This Week in Real Estate: September 18, 2017


As the summer selling season comes to a close, Fannie Mae released it’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index This Week in Real Estate. The findings show August was just below the all-time high set earlier this year, largely fueled by consumers attitude towards now being a good time to sell. Below are a few highlights from the second week of September that influence our business:

* Overall Housing Confidence Up. The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased 1.2 points in August to 88.0, just below the all-time high set in June. The rise can be attributed primarily to increases in two of the six HPSI components: the good time to sell component and the mortgage rates expectations component. The net share who reported that now is a good time to sell a home rose 8 percentage points in August and is now up 21 percentage points compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, the net share who said it’s a good time to buy fell 5 percentage points in July and is down 16 percentage points year-over-year. Respondents continue to cite high home prices as the most important reason behind the bad time to buy and good time to sell indicators. “In the early stages of the economic expansion, home selling sentiment trailed home buying sentiment by a significant margin. The reverse is true today,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The net good time to sell share is now double the net good time to buy share, with record high percentages of consumers citing home prices as the primary reason for both perceptions. Such a sizable gap between selling and buying sentiment, if it persists, could weigh on the housing market through the rest of the year.”
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* Home Value Index Growth Slows in August. Appraisals continued to lag homeowner expectations in August, although the difference between appraiser and owner opinions narrowed, according to Quicken Loans’ National Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), out Tuesday. The HPPI showed that appraised values were 1.35% lower than home owners’ expectations in August. This is compared to July when there was a 1.55% difference. Regionally, value perceptions vary widely across the country, from home values being 3% higher than home owners estimated in the West, to 3% lower than expected in the Midwest and Northeast.
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* Custom and Spec Home Market Shares in 2016. NAHB’s analysis of the most recent Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) shows that custom home building registered declining market shares across most US regions in 2016. The sharpest drop in the custom home share of new single-family starts took place in the East South Central division, from 35% to 27%. In the Mountain division, the custom home share of new single-family starts was lowest in the nation but remained stable (14%). The Pacific division was the only US division registering an increase in the custom home share (from 14% to 18%). While nationally about one in five homes started in 2016 was a custom home, the shares varied widely across the US divisions. The New England and East North Central divisions stand out for registering the highest shares of starts supervised by contractors or owners – close to 39%, the Middle Atlantic division is next at close to 32%, followed by the East South Central division at more than a quarter (27%). At the opposite end of the spectrum are the Western divisions – Mountain and Pacific – and the South Atlantic. Home building here is dominated by spec starts. These divisions registered the highest three spec home shares – 83% in the Mountain and South Atlantic, and 79% in the Pacific.
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Have a productive week!


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