This Week in Real Estate: February 26, 2018

As available inventory continues to be the subject of most “chatter” throughout the industry, favorable news This Week in Real Estate with respect to the growth of single-family permits in 45 states and the District of Columbia last year. In addition, the demand from first-time homebuyers does exist, as evidenced by the Genworth Mortgage Insurance report, that concluded first-time buyers participation in single-family home purchases in 2017 was the largest share since 2000. Below are a few highlights from the third week of February that influence our business:

* Permits Grow Across Most States in 2017. Over the twelve months ending in December 2017, the total number of single-family permits issued nationwide reached 817,319. This is 9.6% ahead of its level over the first twelve months of 2016, 745,525. The results from the SOC are similar, single-family permits over the first twelve months of 2017, 817,700 are 8.9% ahead of their level over the same period of 2016, 750,800. Between December 2016 to December 2017, 45 states and the District of Columbia saw growth in single-family permits issued. Twenty states recorded a growth above 9.6% but five states had a decline in growth, including Oregon. Hawaii had the highest growth rate during this time at 23.6% while single-family permits in North Dakota declined by 9.8%. Washington state experienced 4% growth.
* First-Time Homebuyers Make Biggest Share of Deals in 17 Years. First-time buyers rushed into the market last year, making 38 percent of all U.S. single-family home purchases, the biggest share since 2000, data released Thursday by Genworth Mortgage Insurance shows. The 2.07 million new or existing homes bought by first-timers was 7 percent more than in 2016, according to the insurer. Millennials, who were putting off purchases because of student-debt burdens and a preference for renting, are becoming a force in the market as the oldest of the group get married and have children, said Tian Liu, chief economist of the insurer. Census Bureau data back that up. The homeownership rate for Americans under age 35 rose in the fourth quarter to 36 percent. It hasn’t been higher since the first quarter of 2014.
* Most House Hunters Have Been Searching For 3 Months or More. Most Americans – 61% – who intend to buy a home in the next 12 months have been searching for a whopping three months.Or more. That finding comes from a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, and includes people who are searching for both new and previously-owned homes. What’s making the house-hunt take so long? Some 42% of respondents told NAHB they “can’t find a home at a price I can afford,” while 36% “can’t find a home with the features I want” and 34% “can’t find a home in the neighborhood I want.” And even if would-be buyers can overcome all those obstacles, nearly 30% said they “continue to get outbid whenever I make an offer.” On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors said that home purchase contracts signed in January had been on the market for only 42 days.                                                                                    Full Story...

Have a productive week.


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