This Week in Real Estate: July 13, 2015

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As the second half of the year gets under way the news This Week in Real Estate remains consistent with common first half themes – healthy consumer confidence, increased sales, distressed inventory levels continue to drop and a rate increase expected later this year. Below are a few of the highlights from the first full week in July that influence our business:

* Consumer Housing Attitudes Signal Healthier Purchase Market Ahead. Americans’ outlook toward the current home selling market and the future of home rental prices may bode well for purchase activity this year, according to results from Fannie Mae’s June 2015 National Housing Survey. In a response to a question about the timing of home sales, 52% of consumers in June said they believe now is a good time to sell. That’s the first time that figure has surpassed 50% in the history of Fannie Mae’s monthly National Housing Survey. At the same time, the share who said they expected home rental prices to go up in the next 12 months rose four percentage points to 59 percent, also an all-time survey high. With an increase in housing supply from those ready to sell, combined with higher rental cost expectations, more potential homebuyers may be encouraged to leave the sidelines.
Full story… http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2015/6267.html

* New and Existing Home Sales Increase. The rate of new single-family home sales, as estimated by the Census Bureau, improved to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000 in May, the fastest pace in seven years and a 2.2% increase over April. New home inventory remained steady at 206,000. The months’ supply measure fell to 4.5, the lowest since June 2013. Low inventory and growing demand will support increases for single-family construction in the months ahead. Sales growth is occurring on the re-sale side of the market as well. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index increased for the fifth straight month in June, rising to the highest level in nine years. This follows the NAR May existing home sales report, which increased to the highest pace in six years to a 5.35 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. The June sales rate was 5.1% higher in April and a 9.2% gain over May last year.
Full story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/07/eye-on-the-economy-new-and-existing-home-sales-increase/

* CoreLogic: April Distressed Sales Drop to Lowest Level Since 2007. Distressed sales – real estate-owned (REO) and short sales – made up 11.1% of total home sales in April, down 3 percentage points from April 2014 and down 1.5 percentage points from March. While distressed sales typically decrease month over month in April due to seasonal factors, this distressed sales share was the lowest from the month of April since 2007. Broken up, REO sales accounted for 7.4% and short sales made up 3.7% of total home sales in April. Additionally, the short sales percentage fell below 4% in mid-2014 and has remained stable since then. At its peak in January 2009, distressed sales totaled 32.4% of all sales, with REO sales representing 27.9% of that share. There will always be some level of distress in the housing market, and by comparison, the pre-crisis share of distressed sales was traditionally about 2%. If the current year-over-year decrease in distressed sales share continues, the distressed sales share would reach that ‘normal’ 2-percent mark in mid-2017.
Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/34428-corelogic-april-distressed-sales-drop-to-lowest-level-since-2007

* Yellen Reiterates Rates Likely To Increase This Year. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reaffirmed in a speech to the City Club of Cleveland that she still expects it will be appropriate later this year to take the first step to raise the federal funds rate and begin normalizing monetary policy. Back in May, Yellen said in a speech that the Fed is seeing widespread economic improvement and expects that improvement to continue. And if the economy improves as expected, she believes it will be “appropriate” for the Fed to raise the Federal Funds Rate this year. “My own outlook for the economy and inflation is broadly consistent with the central tendency of the projections submitted by FOMC participants at the time of our June meeting,” Yellen said.
Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/34444-yellen-reiterates-rates-likely-to-increase-this-year

Have a productive week!

Jason

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