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
 

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
 

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