This Week in Real Estate: March 13, 2017


As the market prepares for the spring selling season, Fannie Mae reported This Week in Real Estate that consumers have never felt better about housing than they do right now. Below are a few highlights from the first week of March that influence our business:

* Fannie Mae: Consumers Have Never Felt Better About Housing Than They Do Right Now. Consumers’ faith in the housing market is stronger than it’s ever been before, according to a newly released survey from Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index shows that consumer confidence in housing hit an all-time high in February, continuing a climb in confidence that began in January. According to the Fannie Mae report, the Home Purchase Sentiment Index increased by 5.6 percentage points in February to 88.3, setting a new all-time high. Overall, five of the six components that make up the HPSI were up, with three hitting record highs. According to the report, the net share of Americans who said that now is a good time to buy rose by 11 percentage points, and the net share of consumers who believe that now is a good time to sell also rose by 7 percentage points.
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* CoreLogic: 1 Million US Borrowers Regained Equity in 2016. CoreLogic released a new analysis on Thursday showing that U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all homeowners) saw their equity increase by a total of $783 billion in 2016, an increase of 11.7 percent. Additionally, just over 1 million borrowers moved out of negative equity during 2016, increasing the percentage of homeowners with positive equity to 93.8 percent of all mortgage properties, or approximately 48 million homes. In Q4 2016, the total number of mortgaged residential properties with negative equity stood at 3.17 million, or 6.2 percent of all homes with a mortgage. That is a decrease of 25 percent year over year from 4.23 million homes, or 8.4 percent of all mortgaged properties in Q4 2015. Negative equity peaked at 26 percent of mortgage residential properties in Q4 2009. “Average home equity rose by $13,700 for U.S. homeowners during 2016,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The states with the largest home-price appreciation last year, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index, were Washington and Oregon at 10.2 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively, with average homeowner equity gains of $31,000 and $27,000, respectively.” This is doubt the pace for the U.S. as a whole. Texas had the highest percentage of homes with positive equity at 98.4 percent followed by Hawaii at 98.1 and five states, including Oregon and Washington at 97.9 percent.
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* MBA: Average Loan Size For Purchase Applications Hits All-Time High. The average loan size for purchase mortgage applications hit an all-time high last week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The data comes courtesy of the MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 3, 2017, which showed that the average loan size for purchase applications was $313,300. That’s the highest that figure has been during any week since the MBA began conducting its weekly application survey in 1990. The report showed that the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 45.4% of total applications. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity also increased to 7.7% of total applications, which marks the highest level since October 2014.
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Have a productive week!

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