This Week in Real Estate: May 16, 2016

Despite the inventory challenge we face today it was reported This Week in Real Estate that home sales realized the best first quarter in 9 years. Below are a few highlights from the second week of May that influence our business:

* Existing-Home Sales Posted Best First Quarter in Nearly a Decade. In an odd conundrum, despite constant headlines on lack of inventory and outrageous home prices, existing-home sales witnessed the best first quarter in nearly a decade. “In spite of deficient supply levels, stock market volatility and the paltry economic growth seen so far this year, the housing market did show resilience and had its best first quarter of existing-sales since 2007 (5.66 million),” said Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist. “The demand for buying is there, but unless the stock of new and existing-homes for sale increases significantly – especially in several markets in the West – the housing market will struggle to reach its full potential,” added Yun. According to the latest quarterly report from NAR, total existing-home sales, including single family and condo, ticked up 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million in the first quarter, up from 5.20 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. This is also 4.8% higher than the 5.05 million pace during the first quarter of 2015. In the West, existing-home sales inched up 0.9% in the first quarter and are 2.1% above a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the West increased 7.1% to $315,900 in the first quarter from the first quarter of 2015.
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* Foreclosures, Seriously Delinquent Mortgages Fall to Lowest Level Since 2007. The number of homes in some stage of foreclosure and the number of serious delinquent mortgages are now at levels not seen since late 2007, according to a new report from CoreLogic. CoreLogic’s March 2016 National Foreclosure Report shows that the national foreclosure inventory, which is the total number of homes at some stage of the foreclosure process and completed foreclosures, was 427,000 homes. That figure represents 1.1% of all homes in the U.S., and is down from 556,000 homes, or 1.4%, in March 2015. March 2016’s foreclosure inventory is not only down from 2015, it’s the lowest that figure has been since October 2007. CoreLogic’s report also showed the foreclosure inventory declined by 23.2% and completed foreclosures declined by 14.9% when compared with March 2015.According to CoreLogic’s report, the number of mortgages that are seriously delinquent, which is defined as 90 days or more past due and includes loans in foreclosure or REO, fell by 19.1% from March 2015 to March 2016. The March 2016 serious delinquency rate is the lowest since November 2007.
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* 25 Cities With The Biggest Rent Hikes. The rental market is ripe for single-family rental investors, even on the secondary side, with the top markets on the list showing rents increasing by above 10% in the first quarter. RentRange, a provider of market data and analytics for the single-family rental industry, ranked the top 25 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas by average rental rate increase for single-family homes between first quarter 2016 and the same quarter in 2015. Ranked #17 Portland-Vancouver at 12.1% and #24 Eugene-Springfield at 11.0%. “Contractual rental rates have continued to increase, vacancy rates declined (but remain above issuance levels), tenant retention rates have remained relatively stable, and delinquency rates have remained low,” the report states. But what’s more, the securitized assets themselves are appreciating as well.
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Have a productive week!


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