This Week in Real Estate: Oct. 12, 2015


A rather quiet week on the national front This Week in Real Estate is just fine, because less “noise” is good. With just 12-weeks left in 2015 we all must move forward with laser focus to close the great year we started strong. Lets recommit to our marketing/prospecting activities in the final 80+ days of the year and put forth a perfect effort ensuring a great start to 2016. Below are a few of the highlights from the first full week in October that influence our business:

* Housing Indicator Approaches Peak Level. Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased to 83.8 in September, and The HPSI Good Time to Sell component increased 13 points on net, due likely to a strong home price environment coupled with a slight improvement in consumers’ economic outlook. Additionally, the Good Time to Buy component increased 3 points on net as high rental costs may be encouraging more renters to consider homeownership. The HPSI summarizes consumers attitudes about whether it is a good or bad time to buyer or to sell a house. Consumers’ confidence in their employment and financial situations climbed 2 and 3 points, respectively, further suggesting a possible firmer footing for housing. “The HPSI returned near its record high this month, driven primarily by improvement in attitudes about selling a home and strengthening home prices,” Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae said.
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* Distressed Sales Down to Just 9% of Homes Sold. Distressed sales, which include real estate-owned properties and short sales, accounted for 9.4% of total home sales nationally in July 2015, down 2.1 percentage points from July 2014 and down 0.4 percentage points from June 2015. REO sales accounted for 6.1% and short sales made up 3.3% of total home sales in July 2015. The REO sales share was the lowest since September 2007 when it was 5.2%. The short sales share fell below 4% in mid-2014 and has remained in the 3-4% range 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 the distressed sales share continues, it would reach that “normal” 2% mark in mid-2019. Full Story…

* US Jobless Claims Fall to Near 42-Year Low. The number of Americans filing new applications for jobless benefits fell more than expected to a near 42-year low last week, pointing to ongoing tightening in the labor market despite the recent slowdown in hiring. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 263,000 for the week ended October 3. That was the lowest since mid-July when the number of claims was at its lowest since 1973. Hitting such a historical low is remarkable considering the U.S. workforce has grown considerably since the 1970s. It was also the 31st straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is usually associated with a strengthening labor market. Full Story…

* Vacant ‘Zombie’ Foreclosures Down 43% in Third Quarter 2015 Compared to a Year Ago. RealtyTrac this week released its Q3 Zombie Foreclosure and Vacant Property Report, which shows 20,050 residential properties in the foreclosure process – but not yet repossessed – were vacant “zombie” homes as of the end of the third quarter of 2015, down 27 percent from the previous quarter and down 43 percent from a year ago. Vacant residential properties in the foreclosure process accounted for 1.3 percent of all vacant residential properties, with bank-owned homes (REO) accounting for another 1.9 percent of all vacant properties as of the end of the third quarter. The report shows a total of 1.5 million vacant U.S. residential properties, 1.8 percent of all 84.7 million U.S. residential properties.
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This week Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices introduced a new video tool, Videolicious. With the rise in popularity of video I strongly encourage you to dedicate some time this week, if you have not already, to learn how to use and incorporate this tool in your business.


Have a productive week!


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