This Week in Real Estate: October 24, 2016


The return of the first-time homebuyer was welcomed news This Week in Real Estate, as they accounted for 34% of September sales, the highest portion in more than four years. Below are a few highlights from the third week of October that influence our business:

* Five Notable Nuggets From NAR’s Home Buyer and Sellers Survey’s 35-Year History. When the first Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was introduced 35 years ago by the National Association of Realtors, mortgage rates were over four times higher than they are today and first-time buyers made up a much larger share of overall sales (44%). Over time, homebuyer tastes and behaviors have changed, yet many have stayed the same. To mark the 35th year of NAR’s highly-anticipated survey capturing the pulse of buyers and sellers, here are five notable trends from the past three-and-a-half decades: (1) participation from first-time buyers is depressed, (2) the internet is not replacing a real estate agent, (3) buyers have bought slightly bigger, but the pace is currently at a standstill, (4) down payments have trended down over time, but not in recent years and (5) the home search is taking longer; tight inventory has slowed the pace in past two years.
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* Single Family Rental Returns Drop to Nine-Year Low in 2016 as Institutional Investor Purchases Rise in 68% of Local Markets. ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q3 2016 Single Family Rental Market Report on Thursday, which found that average single family rental returns dropped to a nine-year low for homes purchased so far in 2016 among 473 U.S. counties analyzed for the report. The average annual gross rental yield among the 473 counties was 8.7 percent for properties purchased in the first seven months of 2016, down from an average of 8.8 percent for the same time period in 2015 to the lowest level since 2007, when the average gross rental yield across the 473 counties was 7.3 percent. Nationwide, 2.7 percent of all single family homes that sold in the first seven months of 2016 were purchased by institutional investors (entities purchasing at least 10 properties in a calendar year).
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* Sales Surge Thanks to First-Time Buyers at 4-Year High. There is a lot of upbeat news in the September existing home sales report released by NAR on Thursday. Sales rebounded sharply and the improvement was seen in all four regions. More good news, NAR attributed part of that to increased participation from first-time homebuyers, a group that has worried the housing industry by its relative absence. Total existing home sales during the month, including single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, rose 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million. First-time buyers accounted for 34 percent of sales, the highest portion in more than four years. Existing-home sales in the West jumped 5.0 percent to an annual rate of 1.25 million, up 1.6 percent year-over-year. The median price in the West was $345,400, an 8.1 percent annual gain.
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Have a productive week.


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