This Week in Real Estate: Nov. 21, 2016

image001Favorable news reported This Week in Real Estate from the construction sector, both in terms of builder confidence and October housing starts, which climbed to the strongest pace since 2007. Below are a few highlights from the third week of November that influence our business:

* Builder Confidence Holds Firm in November. Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes held steady in November at a level of 63 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builder sentiment has held well above 60 for the past three months, indicating that single-family housing sector continues to show slow, gradual growth. Ongoing job creation, rising incomes and attractive mortgage rates are supporting demand in the single-family housing sector. These factors will help keep housing on a steady, upward path in the months ahead. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast, Midwest and West each posted respective two-point gains to 45, 58 and 77. The South remained unchanged at 68.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/11/builder-confidence-holds-firm-in-november/

* Housing Starts See Greatest Leap in Nearly a Decade. A big jump up in single family starts combined with an anticipated rebound in multifamily to push the annual pace of total housing starts above 1.3 million in October. The Census Bureau and HUD reported that the seasonally adjusted annual rate of single family housing starts was 869,000 in October, up 10.7% from the September pace of 785,000. Starts in structures with 5 or more units rebounded from 255,000 to 445,000, a pace more consistent with recent months. Overall, total housing starts quickened from a pace of 1.054 million in September to 1.323 million in October, a 25.5% annualized gain. The surge in October was well ahead of the average pace of 768,000 so far in 2016. The number of building permits also increased in October 0.3% to 1.229 million. This is up from September’s 1.225 million, and up 4.6% from last year’s 1.18 million. We expect single family starts to remain strong, if not at the October pace, through the end of the year and continue to strengthen in 2017.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/11/october-housing-starts-pop-goes-single-family/

* Equity Rich U.S. Homeowners Increase by 2.6 Million in Q3 2016. ATTOM Data Solutions released Thursday its Q3 2016 U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report, which shows that 13,125,367 U.S. homeowners were equity rich (loan-to-value ratio of 50 percent or lower) as of the end of Q3 2016, representing 23.4 percent of all U.S. homeowners with a mortgage and an increase of more than 2.6 million from a year ago. The report also shows that 6,063,326 U.S. homeowners were seriously underwater (LTV of 125 or higher) as of the end of Q3 2016, representing 10.8 percent of all U.S. homeowners with a mortgage, and a decrease of more than 854,000 homeowners from a year ago. Since the peak in seriously underwater homeowners at 12.8 million representing 28.6 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage in Q2 2012, the number of seriously underwater homeowners has decreased by more than 6.7 million. “Close to one in every five U.S. homeowners with a mortgage is now equity rich thanks to a combination of rising home prices and lengthening homeownership tenures,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. Median home prices increased on a year-over-year basis for the 18th consecutive quarter in Q3 2016. Among 88 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 500,000 or more, Portland ranks 6th and Seattle ranks 9th, with the highest share of equity rich homeowners at 33.1% and 31.5% respectively.
Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/mortgage-and-finance/q3-2016-u-s-home-equity-and-underwater-report/

Have a productive week.
Jason

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