This Week in Real Estate: Sept. 12, 2016

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Prices continue to surge This Week in Real Estate as homebuilders struggle filling construction jobs to meet consumer demand. Below are a few highlights from the first week of September that influence our business:

* CoreLogic: U.S. Home Price Report Shows Prices up 6 Percent Year Over Year in July. Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year over year by 6 percent in July 2016 compared with July 2015 and increased month over month by 1.1 percent in July 2016 compared with June 2016,” according to the CoreLogic HPI. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 5.4 percent on a year-over-year basis from July 2016 to July 2017. “The strongest home price gains continue to be in the western region,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.” As evidence, the Denver, Portland and Seattle metropolitan areas all recorded double-digit appreciation over the past year.”
Full Story…  http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-us-home-price-report-shows-prices-up-6-percent-year-over-year-in-july-2016.aspx

* Construction Worker Shortage Weighs on Hot U.S. Housing Market. Eight years after the housing bust drove an estimated 30 percent of construction workers into new fields, homebuilders across the country are struggling to find workers at all levels of experience, according to the National Association of Homebuilders. The association estimates that there are approximately 200,000 unfilled construction jobs in the U.S. – a jump of 81 percent in the last two years. The ratio of construction job openings to hiring, as measured by the Department of Labor, is at its highest level since 2007. “The labor shortage is getting worse as demand is getting stronger,” said John Courson, chief executive of the Home Builders Institute, a national nonprofit that trains workers in the construction field. The impact is two-fold. Without enough workers, residential construction is trailing demand for homes. And with labor costs rising, homebuilders are building more expensive homes to maintain their margins. That has left entry-level homes in tight supply, shutting out many would-be buyers at a time when mortgage rates are near historic lows. The average construction cost of building a single family home is 13.7 percent higher now than in 2007 according to a survey by the National Association of Homebuilders.
Full Story…  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-housing-labor-idUSKCN11C0F7

* Home Purchase Sentiment Index Retreats Slightly, but Gradual Upward Trend Continues. Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) was down slightly in August, dipping 1.5 percentage points to 85.0. The index, based on the company’s National Housing Survey (NHS) reached its all-time high in July. Despite the monthly decline the index is still 4.2 percentage points above where it was in August 2015. “Consumers have a fairly optimistic 12-month outlook on housing at the end of the summer home-buying season, supported by increased job confidence and more favorable expectations regarding their personal financial situations compared with this time last year,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The return to a slight upward trend in the HPSI during the spring and summer is, thus far, in line with our forecast, which calls for 4 percent growth in home sales in 2016 to the best level since 2006 and continued improvement for 2017.”
Full Story…  http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/research-and-analysis/housing-survey.html?utm_source=int&utm_medium=marquee&utm_campaign=hpsi0916

* Mortgage Originations Surge to Highest Level in Three Years. The purchase market is booming, fueling the overall mortgage market and helping set the highest first-lien mortgage originations volume in a single quarter since the second quarter of 2013, the latest Black Knight Financial Services Mortgage Monitor Report found, based on data as of the end of July 2016. In the second quarter of 2016, purchase loan originations increased 52% ($102 billion) from the first quarter, reaching the highest level in terms of both volume and dollar amount since 2007. This in turn helped bring in first-lien mortgage originations in the second quarter to $518 billion. “Interestingly, however, with interest rates 15 basis points lower than in Q1, and even lower than in early 2015, refinance activity wasn’t nearly as strong as one might have expected,” said Black Knight Executive Vice President Ben Graboske. “While purchase originations jumped more than 50% from Q1, refinances saw only an 8% increase over that period, and were actually down from the same time last year, despite the number of potential refinance candidates outpacing 2015 by over 1 million in every month since March.”
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37961-black-knight-mortgage-originations-surge-to-highest-level-in-three-years?eid=322520585&bid=1518093

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: Sept. 6, 2016

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The West, in particular the Pacific Northwest, continues to lead the upward trajectory among all U.S. regions This Week in Real Estate with respect to home prices, pending home sales and rent appreciation. Below are a few highlights from the final week of August that influence our business:

* Pending Home Sales Near 10-Year High. Pending home sales expanded in most of the country in July and reached their second highest reading in over a decade, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) rose 1.3 percent to 111.3 in July from a downwardly revised 109.9 in June and is now 1.4 percent higher than July 2015 (109.8). The index is now at its second highest reading this year after April (115.0). Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says a sizable jump in the West lifted pending home sales higher in July. The index in the West last month was the highest in over three years largely because of stronger labor market conditions. The PHSI in the West surged 7.3 percent in July to 108.7, and is now 6.2 percent above a year ago.
Full Story…  http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/08/pending-home-sales-tick-up-in-july

* Case-Shiller: Home Prices Continue Upward Trend. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index reported an annual increase of 5.1% in June. “Home prices continued to rise across the country led by the west and the south,” says David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices Index Committee managing director and chairman. “In the strongest region, the Pacific Northwest, prices are rising at more than 10%.” Portland, Seattle and Denver posted the highest annual gains over each of the last five months.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37901-case-shiller-home-prices-continue-upward-trend?eid=322520585&bid=1513118

* Optimistic Consumers in August: The Consumer Confidence Index for August rose to 101.1, from 96.7 in July. The present situation index rose to 123.0, from 118.8, and the expectations index increased 86.4, from 82.0. Unlike the mixed assessments last month, consumers’ assessments of current business conditions were very clear in August. Assessments shifted to the extreme of “good” from “bad” and “normal.” Consumers became more optimistic about business conditions over the next six months. The share of respondents planning to buy a home rose to 6.4%, from 5.1%.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/09/optimistic-consumers-in-august/

* Rent Growth: In August, for the eighth consecutive month, the U.S. apartment rent average reached an all-time high. The new average, $1,220, topped July’s average by $3, according to the latest edition of Matrix Monthly. A familiar list of metros lead year-over-year rent growth in August: Sacramento, Seattle, California’s Inland Empire, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Portland, Dallas, Phoenix, Nashville/Knoxville and Orlando rounded out the top 10 metros.
Full Story…  http://www.yardi.com/news/press-releases/yardi-matrix-monthly-real-estate-market-report-u-s-rent-growth-strong-in-august/

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: Aug. 29, 2016

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced This Week in Real Estate that Oregon and Washington rank first and second respectively in annual price appreciation when comparing second quarter 2016 to second quarter 2015. Below are a few highlights from the fourth week of August that influence our business:

* Biggest Monthly Gain For New Home Sales in 10 Years. Rather than the month-over-month decline expected, July new home sales soared above 600,000 units for the first time since late 2007. The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported on Tuesday that newly constructed homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 during the month, a 12.4% gain from June’s downwardly adjusted rate of 582,000. This was a 31.3% increase from a year earlier when sales sold at a rate of 498,000. Sales rose in three of the four regions but most notably in the Northeast where they were up 40.0% from June and 25.0% from July 2015. Sales in the Midwest edged 1.2% higher for the month, but were 35.6% higher year-over-year. Sales in the South were up 18.1% and 39.6% respectively for the two periods. The West saw sales unchanged from June but they were still 11.4% above July 2015.
Full Story…  http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/08232016_new_home_sales.asp

* House Prices Inch Higher But Show Signs of Deceleration. U.S. house prices rose 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2016 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). House prices rose 5.6 percent from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for June was up 0.2 percent from May. Home prices rose in every state except Vermont between the second quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2016. “Although the appreciation rate for the second quarter was of similar magnitude to what we’ve been seeing for several years now, a close look at the month-over-month price changes during the quarter reveals a potentially significant market shift,” says FHFA Supervisory Economist Andrew Leventis. The top five states in annual appreciation were: 1. Oregon 11.7%, 2. Washington 10.3%, 3. Colorado 10.2%, 4. Florida 10.0%, and 5. Nevada 9.6%.
Full Story…  http://www.fhfa.gov/AboutUs/Reports/Pages/US-House-Price-Index-Report-2Q-2016-June.aspx

* U.S. Consumer Comfort Jumps to Highest Level Since April 2015. American consumers grew more upbeat last week than at any time since April 2015, signaling robust spending will continue amid favorable views of the buying climate and household finances, the weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed Thursday. The personal finances index rose by 2.5 points, biggest advance since January 2015, to 57.8. The buying climate gauge increased to 42.4, also the strongest reading since April 2015, from 39.8.
Full Story…  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-25/u-s-consumer-comfort-jumps-to-highest-level-since-april-2015

* Serious Delinquency Rate on Single-Family Mortgages Continues to Drop. In its quarterly National Delinquency Survey, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 3.11% of 1 – 4 family mortgages were seriously delinquent in the second quarter of 2016. Measured on a not seasonally adjusted basis, the rate of serious delinquency, which includes both mortgages that are 90 or more days past due and mortgages in foreclosure, was 0.84 percentage point less than the 3.95% recorded in the second quarter of 2015. Since reaching a peak of 9.7% in the fourth quarter of 2009, the serious delinquency rate has experienced a steady decline. The current rate of serious delinquency was last seen in 2007.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/08/serious-delinquency-rate-on-single-family-mortgages-continues-to-drop/

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: Aug. 22, 2016

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As builder confidence continues to rise so does the equity in one’s home. ATTOM Data Solutions (new parent company of RealtyTrac) released This Week in Real Estate that 22.1 percent (12.3 million) of all U.S. properties with a mortgage are equity rich – meaning the owner’s owe less than 50 percent of what the home is worth.  Below are a few highlights from the third week of August that influence our business:

* Builder Confidence Rises in August. Builder confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes in August rose two points to 60 from a downwardly revised reading of 58 in July on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builder confidence remains solid in the aftermath of weak GDP reports that were offset by a positive job growth in July. Historically low mortgage rates, increased household formations and a firming labor market will help keep housing on an upward path during the rest of the year. Two of the three HMI components posted gains in August. The component gauging current sales conditions rose two points to 65, while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months increased one point to 67. The component measuring buyer traffic fell one point to 44. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the South registered a two-point uptick to 63, the Northeast rose two points to 41 while the West was unchanged at 69. The Midwest dropped two points to 55.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/08/builder-confidence-rises-in-august/

* Foreclosure Starts Drop to 11-Year Low in July. Banks started the public foreclosure process on 36,863 U.S. residential properties in July 2016, down 5 percent from the previous month and down 19 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since May 2005 – a more than 11-year low. Banks completed the foreclosure process through repossession (REO) on 27,907 U.S. properties in July, down 8 percent from the previous month and down 41 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since January 2015. One in every 1,540 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month of July.
Full Story…  http://www.realtytrac.com/news/foreclosure-trends/foreclosure-starts-drop-to-11-year-low-in-july/

* Consumer Spending Expected to Bolster Economic Growth Outlook for Second Half of 2016. Economic growth is expected to rebound in the second half of 2016 after a disappointing second quarter, keeping the full-year growth outlook at 1.8 percent, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group’s August 2016 Economic and Housing Outlook. The stellar July jobs report suggests consumers may benefit from near-term improvement in personal incomes and a strengthening hiring trend. This, in turn, will likely support a more sustainable pace of inventory accumulation and help soothe concerns over the health of businesses, which have face lackluster profits and productivity and have pulled back on capital expenditures. “Second quarter growth was a disappointment, but consumer spending appears solid heading into Q3, and we expect inventory investment to balance out after a surprising drawdown in Q2,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. The positive July jobs report may encourage some Federal Open Market Committee members to argue for a Fed rate hike at the September meeting. However, we remain convinced that the Fed will hold the target rate steady this year given global uncertainties.
Full Story…  http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/financial-news/2016/6430.html

* Equity Rich Housing Heat Map Q2 2016. More than 12.3 million U.S. properties were equity rich – meaning their owners owed less than 50 percent of the property’s value on outstanding mortgages – as of the end of Q2 2016, according to the Q2 2016 Home Equity and Underwater Report published by ATTOM Data Solutions. Those 12.3 million properties represent 22.1 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage.
Full Story…  http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/20376/

Have a productive week.

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: Aug. 15, 2016

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Increases are the theme This Week in Real Estate; among them—homebuyer confidence, mortgage credit availability and prices. Below are a few highlights from the second week of August that influence our business:

* Home-Price Gains Continue to Rise. Home prices maintained their robust, upward trajectory in a vast majority of metro areas during the second quarter, causing affordability to slightly decline despite mortgage rates hovering at lows not seen in over three years, according to the latest quarterly report by NAR. The median existing single-family home price increased in 83% of measured markets. There were slightly fewer rising markets in the second quarter compared to the first three months of this year, when price gains were recorded in 87% of metro areas. Twenty-five metro areas in the second quarter experienced double-digit increases – a small decrease from the 28 metro areas in the first quarter. A year ago, 34 metro areas experienced double-digit price gains. The median existing single-family home price in the West increased 6.5 percent to $346,500 in the second quarter from the second quarter of 2015.
Full Story…  http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/08/home-price-gains-unfettered-in-most-metro-areas-during-second-quarter

* Homebuyer Confidence Rises in July. Home purchase sentiment reached an all-time survey high in July, an indication that Americans are feeling more upbeat about the housing market, according to Fannie Mae. Fanne Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased 3.3 points to 86.5 in July. Each of the index’s six components – including selling outlook and personal finances – also rose last month. The share of consumers who said they would buy if they were going to move climbed to 67 percent, while the share of consumers who said they would rent dropped to 26 percent, an all-time survey low. “One interesting potential bright note for housing in the July survey is that younger households may finally be shifting toward buying rather than renting in greater numbers,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.
Full Story…  http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2016/6423.html

* Mortgage Credit Availability Increases in July. Mortgage credit availability increased in July according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The MCAI increased 1.0 percent to 165.3 in July. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012. Of the four component indices, the Jumbo and Government MCAIs saw the greatest increase in availability (both up 1.3 percent) over the month followed by the Conventional MCAI (up 0.7 percent), and the Conforming MCAI (up 0.1 percent).
Full Story…  https://www.mba.org/2016-press-releases/august/mortgage-credit-availability-increases-in-july

* Foreclosure Inventory Finally Back to Housing-Boom Levels. The foreclosure inventory declined by 25.9 percent and completed foreclosures declined by 4.9 percent compared with June 2015, according to CoreLogic’s recently released June 2016 National Foreclosure Report. The number of completed foreclosures nationwide decreased year-over-year from 40,000 in June 2015 to 38,000 in June 2016, representing a decrease of 67.5 percent from the peak of 117,835 in September 2010. The June 2016 foreclosure inventory rate is the lowest for any month since August 2007. “The impact of the inexorable reduction over the past several years in both foreclosure trends and serious delinquencies is driving the long-awaited return to more historic norms for the U.S. housing market,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37739-corelogic-foreclosure-inventory-finally-hits-historic-norm?eid=322520585&bid=1492394

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: August 8, 2016

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Following consecutive months of stronger than expected jobs report, This Week in Real Estate leads to speculation again about whether or not the Feds will increase the interest rate before year end. Below are a few highlights from the first week of August that influence our business:

* U.S. Consumer Spending Exits Second Quarter With Strong Momentum. U.S. consumer spending rose more than expected in June as households bought goods and services, suggesting strength that appeared to be sustained early in the third quarter with auto sales surging to an eight-month high in July. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased 0.4 percent in June after a similar gain in May. The June data showed that consumer spending rose at a 4.2 percent annual rate, the fastest in nearly two years. While the second quarter’s robust pace of consumer spending will probably not be repeated, economists are optimistic that spending will remain solid, underpinned by steadily increasing wages as the labor market tightens, as well as rising house and stock market prices.
Full Story…  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-idUSKCN10D17X?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FbusinessNews+%28Business+News%29

* Jobs Increase in July Beat Expectations. Total non-farm payroll employment increased 255,000 in July, far above what experts predicted. The ADP employment report on August 3 predicted June’s strong job growth would carry over into July, but still only predicted 179,000 jobs. “Another solid month of job creation in July with 255,000 net new jobs,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “From a year ago, the total now stands at 2.4 million new hires.” “In recent prior years, wages had been stuck, but the latest trend is showing an upturn,” Yun said. “In July, wages grew at the fastest rate since 2009, rising 2.6%.” “Given that homebuilders are experiencing labor shortage, a transfer of work into construction could help more home building, something that is critically needed to relieve the ongoing housing shortage,” Yun said. “Strengthening job and wage growth are positives for the demand side of the housing market, but weak residential construction hiring is worrisome from a supply perspective.” “Together, these developments suggest continued strong home price appreciation,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Chief Economist.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37718-jobs-increase-in-july-beat-expectations?eid=322520585&bid=1489909

* Home Values 77 Percent Higher in Zip Codes With Good Schools. ATTOM Data Solutions, the nation’s leading source of comprehensive housing data, released its 2016 Schools and Housing Report on Wednesday, which shows that homes in zip codes with at least one good elementary school have higher values and stronger home price appreciation over the long term than homes in zip codes without any good elementary schools. For the report, ATTOM analyzed 2016 home values and price appreciation along with 2015 average test scores in 18,968 elementary schools nationwide in 4,435 zip codes with a combined 45.9 million single family homes and condos. For purposes of this report, a good school is defined as a school with an overall test score of at least 30% above the state average. Out of 1,661 zip codes with at least one good school, the average estimated home value as of July 2016 was $427,402, 77 percent higher than the average home value of $241,096 in 2,774 zip codes without any good schools. “While good schools are one of the top items on most homebuyer checklists because of the quality-of-life benefit they provide, this report shows that high-performing schools also come with a financial benefit for homeowners in most markets – at least over the long term,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM.
Full Story…  http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/2016-schools-and-housing-report/

* Summer’s Hottest Housing Markets. Summer’s heating up, and so are real estate markets across the nation. The nation’s top five markets shifted dramatically as not one market held the same place it had last month. Ten-X released its Top Single-Family Housing Markets Report for Summer 2016. This report ranks the 50 largest U.S. housing markets according to current and forecasted data. Markets in the top five showed consistently strong demand, home price appreciation and economics and demographic growth. In Florida, where four of the top five markets are located, the state’s top metros have more affordable housing, subdued permit activity, revitalized local economies and a strong population growth trending significantly above the national average. On the other side of the U.S., Seattle, which made the list of top markets, (#5), represents the tech-driven gains of the Pacific Northwest along with Portland, which is now ranked as the ninth hottest market.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37627-here-are-summers-hottest-housing-markets?eid=322520585&bid=1484502

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: Aug. 1, 2016

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Peaks and lows are the themes This Week in Real Estate as cash sales and first-time foreclosure starts are at their lowest levels in many, many years while the median sales price reaches an all-time high. Below are a few highlights from the final week of July that influence our business:

* U.S. Median Home Sale Price Reaches New All-Time High in June. ATTOM Data Solutions released its June and Q2 2016 U.S. Home Sales Report on Wednesday, which shows that single family homes and condos sold for a median price of $231,000 in June 2016, up 6 percent from the previous month and up 9 percent from a year ago to a new all-time high – 1 percent above the previous peak of $228,000 in July of 2005. June was the 52nd consecutive month where U.S. median home prices increased on a year-over-year basis. Since the nation’s home prices bottomed out in 2012, a total of 63 of the 130 markets analyzed (48 percent) have reached new all-time home price peaks.
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/june-and-q2-2016-home-sales-report/

* Cash Sales This Year Lowest Start Since 2008. Cash sales made up 31.6% of total home sales in April, a decrease of 2.8 percentage points annually, according to a recent report from CoreLogic. For the first four months of 2016, cash sales averaged 33.9 percent of the market share, the lowest start of any year since 2008. Before the housing crisis, cash sales made up about 25% of the market. If cash sales continue to fall at their current rate, they could hit pre-crisis levels by mid-2018. Real estate-owned sales (bank owned) had the largest cash sales share at 56.7%, followed by resales at 31.3%, short sales at 28.6% and newly constructed homes at 14.5%. Florida had the largest cash sales share of any state at 45.5%, followed by Alabama at 45.3%, New York at 44.2%, New Jersey 38.2% and Indiana at 38%. Oregon and Washington’s cash sales share of total sales for the same time period was 27% and 23% respectively.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37634-corelogic-cash-sales-this-year-lowest-start-since-2008?eid=322520585&bid=1480710

* First-Time Foreclosure Starts Lowest Since 2000. It’s not news that foreclosures are declining as the housing market and economy recover. But data provider Black Knight Financial Services reported Tuesday that first-time foreclosure starts were the lowest not just since the housing bubble burst, but since 2000. There were 77,657 such starts in the second quarter, Black Knight said. That’s a 16% decline from the first quarter and 25% lower than the same time period a year ago.
Full Story… http://www.marketwatch.com/story/where-have-all-the-foreclosures-gone-2016-07-26

* Consumer Optimism Holds Steady in July. Consumer confidence barely moved in July, holding to June’s high level by historic standards, according to the Consumer Confidence Index released today and conducted for The Conference Board by Neilsen. The consumer confidence index decreased slightly to 97.3, down from 97.4 in June. The Present Situation index increased to 118.3 from 116.6 last month, however the Expectations Index slipped from June’s 84.6 to 83.3. 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. “The marginal decline in the Conference Board measure of consumer confidence in July left the index still at a high level by historical standards, providing further evidence that, after what could turn out to be the biggest quarterly gain in a decade in the second quarter, consumption growth will continue at a decent pace in the third quarter,” Capital Economics Assistant Economist Andrew Hunter said.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37623-consumers-optimism-holds-steady-in-july?eid=322520585&bid=1479278

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: July 25, 2016

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Housing starts and existing home sales lead the way in news for This Week in Real Estate. Despite affordability concerns the consistently low interest rates help first-time buyers grab a 33% share of existing home sales in June, the best performance by first-time buyers in four years. Below are a few highlights from the third week of July that influence our business:

* Housing Starts Bloom in June. Homebuilding rates accelerated in June, surpassing expert forecasts for the month. According to the Commerce Department, housing starts rose 4.8% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.189 million in June. However, while both permits and starts improved on a month-to-month basis, the total permits represented a decline of 15% compared to last June, and the total number of starts represented a decline of 1% compared to last year. Single-family permits in June were at a rate of 738,00; this is 1% above the revised May figure. Single-family housing starts in June were at a rate of 778,000; this is 4.4% above the revised May figure. Single-family completions in June were at a rate of 752,000; this is 3.7% above the revised May rate. “June data points on new construction show little change from what we have already observed during the spring and summer, and continues to indicate that builders are starting what they already permitted earlier this year but are not being bullish about demand for this fall and winter. We are continuing to see that new construction is failing to keep up with household formation, so the low vacancies in rentals and the dearth of homes for sale will continue to provide a solid foundation for rising rents and home prices,” said Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke.
Full Story…  http://rismedia.com/2016/07/19/housing-starts-bloom-in-june/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eNews

* Mortgage Lending on Track For Best Year Since 2013. While a recent report from Fitch Ratings suggested that 2016 could be a rough year for mortgage servicers due to persistently low interest rates, those same interest rates could lead to a banner year for mortgage lenders. The Fitch report suggested that the current low interest rate environment will drive some homeowners to refinance, but another report from Equinox showed that it’s not just refinance applications that are trending up; actual first mortgage originations were up sharply in the first quarter – to a point that 2016 could be the best year for mortgage lending since 2013. According to Equifax’s report, the total dollar amount of first-mortgage originations during the first quarter of the year was $450.5 billion, which represented a year-over-year increase of 12.3%, and the highest amount for a first quarter total since 2013. Additionally, Equifax’s National Consumer Credit Trends Report showed that there were a total of 1.86 million new first mortgages in the first quarter, an increase of 10.3% over the same time period last year.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37539-mortgage-lending-on-track-for-best-year-since-2013?eid=322520585&bid=1467805

* Existing-Home Sales Ascend Again in June, First-Time Buyers Provide Spark. Existing home sales, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased 1.1% in June to the highest level since February 2007, as first-time buyers grabbed a 33% share, the best performance in four years. June existing sales are up 3% from the same month a year ago. June existing sales increased in the Midwest and West by 3.8% and 1.7% respectively. Year-over-year, the Northeast, Midwest and South increased 5.6%, 4.7% and 3.2% respectively, while the West decreased slightly.
Full Story…  http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/07/existing-home-sales-ascend-again-in-june-first-time-buyers-provide-spark

* New Single-Family Housing Starts by Divisions. Using the public-use micro data files provided by Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC), NAHB Economics and Housing Policy group tabulated new single-family housing starts for the nine census divisions. There were more than 100k new single-family units started in 2015 in each of the South Atlantic and West South Central Divisions. The Mountain Division, the largest area among the nine Census divisions, started 85,448 new single-family units in 2015. The shares of new single-family housing starts in these three divisions accounted for 60% of the total new single-family housing starts in 2015. Additionally, there were 76,661 new single-family units started in the Pacific Division and 68,005 units in the East North Central Division. The Pacific Division shared 11% of the total new-single family housing starts in 2015.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/07/new-single-family-housing-starts-by-divisions/

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: July 11, 2016

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Jobs and interest rates are two key indicators of any real estate market and both topped the headlines This Week in Real Estate. The number of jobs created in June massively exceeded analyst expectations and refi’s hit an 18-month high due to ultra-low rates. Below are a few highlights from the first week of July that influences our business:

* This Will Be The Best Summer For The Housing Market in a Decade. Following the strongest spring in 10 years, the residential real estate market should continue to see growth throughout the summer despite some growing economic headwinds. Through May, year-to-date home sales are up 6% over last year, which was the best year since 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors and Commerce Department data. Meanwhile, home prices are again up 5 to 6 percent, according to Case-Shiller and other sources. For at least the next 15 years, the two largest generations in history, millennials and baby boomers, will be making critical decisions about where and how they want to live. The economic background may be softening, but it is still positive. Unemployment continues to decline and is approaching full employment. Consumer confidence is managing to stay relatively strong despite election year jitters about the future. The decline in rates from the beginning of the year until now has more than offset the rise in prices. Eventually the combination of higher prices and higher mortgage rates will lead to softening demand across the U.S. However, that is not imminent and now has very little chance of occurring before late fall or winter. And, interestingly, the two factors holding housing back – limited new construction and tight credit – are preventing the factors that normally lead to oversupply and trigger a downward cycle in real estate.
Full Story… http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/08/this-will-be-the-best-summer-for-the-housing-market-in-a-decade-commentary.html

* U.S. Economy Posts Largest Job Gains in Eight Months in June. U.S. job growth surged in June as manufacturers and other employers boosted hiring. Nonfarm payrolls increased 287,000 jobs last month, the strongest month of hiring since last October, the Labor Department said on Friday. The boost in hiring in June catapulted the S&P 500 right near its record closing high and lifted all major U.S. stock indexes back to where they were before the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union. The S&P 500 rose 1.5% to close at 2129.90. In intraday trade, it rose as high as 2131.71, climbing above its record closing level of 2130.82, hit on May 21, 2015. In the bond markets, the 10-year Treasury yield settled at a record low of 1.366%.
Full Story… http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-payrolls-idUSKCN0ZO1CZ?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FbusinessNews+%28Business+News%29

* The Brexit Impact is Real: Refis Jump to 18-Month High. Brexit’s impact on mortgage applications is in and looks like borrowers cashed in on the ultra-low interest rates. Mortgage applications surged 14.2% from one week earlier, significantly driven by refinance activity, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 1. The Refinance Index soared 21% from the previous week to the highest level since January 2015. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 61.6% of total applications, the highest level since February 2016. “Interest rates continued to drop last week as markets assessed the impact of Brexit, downgrading the likelihood of additional rate hikes by the Fed, and mortgage rates for 30-year conforming loans dropped to their lowest level in over 3 years,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist.
Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37453-the-brexit-impact-is-real-refis-jump-to-18-month-high?eid=322520585&bid=1452343

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

This Week in Real Estate: July 5, 2016

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Very favorable news This Week in Real Estate with respect to consumer confidence, mortgage interest rates and the Pacific Northwest’s continued strong appreciation of home prices. Below are a few highlights from the last week of June that influences our business:

* Case-Shiller: Home Prices Reach New Highs in Key Housing Markets. Home prices continue to increase nationwide, even hitting new highs in several large housing markets in April, according to S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices released this week. Home prices increased 5% in April, down from an increase of 5.1% the month before. The market with the highest annual gain among the 20 cities was Portland, Oregon with an increase of 12.3%. Seattle, Washington came in second with an increase of 10.7%, followed by Denver, Colorado with an increase of 9.5%. “The housing sector continues to turn in a strong price performance with the S&P/Case-Shiller National Index rising at a 5% or greater annual rate for six consecutive months,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The home price increases reflect the low unemployment rate, low mortgage interest rates, and consumers’ generally positive outlook,” Blitzer said.
Full Story…  http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37384-case-shiller-home-prices-reach-new-highs-in-key-housing-markets?eid=322520585&bid=1446406

* Consumer Confidence Rose in June. After two consecutive months of decline, the Consumer Confidence Index, reported by the Conference Board, rose in June. The Consumer Confidence Index rose to 98 in June, from 92.4 in May. Both the present situation index and the expectations index increased. The present situation index rose to 118.3 in June, from 113.2 in May, and the expectations index rose to 84.5, from 78.5 in May. The trends in the shares of respondents planning to buy a new home and the shares of respondents planning to buy a lived-in home within six months are steadily upward since the recession.
Full Story…  http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/06/consumer-confidence-rose-in-june/

* 6-Day Winning Streak Leaves Rates Near All-Time Lows. Mortgage rates fell moderately Friday, adding a 6th day to a winning streak that began with last week’s Brexit news and bringing rates right to the brink of all-time lows. Mortgage rate movement can be measured in large and small chunks. The large chunks would be the changes in the actual interest rates being quoted and the small chunks would be the changes in the points associated with any given rate. “Points” have a historically negative connotation to some, but they’re very objective, simply referring to the upfront costs or credit on a rate quote. The actual “rate” piece of the equation has moved down 0.25% in some cases, bringing some lenders from 3.625% to 3.375%, which is now the most prevalently-quoted conventional 30-year fixed rate on top tier scenarios. Why is 3.375% important? Simply put, the next time rates move a notch lower, they’ll be back to official all-time lows. In fact, 3.375% is the lowest rate that markets were able to maintain for more than a day or two back in 2012.
Full Story…  http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/632348.aspx

Have a productive week!
Jason
 

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