This Week in Real Estate: October 9, 2017


ATTOM Data Solutions released it’s Q3 Home Affordability Index This Week in Real Estate concluding that the index reached it’s lowest point since Q3 2008. Below are a few highlights from the first week of October that influence our business:

* Home Affordability Improves in 60% of U.S. Markets in Q3 2017 Compared to Previous Quarter. ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q3 2017 U.S. Home Affordability Index Thursday, which shows that home affordability in the third quarter improved compared to the previous quarter in 60 percent of 406 U.S. counties analyzed in the report — although affordability was still worse off than a year ago in 79 percent of those counties. The national home affordability index was 100 in the third quarter of 2017, the lowest national affordability index since Q3 2008, when the index was 86. An index of 100 means the share of average wages needed to buy a median-priced home nationwide in Q3 2017 is on par with historic averages (see full methodology below). “Falling interest rates in the third quarter provided enough of a cushion to counteract rising home prices in most U.S. markets and provide at least some temporary relief for the home affordability crunch,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “More sustainable relief for the affordability crunch, however, will need to be some combination of slowing home price appreciation and accelerating wage growth. Wage growth is outpacing home price growth in about half of all local markets so far this year, an indication that a more sustainable affordability pattern is taking shape in more local markets.”
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* Fastest Growing Cities in America. Frisco is the fastest-growing city in America. No, not THAT Frisco with the incessant fog and Golden Gate Bridge. The Dallas suburb scored No. 1 on WalletHub’s list of fastest-growing cities in America due to its rapid job and population growth. To compile the ranking, WalletHub analysts compared 515 cities of varying population sizes based on 15 key measures of both growth and decline, such as population, unemployment rate and regional GDP per capita over a period of seven years. WalletHub’s10 fastest-growing cities in America: (1) Frisco, TX, (2) Kent, WA, (3) Lehigh Acres, FL, (4) Meridian, ID, (5) Midland, TX, (6) McKinney, TX, (7) Fort Meyers, FL, (8) Bend, OR, (9) Austin, TX and (10) Pleasanton, CA.
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* Lot Size is at a New Record Low. The median lot size of a new single-family detached home sold in 2016 stands at 8,562 square feet, or just under one-fifth of an acre. This is a new record low and a small decline since 2015, when the median lot size fell under 8,600 square feet for the first time since Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) started tracking the series for single-family detached homes. While nation’s lots are getting smaller on average, the regional differences in lot sizes persist. Looking at single-family detached speculatively built (or spec) homes started in 2016, the median lot size in New England is almost twice as large as the national median and exceeds a third of an acre. The East South Central Division is second on the list with the median lot occupying just slightly less than a third of an acre (0.3 acres). The Pacific division where densities are high and developed land is scarce has the smallest lots, with half of the lots being under 0.15 acres.
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Have a productive week!


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