This Week in Real Estate: June 12, 2017


Homeowners realized the largest increase in equity growth in the first quarter since mid-2014, as reported by CoreLogic This Week in Real Estate, with Washington state homeowners experiencing the largest year-over-year increase. Below are a few highlights from the first week of June that influence our business:

* Homeowner Equity Soars in First Quarter. Homeowner equity increased significantly in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Q1 2017 home equity analysis from CoreLogic. Homeowners with a mortgage, about 63% of all homeowners, saw their equity increase by 11.2% a total of $766.4 billion since the first quarter last year. The average homeowner gained about $13,400 in equity over the last year. The total number of mortgaged residential properties with negative equity decreased 3% from the fourth quarter to 3.1 million homes, or 6.1% of all mortgaged properties. This is a drop of 24% from 4.1 million homes in the first quarter of last year. “Homeowner equity increased by over $750 billion during the last year, the largest increase since mid-2014,” CoreLogic President and CEO Frank Martell said. “The rising cushion of home equity is one of the main drivers of improved mortgage performance. It also supports consumer balance sheets, spending and the broader economy.” Texas had the highest percentage of homes with positive equity at 98.4 percent, followed by Utah (98.2%), Washington (98.2%), Hawaii (98.1%) and Colorado (98%). Washington had the highest year-over-year homeowner equity increase at $37,900.
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* U.S. Job Creation Index Returns to Record High. Gallup’s Job Creation Index was +37 in May, tied with the record high found in March. This marks 15 straight months of the index reaching +30 or higher. The index has generally been moving upward since bottoming out at -5 in April 2009 during the Great Recession. It has been in positive territory since February 2010. The Job Creation Index is a nearly real-time indicator of the nation’s employment picture across all industries and business sectors. This is the first time index scores in all regions have been above +30 since January.  The West has rebounded the most from the Great Recession in terms of the Job Creation Index, rising to +37 after falling to -11 three times in 2009. Gallup’s Job Creation Index is at an all-time high, reflecting an improving job market. These findings generally match the U.S. government’s data on the job market, as evidenced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ unemployment rate reaching 4.3% in May and the underemployment rate falling from 8.6% in April to 8.4% in May.
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* “Good Time to Sell” Hits Highest Levels in Fannie Mae Survey. The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) decreased fractionally in May, however the change in each of its internal components was decidedly more pronounced. The HPSI, based on six of the questions from Fannie Mae’s monthly National Housing Survey, was 86.2, down 0.5 percent compared to April. Three of its components moved higher and three lost ground. The index is 0.9 percent higher than its May 2016 version. The most striking changes come from answers to the questions regarding whether respondents thought it was a good time to buy and/or a good time to sell. The net share of Americans who said that now is a good time to buy a home reached a record low (27 percent) after falling 8 percentage points, while the net share who stated that it is a good time to sell a home reached a record high of 32 percent, a gain of 6 percentage points. Fannie Mae said it was only the second time in the survey’s history that the net share of those saying it’s a good time to sell surpassed the net share of those saying it’s a good time to buy. The “sell” component is 19 points higher than at the same time in 2016.
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Have a productive week!

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