Home Affordability and Unemployment Rates Drop as FICO Scores Rise


Home Affordability and Unemployment Rates Drop as FICO Scores Rise

Despite the pressure home price appreciation has put on affordability, the labor market continues to be very strong, as the unemployment rate declined again in September to 3.7%, and consumer credit scores have reached a new high according to a report released This Week in Real Estate by FICO. Below are a few highlights from the first week of October that influence our business:

FICO Scores Hit Record High 
Lesson learned? Whether they saw their credit decimated by the housing crisis and the Great Recession or merely watched loan standards tightened beyond their ability to qualify, Americans seem to have taken to heart the importance of their credit scores.  The result, FICO says, is that consumer credit scores have reached a new high, an average of 704 points. The 704 point average score, on scale that runs from 300 to 850, is a substantial improvement from the average of 686 in 2009. A lot of the improvement, 5 points, has been added in the last two years, one of the fastest two-year run-ups in FICO history. A score of 704 is considered good, meaning a consumer is a fairly safe bet for performing on a loan as agreed, and usually gets that borrower a fairly good interest rates and other terms. The best deals are usually reserved for those with scores of 750 or better. However, while FICO scores for most categories of borrowers are rising, the averages for people taking out mortgages are sliding, down from 745 in the years after the crash to about 733. This, of course, is not a reflection on borrowers but rather an indication that mortgage lenders are relaxing their standards, accepting slightly lower scores in their underwriting. There are a lot of factors that help account for the overall higher scores. First, fewer people have truly awful ones. Those with scores under 500 now constitute 4.2 percent of the total, down from 7.3 percent in 2009 and the share with scores from 500 to 549 has dropped from 8.7 percent to 6.8 percent. On the other end of the spectrum, 22 percent of those with a FICO number are considered “super-scorers,” with a score over 800.  Forty-two percent have scores between 750 and 850.

U.S. Home Affordability Drops to Lowest Level in 10 Years
ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q3 2018 U.S. Home Affordability Report on Thursday, which shows that the U.S. home prices in the third quarter were at the least affordable level since Q3 2008 – a 10-year low. The report calculates an affordability index based on percentage of income needed to buy a median-priced home relative to historic averages, with an index above 100 indicating median home prices are more affordable than the historic average, and an index below 100 indicating median home prices are less affordable than the historic average. Nationwide, the Q3 2018 home affordability index of 92 was down from an index of 95 in the previous quarter and an index of 102 in Q3 2017 to the lowest level since Q3 2008, when the index was 87. Among 440 U.S. counties analyzed in the report, 344 (78 percent) posted a Q3 2018 affordability index below 100, meaning homes were less affordable than the long-term affordability averages for the county — the highest percentage of counties below historic affordability averages since Q3 2008.

Unemployment Falls to 3.7% in September
The labor market continues to be very strong as total employment increased by 134,000 and the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.7% in September. Job gains have averaged 208,000 a month in 2018, faster than the first nine months’ averages of 170,000 in 2017 and 206,000 in 2016. In September, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 270,000 while the number of employed persons increased by 420,000. As a result, the number of individuals in the labor force increased by 150,000. The labor force participation rate remained at 62.7% in September. Monthly employment data released by the BLS Establishment Survey indicates that the number of residential construction jobs rose by 4,400 in September, after a 12,000 increase in August. Residential construction employment now stands at 2.84 million in September, broken down as 799,000 builders and 2 million residential specialty trade contractors. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction is 6,717 a month. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers have added 139,600 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 853,000 positions.


Portland Metro Weekend Planner October 5-7, 2018

October 5-7, 2018

THROUGH SUN – Head to the Portland Fall Home Show at the Portland Expo Center with home-improvement vendors, watch workshops and meet local vendors and decorators.

THROUGH OCT 30 – Walk through this family friendly Halloween castle with a tunnel, bridge and a maze at the Wenzel family farm.

THROUGH OCT 6 – Join FashionNXT for their debut of spring & summer collection, stick around for the after party!

THROUGH SUN – Enjoy Greek food and beverages while listening to live music and watching traditional dance at the Portland Greek Festival.

FRI-SUN – Browse the latest in tattoo designs from the best artists around. Artists will be tattooing on this day as well, must be 18 or older.

THROUGH OCT 9 – Zeitgeist Northwest hosts the 9th Annual Portland German Film Festival with thought-provoking films streamed in German with English subtitles.

THROUGH NOV 3 – Creep through the oldest Halloween attraction in Portland as actors and creepy creatures haunt guests.

THROUGH OCT 28 – Clark County Scaregrounds holds three haunted houses, carnival rides, and more on the 170-acre campus in Ridgefield.  

SAT – Head to Logtoberfest for live country music, food and beverage vendors and bone-rattling stories of Sasquatch sightings.

SAT-SUN – Lincoln City hosts the biggest Kite Festival in the West with kids activities, kite-making workshops a parade, and more!

FRI-SUN Film screenings of strange horror and weird tales with panel discussions, art, author meetings and more!

SAT-SUN – Talk to local collectors, miniature masterpiece artists and workshops at the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas.

THROUGH OCT 31 – Don’t miss haunted houses all over the city! Stop by the Fear Asylum in Milwaukie, Milburn’s Haunted Manor in Hubbard, and the House of Shadows in Gresham.


FRI – Enjoy a night out on the town with live music, stroll through participating art galleries and enjoy local cuisine.

SAT – Head to the celebration of the oldest Apple Tree in the West, planted 192 years ago at Fort Vancouver. Watch workshops, engage in hands-on arts and crafts, or bring your own apples and try a turn at the free apple pressing.

SAT –  Walk along the river with friends and family to support and raise awareness for those with Parkinson’s disease.  This walk benefits Parkinson’s Resources, a local nonprofit offering medical care and wellness for families facing this disease in the Northwest.

THROUGH OCT 28 – Home to over 250 vendors with fresh and local produce, flowers, plants, baked goods, delicious food, pet treats, and accessories for yourself, home, or garden.

THROUGH SEPT 2019 – The Museum of Vancouver and Nature Vancouver present the exhibition Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives. Dives into life stories of local plants and animals and how they relate to each other and how they connect people to nature in the city.


  • A Crooked Somebody
  • Crash
  • A Star is Born
  • Afsar
  • Heavy Trip
  • Hello Mrs. Money
  • Ride
  • Shine
  • Venom
  • The Church
  • Viking Destiny

Click here for movie times and theaters.





Homebuyer Confidence Reaches an 18-Year High


Homebuyer Confidence Reaches an 18-Year High

While home price gains are growing at a slower pace according to a report released This Week in Real Estate by economists with Freddie Mac, the Consumer Confidence Index has spiked to the highest level since October 2000. Below are a few highlights from the fourth week of September that influence our business:

Home Price Gains Decelerate to 11-Month Low
“Amidst homebuyers’ budget constraints and slight improvements in supply levels, home prices grew at a slower pace last quarter,” economists at mortgage financier Freddie Mac said Monday. “For the year, we anticipate that home prices will increase 5.5%, with the growth rate moderating to 4.5% in 2019.” Home-price gains were weaker in the three-month period ending in July than in the prior month. The Case-Shiller national index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% and was up 6.0% for the year in July, down from a 6.2% increase in June. The more closely-watched 20-city index had notched a 6.4% gain last month. Those were the slowest paces of growth since last summer.

Pending Home Sales Continue to Slide
Pending home sales have decreased on an annual basis for eight consecutive months, and have declined month over month in four of the past five months. The Pending Home Sales Index decreased 1.8% in August, and is now down 2.3% year over year. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) is a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors. The PHSI decreased to 104.2 in August, from 106.1 in July. The PHSI decreased in all four regions, ranging from a 5.9% decrease in the West to 0.5% in the Midwest. Year-over-year, the PHSI increased by 1.3% in the South, but decreased 11.3% in the West, 1.6% in the Northeast and 1.1% in the Midwest. NAR attributes the slowdown to the chronically low inventory, and the slowdown in existing sales mirrors the summer soft patch in new home sales. However, NAR reported a record high number of Americans now believe it is a good time to sell. Despite flat existing sales, builder confidence remained firm in September. The accelerating economic growth in the second quarter of 2018 fueled the job market, and the demand for new residential construction will continue to grow.

Consumer Confidence Reaches 18-Year High
Consumer confidence continued to rise in September, after a big increase in August. Currently, consumers are quite optimistic about both the current situation and the near-term outlook. The Consumer Confidence Index, reported by the Conference Board, increased to 138.4 in September, from 134.7 in August. It has surpassed the 2007 peak of 111.9 and spiked to the highest level since October 2000. Both the present situation index and the expectations index rose in September. The present situation index rose by 0.3 point from 172.8 to 173.1 and the expectations index jumped by 6.0 points from 109.3 to 115.3. The September increase in consumer confidence was mainly generated by an increase in the expectations index.


This Week in Real Estate: September 10, 2018


CoreLogic released its most recent Home Price Index Forecast This Week in Real Estate expecting a 5.1 percent price appreciation between July 2018 to July 2019. Below are a few highlights from the first week of September that influence our business:

* Lot Values Climb Higher. According to NAHB’s analysis of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) data, single-family lot prices reached new record high in 2017, with half of the lots priced at or above $47,400. While this constitutes a new nominal record, lot values adjusted for inflation have not reached the housing boom peaks. In the midst of the housing boom – when twice as many single-family homes were started – half of the lots were going for over $43,000, which is over $50,000 when converted in 2017. The rising lot values are most pronounced in the West South Central and West North Central divisions where lot values hit new historical records – not only in nominal terms but also when adjusted for inflation – in 2017. In the West South Central division (that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana), lot values had traditionally been below the national median. They caught up with the national median in 2015, surpassed it in 2016, and surged even higher in 2017, with half of the lots selling for more than $56,000. This represents a significant jump in the division lot values since the housing boom years when more than half of lots were priced under $30,000. The West North Central division also established a new record high, with half of the lots priced above $64,000, significantly exceeding the lot values of the boom era. Single-family spec homes started in New England are built on some of the most expensive lots in the nation. Half of all sold single-family homes started in New England in 2017 report lot values in excess of $128,000, by far exceeding the national median lot value for single-family spec homes of $47,400. The Pacific division where densities are high and developed land is scarce has the smallest lots. However, high regulatory costs push the median lot value to $84,000, the second most expensive value in the nation. The Pacific division lots also stand out for being most expensive in the nation in terms of per acre costs.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2018/09/lot-values-climb-higher/

* CoreLogic: July Home Prices Increase by 6.2%CoreLogic released on Tuesday the CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) and HPI Forecast for July 2018, which shows home prices rose both year-over-year and month-over-month. Home prices increased nationally by 6.2 percent year-over-year from July 2017 to July 2018. On a month-over-month basis, prices increased by 0.3 percent in July 2018 compared with June 2018. Looking ahead, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that the national home-price index is projected to continue to increase by 5.1 percent on a year-over-year basis from July 2018 to July 2019. On a month-over-month basis, home prices are expected to decrease by 0.2 percent from July to August 2018. “With increased interest rates and home prices, the CoreLogic Home Price Index is rising at a slower rate than it was earlier this year,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “While markets in the western part of the country continue to experience rapid home-price growth, many of those metros are overvalued, and will likely experience a slowdown soon.”
Full Story… https://www.corelogic.com/news/corelogic-reports-july-home-prices-increased-by-6.2-percent-homeowners-waiting-to-sell-for-anticipated-increase-return-on-invest.aspx

* U.S. Construction Spending Rises Slightly in July. The Commerce Department said construction spending barely rose in July as increases in homebuilding and investment in public projects were overshadowed by a sharp drop in private nonresidential outlays. Construction spending edged up 0.1 percent. Data for June was revised up to show construction outlays declining 0.8 percent instead of the previously reported 1.1 percent drop. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending increasing 0.5 percent in July. Construction spending increased 5.8 percent on a year-on-year basis. Spending on private residential projects rebounded 0.6 percent in July following two straight months of declines. While homebuilding rose in July, the overall trend has slowed, with builders continuing to complain about rising material costs as well as persistent land and labor shortages. Residential investment contracted in the first half of the year.
Full Story… https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/04/us-construction-spending-rises-slightly-in-july.html?__source=mnd%7Cnews%7C&par=mnd

Have a productive week.


This Week in Real Estate: September 4, 2018


Jobs and interest rates have always been two key indicators in determining current real estate market conditions as well as forecasting the future market. Equally important is consumer confidence. The Conference Board released This Week in Real Estate it’s August index, which rose to its highest level since October 2000. Below are a few highlights from the last week of August that influence our business:

* Consumer Confidence Pops in August to Highest Level Since October 2000. Consumer confidence rose in August to its highest level since October 2000, building on July’s solid result. The Conference Board’s index climbed to 133.4 in August. August saw that optimism increase among consumers, the Conference Board found, with the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will get better over the next six months increasing to 24.3 percent from 22.9 percent. “These historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending in the near-term,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.
Full Story… https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/28/august-consumer-confidence.html?__source=realestate%7Cnews%7C&par=realestate

* NAR Sees Overheated Housing Market Starting to CoolNAR’s July Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) came in at 106.2, down from an upwardly revised (from 106.9) 107.0 in June, a decline of 0.7 percent. The decrease put the PHSI 2.3 percent behind its level in July 2017.  It was the seventh straight month the NAR’s leading indicator for existing home sales has trailed on an annual basis. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market’s summer slowdown continued in July. “Contract signings inched backward once again last month, as declines in the South and West weighed down on overall activity,” he said. “It’s evident in recent months that many of the most overheated real estate markets – especially those out West – are starting to see a slight decline in home sales and slower price growth.” Yun added, “The reason sales are falling off last year’s pace is that multiple years of inadequate supply in markets with strong job growth have finally driven up home prices to a point where an increasing number of prospective buyers are unable to afford it.” There has been some increase in listings of available homes in some large metro areas, especially those in the West and Yun said this may help cool price growth and make homes more affordable going forward. Listings were up in several areas which have been especially “hot” including Denver, Nashville, Portland Oregon, and the California metro areas of Santa Rosa and San Jose. “Rising inventory levels – especially if new home construction finally starts picking up – should help slow price appreciation to around two-and-four percent, which will help aspiring first-time buyers, and be good for the long-term health of the nation’s housing market,” said Yun. In its July existing home sales report NAR put the year-over-year appreciation at 4.5 percent.
Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/08292018_pending_home_sales.asp

* Lot Size Remains Record Low. The median lot size of a new single-family detached home sold in 2017 stands at 8,560 square feet, or just under one-fifth of an acre. This is just 2 square feet smaller but statistically not different from the 2016 median. In 2015, 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. It remained in this record low territory ever since. 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 2017, the median lot size in New England is twice as large as the national median. 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.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2018/08/lot-size-remains-record-low/

Have a productive week.


This Week in Real Estate: August 27, 2018

According to a release by the National Association of Realtors This Week in Real Estate, continued price appreciation is the main contributing factor of the decline in sales from a year earlier for the fifth straight month in July. Below are a few highlights from the fourth week of August that influence our business:

* Single-Family Built-for-Rent Housing Expands. The number of single-family homes built-for-rent increased over the last four quarters. During this time period, construction starts of this type of housing totaled 42,000 homes, compared to 29,000 for the prior four quarters. There were 13,000 single-family built-for-rent starts for the second quarter of 2018. According to data from the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, the market share of single-family homes built-for-rent, as measured on a one-year moving average, stood at 4.7% of single-family starts as of the second quarter of 2018. Despite the current elevated market concentration, the total number of single-family starts built-for-rent remains low in terms of the total size of the building market. The current market share remains higher than the recent historical average of 2.7% (1992-2012) but is down from the 5.8% reading registered at the start of 2013.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2018/08/single-family-built-for-rent-housing-expands/

* Home Price Gains Continue to Dampen DemandExisting home sales posted their fourth straight loss in July and have dropped to their slowest pace since February 2016The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said sales of previously owned single-family houses, townhouses, condos, and cooperative apartments were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million units last month. This is a 0.7 percent decline from the 5.38 million units reported for June and puts sales behind those of a year earlier for the fifth straight month, this time by 1.5 percent. Single-family home sales declined by 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million from 4.76 million in June. They are now running 1.2 percent below the 4.81 million sales pace a year ago. The West saw the only gain, 4.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.19 million in July, but sales are still 4.0 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was up 5.1 percent to $392,700.
Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/08222018_existing_home_sales.asp

* Big Win for Realtors on IRS Guidance for 20% Income Deduction. The deduction was part of the big tax reform law Congress passed at the end of last year and it was a huge win for REALTORS. But it was unclear who would be eligible for the deduction. Now that proposed regulations are out, it’s clear the new deduction will be available to a wide range of real estate professionals. Under the new deduction is available for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017. You’ll be able to claim it for the first time on the 2018 federal income tax return you file next year. Look for detailed NAR guidance by mid-September. It’s a complicated provision and how it works for you will depend on many factors unique to your business structure and your income.
Full Story… http://speakingofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/2018/08/09/big-win-for-realtors-on-irs-guidance-for-20-income-deduction/

Have a productive week.


This Week in Real Estate: August 20, 2018

While the national median single-home price in the second quarter reached a new peak, single family starts is 6.2% higher than same time last year according to the joint release This Week in Real Estate by the Census Bureau and HUD. Permits are up 7.5% compared to same time last year while the number of homes for which permits have been authorized but construction has not started is up 25% compared to last year. Below are a few highlights from the third week of August that influence our business:

* Flat Conditions for Housing Starts. Total housing starts posted a slight increase in July as markets face headwinds in the form of rising construction costs and growing affordability concerns. Total housing starts increased 0.9% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 862,000. That is 6.2% higher for 2018 on a year-to-date basis, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. However, builders continue to report concerns about ongoing labor access issues and elevated prices for softwood lumber, although recent weeks have seen price declines. On a year-to-date basis, single-family starts are 7.2% higher as of July relative to the first seven months of 2017, performing slightly worse than our forecast. Single-family permits, a useful indicator of future construction activity, were up slightly (1.9%) in July and have registered a 7.5% gain thus far in 2018 compared to last year. It is also worthwhile to note that there have been gains in the count of homes for which permits have been authorized but construction has not started. For single-family homes, there are currently 97,400 permitted units that have not begun construction. This is up 25% from July of 2017, when the total was 77,800. This increase is consistent with NAHB survey data indicating a pause in some planned construction activity due to the increase in building material costs during the first part of 2018.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2018/08/flat-conditions-for-housing-starts/

* Metro Home Prices Climb to New All-Time HighAmidst staggeringly low inventory levels in much of the country during the second quarter, existing-homes sales cooled and home prices maintained their robust level of appreciation, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. The national median existing single-family home price in the second quarter was $269,000, which is up 5.3 percent from the second quarter of 2017 ($255,400) and surpasses last year’s second quarter as the new peak. The median sales price during this year’s first quarter increased 5.7 percent from the first quarter of 2017. Single-family home prices last quarter increased in 90 percent of measured markets, with 161 out of 178 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) showing sales price gains in the second quarter compared to a year ago. Twenty-four metro areas (13 percent) experienced double-digit increases, down from 30 percent in this year’s first quarter. In the West, existing-home sales in the second quarter decreased 4.1 percent and are 3.6 percent below a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the West increased 8.3 percent to $403,300 in the second quarter from the second quarter of 2017.
Full Story… https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/metro-home-prices-climb-to-new-all-time-high-rise-53-percent-in-second-quarter

* New Single-Family Home Size Continues Downward Trend. Continuing a multiyear trend, new single-family home size decreased during the second quarter of 2018. New home size has been falling over the last two years due to an incremental move to additional entry-level home construction. According to second quarter 2018 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area decreased to 2,344 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes declined to 2,555 square feet. The post-recession increase in single-family home size is consistent with the historical pattern coming out of recessions. Typical new home size falls prior to and during a recession as home buyers tighten budgets, and then sizes rise as high-end homebuyers, who face fewer credit constraints, return to the housing market in relatively greater proportions. This pattern was exacerbated during the current business cycle due to market weakness among first-time homebuyers and supply-side constraints in the building market. But the recent declines in size indicate that this part of the cycle has ended, and size will trend lower as builders add more entry-level homes into inventory.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2018/08/new-single-family-home-size-continues-downward-trend/

Have a productive week.


This Week in Real Estate: August 13, 2018

While the annual rate of home price growth is still historically high at 6.3 percent, some 2.5 percentage points above long-term norms, the annual rate of appreciation declined each month from March through May, the first three-month slowdown in almost four years according to a study released This Week in Real Estate by Black Knight. Below are a few highlights from the second week of August that influence our business:

* West Leads Single-Family Residential Permits Growth, Northeast, Midwest Decline. Over the first six months of 2018, the total number of single-family permits issued year-to-date (YTD) nationwide reached 444,600. On a year-over-year basis, this is a 6.3% increase over the June 2017 level of 418,128. The results from the SOC are similar, year-to-date single-family permits over the first six months of 2018 was, 444,700 which is 6.6% ahead of its level over the same period of 2017, 417,000. Year-to-date, across the country, single-family permits grew in all the regions except in the Northeast and Midwest where it declined by 2.3% and 0.3% respectively, compared to June 2017 YTD. Western region had the highest growth in single-family (14.2%) while South recorded the highest multifamily permits growth (13.6%) during the last 12 months. The 6.3% increase in the nationwide growth rate of year-to-date single-family permits, is largely due to the aggregate increase in single-family permits across the Western states. Out of the 13 which are classified as Western states, eight states recorded single-family permit growth exceeding the national average.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2018/08/west-leads-single-family-residential-permits-growth-northeast-midwest-declines/

* Home Price Increases are Slowing; Affordability StabilizesThe Data and Analytics division of Black Knight, Inc. released its latest Mortgage Monitor Report on Monday, based on data as of the end of June 2018. This month, Black Knight examined the slowdown in the rate of home price appreciation seen from March through May 2018, while also gauging the impact this slowdown and slightly lower interest rates have had on home affordability. “In May – typically one of the strongest months of the year for home price growth – every state in the nation saw home prices increase,” said Ben Graboske, executive vice president of Black Knight’s Data and Analytics division. “However, the average monthly gain in value of less than one percent was the lowest for any May in the last four years. In addition, the annual rate of appreciation declined each month from March through May, the first three-month slowdown in almost four years. Thirty-two states, as well as 33 of the 50 largest metropolitan areas, have experienced slowdowns in appreciation over the same period. All that said, the annual rate of home price growth is still historically high at 6.3 percent, some 2.5 percentage points above long-term norms. For more than six years, we’ve been riding a wave of home price appreciation above the 25-year average. As rates have ticked down from 4.66 percent in late May to 4.52 percent in mid-July, the monthly principal and interest payment to purchase the average home has only increased by $4 per month – significantly less compared to the $138 per month increase we saw over the first five months of 2018. Still, the $1,213 in principal and interest per month needed to buy the average home remains near a post-recession high. While that represents a nearly $500 per month increase from the bottom of the market in 2012, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s still roughly 13 percent less than was required back in 2006.”
Full Story… https://www.blackknightinc.com/black-knights-june-2018-mortgage-monitor/

* Aging Housing Stock; Problem and Opportunity. The American Community Survey (ACS) shows that more than half of today’s owner-occupied homes were built before 1980 and 38 percent before 1970.  Sixteen percent of the current stock was built between 2000 and 2009 but the 3 million units that came on line between 2010 and 2016 added only 4 percent to the owner-occupied stock. Construction since the housing crisis has not kept pace with the homes that age out or are otherwise removed from the housing stock and this means that the overall age of the U.S. housing stock is gradually aging. Na Zhao, writing in the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB’s) Eye on Housing blog says data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS) puts the median age of owner-occupied homes at 37 years compared to a median age of 31 years in 2005. The number of owner households has been rising since the third quarter of 2016 indicating a strong demand for new construction over the long run to meet and growing population while replacing those homes that disappear from the housing stock.
Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/08102018_housing_inventory.asp

Have a productive week.


This Week in Real Estate: August 6, 2018

The volume of newly constructed homes is a key indicator of the real estate market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics This Week in Real Estate, the employment rate for construction workers is the strongest it has been since 2001. Below are a few highlights from the first week of August that influence our business:

* Consumer Confidence Rises Above Expectations in July. Consumer confidence gained more than expected in July, but consumers remained concerned about future economic growth. The Confidence Board’s index increased to 127.4 in July, beating an estimated 126.5 by Reuters economists. Consumers reported better feelings toward the current economic situation; however, they were not optimistic about long-term growth. “Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions improved, suggesting that economic growth is still strong,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. Steve Odland, president and CEO of The Conference Board, said the report is positive and while consumers don’t expect major changes in either direction for the index, they do expect continued growth.
Full Story… https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/31/consumer-confidence-july.html?__source=realestate%7Cnews%7C&par=realestate

* Only One Generation of Americans Has Fully Recovered From the Housing CrashThe generation that likely had the most to lose during the crash in the housing market appears to have gained the most household wealth since 2007. During the economic downturn a decade ago, Generation X homeowners – born between 1965 and 1980 – experienced the largest decline in home equity, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. Home equity for that generation of homeowners fell 43% from $66,000 in 2007 to $37,600 in 2010. The median value of the financial assets owned by Generation X households fell 20% from 2007 to 2010. Since 2010, the median net worth of Generation X households has risen 115% and, since 2016, the net worth of a typical Gen X household had surpassed what it was in 2007 ($84,200 versus $63,400). “As of 2016, the median wealth of households headed by Boomers and the Silent Generation remains below 2007 levels, though their household wealth still exceeds that of Generation X,” wrote Richard Fry, a senior researcher at Pew.
Full Story… https://www.marketwatch.com/story/only-one-generation-of-americans-has-fully-recovered-from-the-housing-crash-2018-07-23?dist=realestate

* The Unemployment Rate Drops in July. According to the Employment Situation reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in July, jobs increased by 170,000 and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9%. The labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 62.9%. The release also indicates that the number of construction jobs rose by 19,000 in July, after the 13,000 increase in June. Job gains have averaged 214,000 a month this year, faster than the first seven months’ averages of 184,000 in 2017 and 181,000 in 2016. Residential construction employment was 2.82 million in July, broken down as 797,000 builders and 2 million residential specialty trade contractors. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction is 9,450 a month. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers have added 139,300 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 841,500 positions. In July, the unemployment rate for construction workers dropped to 4.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis, from the 5.6% in June. The unemployment rate for construction workers dropped to the lowest rate since 2001, as show in the figure above.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2018/08/the-unemployment-rate-drops-in-july/

Have a productive week.



This Week in Real Estate: July 30, 2018

While the Census Bureau believes the national homeownership rate seems to be on a sustainable upward trend, homeowners who sold in Q2 2018 sold their home for the highest average price gain since Q3 2007. According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q2 2018 Home Sales Report released This Week in Real Estate, sellers in Seattle and Portland ranked third and fifth, respectively, with the highest average percentage gain. Below are a few highlights from the last full week of July that influence our business:

* Strong Owner Household Formations in the Second Quarter. According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), the U.S. homeownership rate was 64.3% in the second quarter 2018. After dropping to a cycle low of 62.9% in the second quarter 2016, the national homeownership rate seems to be on a sustainable upward trend. Compared to the peak of 69.2% in 2004, the homeownership rate is lower by five percentage points. The count of total households, however, increased to 121 million in the second quarter 2018 from 119 million at the same period in 2017. The gains were predominantly driven by owner households, while renter households only increased 146,000. The homeownership rates among all age groups under 54 increased over the last year. Household ages 45-54 registered the largest gains among all households, a 1.3 percentage points increase from a year ago. The homeownership rates of millennials, mostly first-time homebuyers, continued the upward growing trend, from 35.3% to 36.5%. It suggests that millennials are gradually returning to the for-sale housing market. However, current homeownership rates for adults ages under 35 are still 5.4 percentage points lower than before the Great Recession. Households ages 35-44 experienced a 1.2 percentage points increase on an annual basis. The number of homeowner households has been rising since the third quarter 2016, while the number of renter households has been on the downward trend. In the second quarter 2018, the number of homeowners increased by 2.2 million, while the number of renter households rose by 146,000.
Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2018/07/strong-owner-household-formations-in-the-second-quarter/

* U.S. Median Home Price Appreciation Decelerates in Q2 2018 to Slowest Pace in Two YearsATTOM Data Solutions released its Q2 2018 U.S. Home Sales Report on Thursday, which shows that U.S. single family homes and condos sold for a median price of $255,000 in the second quarter, up 6.3 percent from a year ago to a new all-time high but the slowest annual appreciation since Q2 2016. “Annual home price appreciation nationwide has now slowed for five consecutive quarters following a post-election spike to double-digit appreciation in the first quarter of 2017,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Although home sellers are still in the driver’s seat of this housing market, moderating home price appreciation is good news for prospective homebuyers and signals that rising mortgage rates and other housing headwinds are cooling red-hot home price appreciation in some areas.” Annual home price appreciation in Q2 2018 decelerated from the previous quarter in 80 of the 122 metros (66 percent) analyzed for median home prices, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Philadelphia. Counter to the national trend, annual home price appreciation accelerated from the previous quarter in 42 of the 122 metros analyzed (34 percent), including New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Francisco and Detroit. Among 122 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report, those with the biggest year-over-year increase in median prices were San Jose, California (up 25.0 percent); Flint, Michigan (up 23.7 percent); Seattle, Washington (up 14.3 percent); Boise, Idaho (up 14.3 percent); and San Francisco, California (up 14.2 percent). Homeowners who sold in Q2 2018 sold for an average of $58,000 more than their original purchase price, the highest average home seller price gain since Q3 2007. Among 147 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed for average home seller gains, those with the highest average percentage gain were San Jose, California (116.6 percent); San Francisco, California (85.0 percent); Seattle, Washington (76.5 percent); Boston, Massachusetts (64.3 percent); and Portland, Oregon (62.1 percent).
Full Story… https://www.attomdata.com/news/market-trends/home-sales-prices/q2-2018-u-s-home-sales-report/

* Foreign Buyers Lessen Their Investments in U.S. Real Estate. Ongoing housing shortages and rising home prices are prompting international buyers to pause in their recent home buying sprees in the United States. International sales in the U.S. totaled $121 billion from April 2017 to March 2018, a 20 percent decline from a year ago, the National Association of REALTORS® reports. Foreign buyers and recent immigrants accounted for 8 percent of existing home sales, a decrease from 10 percent during the 12-month period that ended March 2017, according to NAR’s 2018 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate.  “After a surge in 2017, we saw a decrease in foreign activity in the housing market in the latest year, bringing us closer to the levels seen in 2016,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Inventory shortages continue to drive up prices, and sustained job creation and historically low interest rates mean that foreign buyers are now competing with domestic residents for the same, limited supply of homes.” Foreign buyers usually purchase properties that are pricier than the average existing home. The median price for a foreign buyer was $292,400 compared to a median price of $249,300 for all existing homes. Chinese buyers tend to purchase the most expensive properties in the U.S. at a median price of $439,100. Five countries comprised nearly half—49 percent—of the dollar volume of purchases by foreign buyers: China, Canada, India, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. China—for the sixth consecutive year—continued to have the largest dollar volume of purchases. Still, Chinese buyers’ involvement in the market decreased; they purchased an estimated $30.4 billion in residential property in the U.S., a drop of 4 percent from last year.
Full Story… https://magazine.realtor/daily-news/2018/07/26/foreign-buyers-lessen-their-investments-in-us-real-estate

Have a productive week.



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