This Week in Real Estate: Aug. 29, 2016

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.
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* 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%.
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* 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.
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* 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.
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Have a productive week!

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