Better than expected consumer confidence results, lowest quarterly level of distressed properties in 8 years and low interest rates dominate the headlines This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few of the highlights from the mid-way point in April that influence our business:
* First Quarter U.S. Foreclosure Activity Drops to Lowest Quarterly Level in Eight Years. Foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 313,487 U.S. properties in the first quarter of 2015, down 7 percent from the previous quarter and down 8 percent from the first quarter of 2014 to the lowest quarterly total since the first quarter 2007. March did realize a 20 percent month-over-month increase in foreclosure filings from a 104-month low in February. The increase in March was driven primarily by a jump in bank repossessions (REOs). “The March increase is continued cleanup of distress still lingering from the previous housing crisis; not the beginning of a new crisis by any means,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Some of the most stubborn foreclosure cases are finally being flushed out of the next foreclosure pipeline and we would expect to see more noise in the numbers over the next few months as national foreclosure activity makes its way back to more stable patterns by the end of this year.” Full story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/foreclosure-trends/march-q1-2015-foreclosure-market-report/
* Builder Confidence Rises Four Points in April. Homebuilder sentiment reversed a three-month slide in April and rose to its best monthly showing of 2015, the National Association of Home Builders said on Wednesday. Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in April rose four points to a level of 56 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released Wednesday. “The HMI component index measuring future sales expectation rose five points in April to its highest level of the year,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. Derived from a monthly survey the NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” Full story… http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?newsID=17225
* Mortgage Rates Little Changed Remain Near 2015 Lows. Thursday Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey showing average fixed mortgage rates moving largely unchanged amid a light week of economic releases and remaining near their 2015 lows. Full story…
* Mortgage Applications End 3-Week Winning Streak. Applications for purchase mortgages have ended three straight weeks in which their volume increased an average of 6 percent. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said today that those applications dropped by 3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended April 10th. They did however remain 7 percent higher than in the same week in 2014. Full story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/04152015_application_volume.asp
* U.S. consumer sentiment rises in April. U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected in April, a survey released Friday showed. Consumer optimism reached a 10-year peak of 95.5 during the first quarter of 2015, its highest level since 2004. The University of Michigan’s preliminary April reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 95.9, up from the final March read of 93.0. Analysts were looking for a reading of 94.0. Full story… http://www.cnbc.com/id/102596403
Have a productive week!