This Week in Real Estate: April 17, 2017


The spring selling season is in full swing This Week in Real Estate, as mortgage rates hit the lowest mark of 2017 and the preliminary April report of consumer sentiment advanced to a three month high. Below are a few highlights from the second week of April that influence our business:

* Q1 2017 Foreclosure Activity Below Pre-Recession Levels. ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q1 and March 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report on Thursday, which shows first quarter foreclosure activity was below pre-recession levels nationwide. Nationwide the report shows foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 234,508 U.S. properties in the first quarter of 2017, down 11 percent from the previous quarter and down 19 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since Q3 2006. The first quarter foreclosure activity total was 16 percent below the pre-recession average of 278,912 properties with foreclosure filings each quarter between Q1 2006 and Q3 2007. “U.S. foreclosure activity on a quarterly basis first dipped below pre-recession averages in the fourth quarter of last year, and this report shows that trend continuing for the second consecutive quarter,” said Daren Blomquist, ATTOM Data Solutions senior vice president.
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* Mortgage Rates Hit Lowest Mark of 2017. Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey on Thursday, showing the 30-year mortgage rate dropping for the fourth consecutive week and hitting a new low for 2017. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending Thursday. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.58 percent. 15-year fixed rate mortgage this week averaged 3.34 percent with an average 0.5 point. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 2.86 percent. 5-year adjustable rate mortgage averaged 3.18 percent this week with an average 0.4 point. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.84 percent.
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* Affordability, Tight Supply Cause Vacation Home Sales to Plummet in 2016; Investment Sales Climb 4.5%. Last year’s strongest pace of home sales in a decade included a sizable drop in activity from vacation buyers and a jump from individual investors. NAR’s 2017 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey revealed that vacation home purchases last year descended to an estimated 721,000, down 21.6 percent from 2015 (920,000) and the lowest since 2013 (717,000). Investment-home sales in 2016 rose 4.5 percent to 1.14 million from 1.09 million in 2015. Owner-occupied purchases jumped 12.5 percent to 4.21 million last year from 3.74 million in 2015 – the highest level since 2006 (4.82 million). “Sales to individual investors reached their highest level since 2012 (1.20 million) as investors took advantage of record low mortgage rates and recognized the sizable demand for renting in their market as renters struggle to become homeowners,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. Vacation sales accounted for 12 percent of all transactions in 2016, which was the lowest share since 2012 (11 percent) and down from 16 percent in 2015. The portion of investment sales remained unchanged for the third consecutive year at 19 percent, and owner-occupied purchases increased to 70 percent (65 percent in 2015).
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Have a productive week!

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