This Week in Real Estate: Jan. 25, 2016


This Week in Real Estate there is news of the significant rebound of existing home sales in December as well as the healthy year-over-year increase in housing permits and starts, which bodes well for 2016. Below are a few of the highlights from the third week of January that influence our business:

* Existing-Home Sales Surge Back in December. Existing-home sales snapped back solidly in December as more buyers reached the market before the end of the year, and the delayed closings resulting from the rollout of the Know Before You Owe (TRID) initiative pushed a portion of November’s would-be transactions into last month’s figure. Led by the South and West, all four major regions saw large increases in December. Total existing-home sales ascended 14.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in December from 4.76 million in November. After last month’s turnaround (the largest monthly increase ever recorded), sales are now 7.7 percent above a year ago. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says December’s robust bounce back caps off the best year of existing sales since 2006. “While the carryover of November’s delayed transactions into December contributed greatly to the sharp increase, the overall pace taken together indicates sales these last two months maintained the healthy level of activity seen in most of 2015,” he said.
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* Mortgage Performance Continues to Improve. It was a year of significant improvement in the distressed home arena. According to Black Knight Financial Services there was a 22 percent decrease in the national foreclosure inventory while the number of delinquent mortgages declined by nearly 15 percent.
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* Home Starts Up 10.8 Percent in 2015. Total housing starts were up in 2015, weighing in at 1.11 million – that’s 10.8 percent higher than in 2014. Single-family starts were up 10.4 percent to 715,300 and multifamily starts were up 11.4 percent to 396,000. “All in all, we’ve made significant gains in 2015 as we closed out at the strongest calendar year for housing starts since 2007,” said Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield. Housing permits were up for the year by 12 percent to 1.18 million with increases in both single-family (up 7.9%) and multifamily (11.4%). “We expect total starts to grow to 1.23 million in 2016, which would be an increase of 11 percent over the number initially reported for 2015. 1.23 million starts will be the highest year for starts since 2007,” said Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke.
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* An Inside Look at Millenial Credit Profiles. Only 3% of Millenials have taken out a mortgage, while 24% have taken out student loans and 27% have opened credit card accounts. So, where is all their cash going? After all, this is the largest generation, with 92 million Millenials.
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Have a productive week!

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