with year-over-year increases of 11.7%, 11.4% and 8.8%, respectively.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38364-case-shiller-rising-house-prices-just-below-record-highs?eid=322520585&bid=1568560

* Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Hit 9-Year Low. According to new data released Tuesday morning by Black Knight, the rate of loans in active foreclosure is lower right now than at any point in the last nine years. Black Knight’s “First Look” at the September mortgage data shows that only 1% of the total number of mortgages in the U.S. are currently in active foreclosure, which is 3.38% lower than the previous month, 31.23% lower than the same time period last year, and represents a nine-year low. Black Knight’s report also showed that there were 61,700 foreclosure starts in the month of September, which represents a 10.32% decrease from the previous month and a 22.78% decrease from the same time period in the previous year. Overall, the total loan delinquency rate, which represents loans that are 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure, is at 4.27% of all loans. That represents a slight increase of 0.74% from the previous month, but a 12.24% decrease from 2015’s total. Black Knight’s report also showed that September saw the third highest prepayment rate in three years.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38361-loans-in-foreclosure-fall-to-9-year-low?eid=322520585&bid=1567351

Have a productive week,

Jason

 


This Week in Real Estate: October 24, 2016

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The return of the first-time homebuyer was welcomed news This Week in Real Estate, as they accounted for 34% of September sales, the highest portion in more than four years. Below are a few highlights from the third week of October that influence our business:

* Five Notable Nuggets From NAR’s Home Buyer and Sellers Survey’s 35-Year History. When the first Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was introduced 35 years ago by the National Association of Realtors, mortgage rates were over four times higher than they are today and first-time buyers made up a much larger share of overall sales (44%). Over time, homebuyer tastes and behaviors have changed, yet many have stayed the same. To mark the 35th year of NAR’s highly-anticipated survey capturing the pulse of buyers and sellers, here are five notable trends from the past three-and-a-half decades: (1) participation from first-time buyers is depressed, (2) the internet is not replacing a real estate agent, (3) buyers have bought slightly bigger, but the pace is currently at a standstill, (4) down payments have trended down over time, but not in recent years and (5) the home search is taking longer; tight inventory has slowed the pace in past two years.
Full Story… http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/10/five-notable-nuggets-from-nar-s-home-buyer-and-sellers-survey-s-35-year-history

* Single Family Rental Returns Drop to Nine-Year Low in 2016 as Institutional Investor Purchases Rise in 68% of Local Markets. ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q3 2016 Single Family Rental Market Report on Thursday, which found that average single family rental returns dropped to a nine-year low for homes purchased so far in 2016 among 473 U.S. counties analyzed for the report. The average annual gross rental yield among the 473 counties was 8.7 percent for properties purchased in the first seven months of 2016, down from an average of 8.8 percent for the same time period in 2015 to the lowest level since 2007, when the average gross rental yield across the 473 counties was 7.3 percent. Nationwide, 2.7 percent of all single family homes that sold in the first seven months of 2016 were purchased by institutional investors (entities purchasing at least 10 properties in a calendar year).
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/q3-2016-single-family-rental-market-report/

* Sales Surge Thanks to First-Time Buyers at 4-Year High. There is a lot of upbeat news in the September existing home sales report released by NAR on Thursday. Sales rebounded sharply and the improvement was seen in all four regions. More good news, NAR attributed part of that to increased participation from first-time homebuyers, a group that has worried the housing industry by its relative absence. Total existing home sales during the month, including single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, rose 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million. First-time buyers accounted for 34 percent of sales, the highest portion in more than four years. Existing-home sales in the West jumped 5.0 percent to an annual rate of 1.25 million, up 1.6 percent year-over-year. The median price in the West was $345,400, an 8.1 percent annual gain.
Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/10202016_existing_homes.asp

Have a productive week.

Jason

This Week in Real Estate: Oct. 17, 2016

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Reports released This Week in Real Estate by ATTOM Data Solutions and CoreLogic about the pre-recession levels of foreclosure activity and inventory the country is experiencing dominate headlines. Below are a few highlights from the second week of October that influence our business:

* September Foreclosure Activity Decreases 24% From a Year Ago to Lowest Level Since December 2005. ATTOM Data Solutions released its September and Q3 2016 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report on Thursday, which shows a total of 82,972 properties with foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions – in September, down 13 percent from the previous month and down 24 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since December 2005. There were a total of 293,190 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in Q3 2016, up 4 percent from the previous quarter but down 10 percent from a year ago. It was the fourth consecutive quarter where foreclosure activity has decreased on a year-over-year basis. “While we’ve known that the national foreclosure problem has been dying a long, slow death for quite some time, the final nail in the coffin of the foreclosure crisis is the year-over-year decrease in the average foreclosure timeline nationwide that we saw in Q3 2016 – the first time that’s happened since we began tracking foreclosure timelines in Q1 2007,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.
Full Story…  http://www.realtytrac.com/news/foreclosure-trends/september-and-q3-2016-foreclosure-market-report/

* CoreLogic: Foreclosure Inventory Drops to Less Than 1% Nationally. CoreLogic released its August 2016 National Foreclosure Report on Tuesday which shows the foreclosure inventory declined by 29.6 percent and completed foreclosures declined by 42.2 percent compared with August 2015. The number of completed foreclosures nationwide decreased year over year from 64,000 in August 2015 to 37,000 in August 2016, representing a decrease of 69 percent from the peak of 118,221 in September 2010. As of August 2016, the national foreclosure inventory included approximately 351,000 or 0.9 percent, of all homes with a mortgage compared with 499,000 homes, or 1.3 percent, in August 2015. The August 2016 foreclosure inventory rate is the lowest it’s been since July 2007. The number of mortgages in serious delinquency (defined as 90 days or more past due including loans in foreclosure or REO) declined by 20.6 percent from August 2015 to August 2016, with 1.1 million mortgages, or 2.8 percent, the lowest level since September 2007.
Full Story…  http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-reports-37,000-completed-foreclosures-in-august-2016.aspx

* Home Appraisals Continue to Fall Below Owner Perceptions Nationally. According to Quicken Loans’ national Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) appraisals across the country were an average of 1.56 percent lower than what refinancing homeowners expected in August. The trend of owners overestimating their home’s value when refinancing continued in August, with appraisals falling 1.56 percent lower than owners’ expectations in the national HPPI. However, the gap between valuation opinions of appraisers and owners edged closer to equilibrium since last month when appraisals were 1.69 percent lower than expected. Despite the nationwide trend, appraised values were higher than owners’ estimates in nearly half of the metro areas examined by the study. The report varied nationally with some areas showing nearly identical estimates and values; while many western cities reported higher appraisals, like Denver where home values were as much as 3 percent higher than expected.
Full Story…  http://www.quickenloans.com/press-room/2016/09/13/home-appraisals-fall-owner-perceptions-nationally-home-value-growth-leaps-forward/

Have a productive week!

Jason

This Week in Real Estate: Oct. 10, 2016

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The summer housing market saw high demand next to rising home prices, but don’t expect Fall to bring any relief according to new data This Week in Real Estate from Realtor.com. In fact, analysts believe it could bring the hottest Fall in a decade. Below are a few highlights from the first week of October that influence our business:

* NAR Forecasts Heated Housing Market in 2017. Predictions from the National Association of Realtors, the Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac show that home sales are going to heat up in 2017, according to a blog by NAR. NAR predicted existing home sales will reach 6 million in 2017, an increase from this year’s forecast of 5.8 million, according to the blog. MBA predicted home sales will reach 5.75 million and Fannie and Freddie Forecast home sales will come in at 6.2 million.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38205-nar-forecasts-heated-housing-market-in-2017?eid=322520585&bid=1549805

* FBR: Mortgage Lending Set For Best Quarter Since 2007. Less than one month ago, the analysts of FBR & Co. predicted that 2016 could prove to be the best year for mortgage lending since 2013, but a new report from those same analysts suggests that 2016 could be even stronger than they predicted. Driving FBR’s increased projection is a strong 3rd quarter, which could prove to be the best for mortgage lending since the 4th quarter of 2007. In the new report, FBR analysts state that they currently estimate that mortgage originations will top $600 billion in the third quarter, topping their previous estimate of $565 billion. If mortgage originations do indeed exceed $600 billion, that would mean that the 3rd quarter of 2016 is the best quarter for mortgage lending in nearly nine years. And with a stronger than expected 3rd quarter boosting 2016’s originations, FBR’s analysts are now projecting 2016’s total origination volume to top $2 trillion, an increase from the $1.9 trillion they projected last month. The analysts noted that the trailing four-quarter purchase average jumped to $241 billion, the highest level since the 3rd quarter of 2007.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38222-fbr-mortgage-lending-set-for-best-quarter-since-2007?eid=322520585&bid=1549805

* CoreLogic Expects Home Prices to Peak in 2017. “Home prices are now just 6% below the nominal peak reached in April 2006,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft. “With prices forecasted to increase 5% over the next year, prices will be back to their peak level in 2017.” The HPI Forecast shows that home prices will increase by 5.3% annually by August 2017, and increased 0.4% from August to September. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state. “Housing values continue to rise briskly on stronger fundamental and investor-fueled demand, as well as lack of adequate supply,” said CoreLogic President and CEO Anand Nallathambi.
Full Story…  http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-us-home-price-report-shows-prices-up-6.2-percent-year-over-year-in-august-2016.aspx

Have a productive week!

Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: Oct. 3, 2016

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Consumer confidence hits its highest level in nine years This Week in Real Estate while cash sales hit a nine year low. Below are a few highlights from the fourth week of September that influence our business:

* Consumer Confidence Hits Highest Level Since Recession. Consumer confidence hit its highest level in nine years according to the Consumer Confidence Survey conducted by The Conference Board by Nielsen. Consumer confidence increased in September to 104.1, up from 101.8 in August. The Present Situation Index increased from 125.3 to 128.5 and the Expectations Index both increased from 86.1 to 87.8. The value is adjusted monthly based on results of a household survey of consumers’ opinions on current conditions and future economic expectations. “Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions improved primarily the result of a more positive view of the labor market,” said Lynn Franco, The Conference Board Director of Economic Indicators.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38136-consumer-confidence-hits-highest-level-since-recession?eid=322520585&bid=1540391

* New Home Sales: Solid August Follows Hot July. Sales of newly-built, single family homes fell 7.6% on a monthly basis in August to a 609,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate according to estimates from the Census Bureau and HUD. However, the monthly changes makes the fact that the August pace of new home sales was the second strongest since the end of the Great Recession. New home sales for August were almost 21% stronger than August of 2015, and on a year-to-date basis, sales of new single-family homes are 13.3% higher than this time last year. The trend is rising for new home sales, and NAHB expects continued growth in the year ahead given tight new and existing home inventories. The regional numbers reveal strong gains in the West, with sales up 35% from the pace recorded in August 2015. Inventory remains tight and continues to support our forecast of continuing single-family construction gains into 2017. Demand should continue to grow, and industry growth will be limited by supply-side concerns, most notably lack of labor and lots. The third “L” of the supply-side of the market (AD&C Lending), continues to expand, with residential construction loans up more than 16% over last year.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/09/new-home-sales-solid-august-follows-hot-july/

* Cash Sales Hit Nine-Year Low. For the first time since 2007, cash sales for home purchases made up less than 30% of all residential property transactions. According to new data from CoreLogic, cash sales accounted for 29.3% of total home sales in June 2016, which is a 0.9% drop from May and a 2.5% decline from June 2015. Real estate-owned sales had the largest cash sales share at 56.2 percent, followed by resales at 28.9%, short sales at 27.7 percent and newly constructed homes at 15.2%. Prior to the housing crisis, the cash sales share of total home sales averaged approximately 25%; cash sales shares peaked in January 2011 at 46.6%. CoreLogic estimates that if the cash sales share continues to fall at the same rate it did in June, the share should hit 25% by mid-2018. The cash sales share of total sales for June in Washington was 22% and 26% in Oregon.
Full Story…  http://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news/60417/cash-sales-nine-year

* Pending Sales Decline. The Pending Home Sales Index decreased 2.4% in August, declining for the third time in four months, and falling 0.2% below its level for the same month a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased to 108.5 in August from a downwardly revised 111.2 in July. The PHSI decreased 5.3% in the West in August and is down 0.6% year-over-year. NAR attributed the PHSI decline to a lack of inventory. However, builder confidence surged in September along with consumer confidence. Also, August new home sales recorded their second strongest month since the Great Recession. These reports suggest good news for new construction as the housing recovery continues to address demand among first-time buyers and broaden across a wider range of markets during the balance of 2016.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/09/pending-sales-decline/

Have a productive week!

Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: Sept. 26, 2016

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The Federal Reserve Bank chose not to increase the federal funds rate This Week in Real Estate leaving just two more opportunities to do so in 2016. Below are a few highlights from the third week of September that influence our business:

* Fastest Appreciating Housing Markets. U.S. home values increased 5% nationally to $188,100, but in some metros home-price appreciations was much higher, according to the August Zillow Real Estate Market Reports. On the other hand, household income posted its first significant increase, 5.2%, in eight years, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed. “Inventory, while still down nationwide and in most areas, is actually starting to rise in a handful of markets, including the Bay Area, Texas and parts of the Southwest,” Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell said. “But make no mistake, it’s still tough out there for buyers, especially in Western markets like Seattle, Denver and Portland that have strong job growth,” she added. Zillow’s top five metros with the fastest appreciating home values: 5) Tampa, Florida, home prices increased 9.8%, 4) Denver, Colorado, home prices increased 10.7%, 3) Seattle, Washington, home prices increased 11.3%, 2) Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, home prices increased 12% and 1) Portland, Oregon, home prices increased 14.8%.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38099-zillow-ranks-fastest-appreciating-housing-markets?eid=322520585&bid=1536693

* Freddie Mac: Mortgage Interest Rates Will Hit 40-Year Low in 2016. If current trends hold steady, this year could prove to be a banner year for housing, Freddie Mac said in a new report. In Freddie Mac’s new monthly outlook report, the government-sponsored enterprise states that it is currently projecting a “surge” in mortgage originations during the third quarter, further reinforcing its view that 2016 will be the “best year” for home sales since 2006. Additionally, Freddie Mac’s current forecast is for the interest rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to finish the year with an average of 3.6%, making 2016’s mortgage rates the lowest in more than 40 years. “We continue to believe that originations will reach $2 trillion this year, the highest since 2012,” said Freddie Mace Chief Economist Sean Becketti. “The housing market remains a bright spot for the U.S. economy, with solid job gains and low mortgage interest rates sustaining the economy’s momentum in September,” Becketti said.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38079-freddie-mac-mortgage-interest-rates-will-hit-40-year-low-in-2016?eid=322520585&bid=1534205

* The New Normal: Time to Close Settles at 46 Days. After rising, falling, and rising again in the wake of the implementation of the CFPB’s TRID rule, the time to close a mortgage loan appears to finally be settling into a new normal – about a month and a half. Ellie Mae’s report, which is pulled from a “robust” sampling of approximately 75% of all mortgage applications that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass system. Ellie Mae’s report also showed that the percentage of mortgages that were refinances climbed to the highest level since March. Ellie Mae’s report also provided more proof that of the continued historic lows in mortgage interest rates – as the average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage that closed in July was 3.77% – the lowest that figure has been since May 2013.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38101-the-new-normal-time-to-close-settles-at-46-days?eid=322520585&bid=1536693

* Housing Starts Are Poised to Surge. Despite the tailwinds of strong job growth and the vanguard of the millennial generation entering their prime home buying years, developers have been strangely reluctant to break ground on new single-family homes in 2016. This segment has seen so-called housing starts dip to a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 722,000 as of July, down from 765,000 at the end of 2015. Neil Dutta, head of U.S. Economist at Renaissance Macro Research, highlighted that the strength in new home sales relative to home starts suggests that construction activity is due to rise significantly in the year ahead. “The last time the ratio of starts to new home sales was this low, starts ending up surging for the next year,” he wrote. When the ratio of starts to new sales tumbled to a similar level around the beginning of 2015, new activity rose at a robust clip for the next 12 months, culminating with starts in February hitting a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 845,000. In a note to clients, Dutta added that the rise in homebuilder confidence also belies the subdued level of starts. “Something seriously has to give here,” he concluded.
Full Story… http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-20/one-chart-shows-why-u-s-housing-starts-are-poised-to-surge

Have a productive week!

Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: Sept. 19, 2016

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While more and more homes move into a positive equity position as a result of continued strong price appreciation, ATTOM Data Solutions reported This Week in Real Estate that the second quarter realized the highest level of home flipping activity in six years. Below are a few highlights from the second week of September that influence our business:

* Rising Home Prices Wage War Against Negative Equity. CoreLogic released on Thursday a new analysis showing 548,000 U.S. homeowners regained equity in Q2 2016, increasing the percentage of homes with positive equity to 92.9 percent of all mortgaged properties, or approximately 47.2 million homes. Nationwide, home equity grew year over year by $646 billion, representing an increase of 9.9 percent in Q2 2016 compared to Q2 2015. The numbers of homes underwater decreased to 7.1% in the second quarter. This is a decrease of 13.2% from the first quarter’s 8.2%, and a decrease of 19% from last year’s 8.9%. Of the over 50 million homes with a mortgage, about 8.6 million, or 17% have less than 20% in equity. About 965,000, or 1.9% have less than 5% equity. “We see home prices rising another 5% in the coming year based on the latest projected national CoreLogic Home Price Index,” CoreLogic President and CEO Anand Nallathambi said. “Assuming this growth is uniform across the U.S., that should release an additional 700,000 homeowners from negative equity.”
Full Story…  http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-reports-548,000-us-homeowners-regained-equity-in-the-second-quarter-of-2016.aspx

* U.S Home Flipping Increases to a Six-Year High in Q2 2016. ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q2 2016 U.S. Home Flipping Report Tuesday, which shows a total of 51,434 U.S. single family home and condo sales were completed flips in the second quarter of 2016, up 14 percent from the previous quarter and up 3 percent from a year ago to the highest number of home flips since Q2 2010 – a six-year high. A home flip is defined as a property that is sold in an arms-length sale for the second time within a 12-month period based on publicly recorded sales deed data. “Home flipping is becoming more accessible for smaller operators thanks to an increasingly competitive lending environment with more loan options for real estate investors, who are also benefitting from the historically low mortgage interest rates,” said Daren Blomquist, ATTOM Data Solutions senior vice president. “We’re starting to see home flipping hit some milestones not seen since prior to the financial crisis, which is somewhat concerning, but there are a couple of important differences in the home flipping of 2016 compared to 2006 when home flipping peaked during the last housing boom,” Blomquist said. “First, home flippers are realizing a much bigger gross ROI in 2016, averaging 49% in the first two quarters compared to an average gross ROI of just 27% in 2006,” he said. “Second, while an increasing number of home flippers are financing their purchases, more than two-thirds are still using cash to purchase compared to about one-third using cash to purchase back in 2006.”
Full Story…  http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/q2-2016-u-s-home-flipping-report/

* Mortgage Applications Jump 4.2% on Strong Buyer Demand. Homebuyers jumped back into the market after Labor Day, filing applications for mortgages at a far faster pace than in previous weeks. Total mortgage application volume rose 4.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The results were adjusted to account for the Labor Day holiday. Unlike during much of the summer, application volume last week was fueled more by buyers than refinancers. Mortgage applications to purchase a home jumped 9 percent from the previous week. Purchase volume is down nearly 19 percent in the past four weeks, but August is not usually a strong month for homebuying. The jump last week may signal a stronger fall market ahead. “The purchase market remains supported by an improving U.S. labor market. Newly released data from the U.S. Census this week indicate that the median income increased by 5.2 percent last year, the highest rate of increase since 2007. Refinance volume has been strong all summer, up nearly 43% last week from a year ago, with rates sitting near all-time lows.
Full Story…  http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/14/mortgage-applications-jump-on-strong-buyer-demand.html?__source=mnd%7Cnews%7C&par=mnd

* MBA: New Home Sales Surge in August. New home sales surged in August to the highest level observed in the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Builder Applications Survey since it began in 2012. The survey found that seasonally adjusted new home sales for August reached 601,000 sales. “New home purchase applications increased 5% over the month and increased more than 14% compared to August a year ago,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Our sense is that builders have been attempting to catch up with demand in the face of labor shortfalls and other limiting factors in various parts of the country,” she continued. When broken up by product type, conventional loans composed 67.7% of loan applications, FHA loans composed 18.4%, RHS/USDA loans composed 0.7% and VA loans composed 13.2%. Additionally, the average loan size of new homes decreased from $325,843 in July to $325,224 in August. The seasonally adjusted estimate for August is an increase of 11.3% from the July pace of 540,000 units.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38047-mba-new-home-sales-surge-in-august?eid=322520585&bid=1530309

Have a productive week!

Jason
 

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