Housing Starts Slow But Up From Last Year

April 21st, 2016

Housing Starts Slow But Up From Last Year

New Home Construction

New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development show the number of new homes that broke ground in March fell nearly 9 percent from February’s figure. But though housing starts dropped month-over-month, they remain 14.2 percent above last year. Monthly construction numbers are normally up-and-down but have been increasingly volatile lately for a number of reasons. First off, multi-family construction has been slowing. This is partly due to the fact that there has been more demand for single-family homes than there has been for renter-occupied apartment units. That’s good news for the housing market and is backed up by the fact that single-family building permits – which are a good indicator of future construction – dropped just 1.2 percent from the previous month, while overall permits, which include multi-unit buildings, were down 7.7 percent. Also, harsh winter weather in some parts of the country can skew the overall number. For example, home building was down 21.2 percent in the Midwest but just 4.9 percent in the South, where the weather is warmer and most home building takes place. Overall, continued strength in the labor market and ongoing demand from buyers has most economists expecting construction to ramp up as the year goes on. More here.Click here to view property grid.

Housing Starts Slow But Up From Last Year

Foreclosure Inventory Lowest Since 2007

April 14th, 2016

Foreclosure Inventory Lowest Since 2007

Less homes showing in the foreclosure market

In February, the foreclosure inventory rate was the lowest for any month since November 2007, according to new numbers released by CoreLogic. Their February 2016 National Foreclosure Report shows foreclosure inventory was down 24 percent from one year earlier and now represents just 1.1 percent of all homes with a mortgage. Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, says home price increases are among the leading causes behind the improvement. “Home price gains have clearly been a driving force in building positive equity for homeowners,” Nallathambi said. “Longer term, we anticipate a better balance of supply with demand in many markets which will help sustain healthy and affordable home values into the future.” Also in the report, the serious delinquency rate – which refers to mortgages that are 90 days or more past due – fell 19.9 percent over the past year and is also at its lowest point since 2007. Just as foreclosure inventory has been helped by rising home prices, delinquency rates have dropped as job creation and household income have improved. More here.Click here to view property grid.

Foreclosure Inventory Lowest Since 2007

Rising Incomes Key To Housing Growth

January 22nd, 2016

Harrisonville Missouri homes for sale

Rising Incomes Key To Housing Growth

For many months, real estate analysts and economists have been forecasting improved home sales and housing activity this spring and throughout 2015. Part of the reason for the optimistic outlook has been the improving job market and the expectation that Americans would begin to see increasing incomes this year. However, the year got off to a slower than expected start and subdued economic reports have led to a dip in overall sentiment, according to the latest National Housing Survey from Fannie Mae. The survey found fewer respondents saying they expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next 12 months. There were also fewer participants who said their income was significantly higher than it was one year ago. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist, said the results emphasize how critical attitudes about income growth are to Americans’ feelings about the housing market. “We’ve seen modest improvement in total compensation resulting from a strengthened labor market,” Duncan said. “However, income growth perceptions and personal financial expectations both eased off of recent highs … Simultaneously, the share of consumers expecting to buy on their next move has declined. We believe the recent setback in consumer sentiment should be short lived if early signs of income growth bear out and occur in proportion to expected interest rate increases.” More here.

Rising Incomes Key To Housing Growth

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Homes prices is affected by the Number Of Bathrooms

July 23rd, 2015

Bathroom

Homes prices is affected by the Number Of Bathrooms

When shopping for a house to buy, there are a number of features that could rank highly on a home buyer’s must-have list. Anything from a pool to energy-efficient appliances, a big kitchen, or extra storage space might rank near the top. And houses with the day’s hottest features are sure to sell quickly and at a premium. But, according to a new analysis from RealtyTrac, the number of bathrooms a home has may be among the best indicators of how easily it will sell and for what price. Between 2001 and 2014, homes with two bathrooms saw a 43 percent rise in value, while six bathrooms helped a house nearly double its worth. In fact, the average sales price of a home with six bathrooms was $530,433 in 2001 and, by 2014, the average rose to $1,014,964. Granted, since the high-end of the housing market rebounded more quickly from the housing crash – in addition to the fact that extra bathrooms mean more square footage – that may not be that surprising. However, it can’t be denied that a home with more bathrooms will be more attractive to most buyers. As evidence of that, 40 percent of American homes had a bath-and-a-half or less at one time. Now, just 5 percent of homes have less than one-and-a-half baths. More here.Click here to view property grid.

 

Homes prices is affected by the Number Of Bathrooms

New Homes Offer Energy Efficient Features Buyers Love

July 23rd, 2015

New Home 10

New Homes Offer Energy Efficient Features Buyers Love

Increasingly, home buyers say energy efficient features, such as low-E windows, Energy Star-rated appliances, and programmable thermostats, top the list of things they most want to have in their new house. And, according to a release from the National Association of Home Builders, more builders are including these features to meet that demand. “Our builder members are telling us that more and more buyers are looking at new homes for their efficiency in design and functionality,” Tom Woods, NAHB’s chairman, said. “Whether it’s improved insulation or sustainable building materials, today’s new homes can reach higher energy performance and greater durability than was possible even 20 years ago.” In fact, a recent survey of single-family home builders found nearly 25 percent of builders installed alternative energy-producing equipment in new construction, including geothermal heat pumps and photovoltaic solar panels. And the trend should continue to grow as more first-time buyers enter the market. That’s because the vast majority of Millennial buyers say they’re willing to pay 2 to 3 percent more for an energy-efficient home as long as they will see a return on their utility bills. More here.Click here to view property grid.

 

New Homes Offer Energy Efficient Features Buyers Love

Demand For Loans To Buy Homes Spikes

July 21st, 2015

Loans

Demand For Loans To Buy Homes Spikes

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, demand for loans to buy homes rose 6 percent last week from the week before and is now 8 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The improvement may be an indication that potential buyers are ready to start looking for a home to purchase. “There was a broad based increase in mortgage applications last week relative to the week prior,” Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said. “The increase in purchase volume was led by a nearly 6 percent increase in both conventional and government markets, perhaps signaling that households are finally ready to begin the home-buying season.” In addition to increasing purchase demand, refinance activity was also up last week, rising 4 percent from the week before. The jump in refinance applications came despite mortgage rates being relatively unchanged from the previous week. In fact, rates were up slightly for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, loans with jumbo balances, and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming loan balances were down but not significantly. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.Click here to view property grid.

Demand For Loans To Buy Homes Spikes

Home Price Increases Continue To Shrink

July 21st, 2015

Dollar Sign 4

Home Price Increases Continue To Shrink

 

Home prices are still increasing but at a slightly slower pace than before, according to the latest results of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. Considered the leading measure of home prices, S&P’s indexes track home prices on a monthly and yearly basis. The most recent results show home price increases continuing but at nearly the same pace as they were on last month’s report. For example, the U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine census divisions, recorded a 4.5 percent annual gain in January. In December, the same index found a 4.6 percent annual gain. Month-over-month results show a similar pattern, with only a slight difference between January’s results and the previous month. In fact, a closer look at the numbers reveals that, over the past five months, price increases have stayed fairly flat, experiencing only minor declines from one month to the next. Still, some areas of the country are seeing larger increases than others. David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said home price increases are stronger in the West and Southwest, with increases larger than the national index in California, the Pacific Northwest, and Las Vegas. On the other hand, cities in the Midwest and Northeast are showing increases weaker than the national average, according to Blitzer. More here.Click here to view property grid.

Home Price Increases Continue To Shrink

Pending Home Sales Near 2-Year High In February

July 19th, 2015

Sale Pending 7

Pending Home Sales Near 2-Year High In February

The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index is a measure of how many contracts to buy homes were signed during the month. Because it gauges the number of signed contracts, rather than closings, the index is a good indicator of future sales of previously owned homes. In February, the NAR’s index showed a 3.1 percent gain from the month before. The index is now at its highest level since June 2013 and has shown an above-average level of activity for 10 consecutive months. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says the improvement is a sign of strengthening demand. Pending sales showed solid gains driven by a steadily-improving labor market, historically low mortgage rates, and the likelihood of more renters looking to hedge against increasing rents, Yun said. Combined, these factors should lead to increasing sales numbers in the months ahead. In February, sales declines in the Northeast and South were offset by substantial gains in the Midwest and West. In fact, the West jumped 6.6 percent from the month before, while the Midwest registered an 11.6 percent increase from January. The NAR expects total existing-home sales to rise 6.4 percent this year compared to last. More here.Click here to view property grid.

 

Pending Home Sales Near 2-Year High In February

Accelerated Housing Activity In The Forecast

July 19th, 2015

Aerial 2Accelerated Housing Activity In The Forecast

Economic growth slowed during the first quarter of the year because of harsh winter weather in the Northeast and Midwest and the port strike on the West Coast. But, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group, growth is going to rebound and will continue to improve through the end of the year. Not only that, economic growth will be strong enough to help boost housing market activity as well. In fact, Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, believes economic growth will carry real estate activity well above 2014 levels. “We continue to expect the economy to drag housing upward as we move into the second quarter,” Duncan said. “The economy is getting a boost from the strong employment numbers we’ve seen last year and at the start of 2015. When this employment growth partners with income growth and consumers experience a rise in their personal household income, we should see a similar boost in the housing sector.” Fannie Mae expects a broad-based recovery, with new-home construction rising 15 percent above last year’s levels and home sales up 6 percent. They also expect a 5 percent improvement in total single-family mortgage originations. More here.Click here to view property grid.

Accelerated Housing Activity In The Forecast

Strong Spring Still Expected Despite Winter Woes

July 18th, 2015

SpringAs 2014 came to a close, positive economic reports lead many real estate analysts to forecast a solid spring selling season and continued housing improvement throughout 2015. The rosy outlook was based on falling unemployment numbers, historically low mortgage rates, and pent-up buyer demand. The combination of these factors was supposed to help balance the market and lead to improved sales and new home construction. But, so far this year, housing data has shown a slower-than-expected start to the year, due in part to harsh winter weather across much of the country. Despite the slow start, however, analysts still expect a strong spring. For example, Freddie Mac’s most recent Multi-Indicator Market Index found a slight month-over-month decline in the housing market’s strength but their deputy chief economist, Len Kiefer, still believes the residential real-estate market will heat up along with the weather. “Housing markets weakened slightly this month, which is no surprise considering the harsh winter and slowdown in economic activity at the outset of 2015,” Kiefer said. “While single-family purchase applications dipped a bit across the board from December to January, they are still up nearly 3 percent from last year. Improving employment and attractive mortgage rates should help to support increased purchase applications, particularly as weather warms up and we head into the spring home buying season.” More here.