New home construction in May remained fairly flat, with new single-family home starts increasing just 0.3 percent to an annual adjusted rate of 599,000 homes, from a rate of 597,000 homes the prior month, according to data released this morning from the U.S. Dept of Commerce and HUD. Construction of residential buildings with 5 or more units, on the other hand, increased almost 25 percent in May (24.9 percent) to an annual rate of 306,000 units from 245,000 units in April.
Home prices are being driven by Institutional investors, according to a report just released by RadarLogic. According to the report, as of March 2013, Institutional Investors were responsible for about 12 percent of the home sales in 25 major metro areas, an increase of 33 percent from a year ago when it just accounted for 9 percent of home sales.
RadarLogic cautions that this investor activity can have an “outsized” impact on home prices noting that “investor purchases accounted for the entire year-on-year gain in aggregate transaction activity across the 25 MSAs”. If the institutional investor activity is removed from the market, home purchases actually declined year over year according to the report. Continue reading RadarLogic Says Home Prices Being Driven By Institutional Investors
Further proof that the housing market is on the road to recovery, albeit probably a slow one, came today in RealtyTracs foreclosure report for May revealing there were foreclosure filings on 148,054 properties in the U.S. in May which is an increase of 2 percent from the month before (April’s activity was at the lowest level in 75 months) but a decrease of 28 percent from a year ago..
Highlights from the May 2013 Foreclosure Report: Continue reading Foreclosure Filings In May Down 28 Percent From Year Ago
The number of underwater homeowners dropped below the 10 million mark in the first quarter of 2013 when 9.7 million, or 19.8 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage were in an underwater or negative equity position, according to a newly released report from CoreLogic. This is down from the 4th quarter of 2012 when there were 10.5 million, or 21.7 percent, homeowners underwater.
In addition to those homeowners that are underwater, there are another 11.2 million homeowners that have less than 20 percent equity, with 2.1 million of those having less than 5 percent equity. According to the report, the average homeowner with a mortgage has average equity of 32.8 percent. Continue reading Number of underwater homeowners drops below 10 million
Now is a good time to buy a house, according to 76 percent of the American’s surveyed, according to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey for May. In addition, 40 percent of those surveyed think now is a good time to sell a home.
When it comes to financing that home purchase, American’s are getting more optimistic as well, with 46 percent saying it would be easy to get a home loan today, however 50 percent believe it would be difficult to obtain a mortgage.
SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS: Continue reading Three-Fourths Of American’s Think Now Is A Good Time To Buy A House
The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA) took exception to a recent change by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) which was NAR’s removal of “Exclusive Buyer and Exclusive Seller Representation” from their marketing materials and publications. NAEBA President, Michael Byrd, had to say, “While we don’t believe this was a deliberate intent to mislead consumers, as the largest real estate association in the world and a recognized authority on real estate agency, NAR’s omission could easily be misinterpreted by consumers that Exclusive Buyer or Seller Representation is no longer available as an option, which simply isn’t the case.” The NAEBA has fired off a letter to NAR which addresses their concern in more detail and can be read here.
Fannie Mae just released the results of a survey of renters revealing that ninety percent of them expect to buy a home in the future although almost half (42 percent) believe that they will not be able to do so for at least 5 years. Many of those renters surveyed say that they believe it will be difficult to obtain a mortgage today.
Top 15 Cities to Buy Fixer-Upper Homes
According to a report released today by RealtyTrac, Detroit Michigan is the best city in the U.S. to buy fixer-upper bargain homes. In compiling the list, RealtyTrac considered the number of homes each city had that were bank owned homes (REO’s), built before 1960 (indicating the opportunity to increase value by updating and/or improving) and had an estimated value below $100,000. The complete list of the top 15 cities is below as well as an interactive info-graphic.
Continue reading Top Places To Buyer Fixer-Upper’s
Over the past two years the average down payments on home loans have dropped 9.4 percent from 17.8 percent to 16.1 percent, according to the information just released by LendingTree.com. The current national loan amount is $221,694.76. With an average of 11.9 percent, Mississippi has the lowest average down payment in the U.S. and New Jersey, at 20.5 percent, has the highest. Continue reading Average Down Payments Have Dropped Almost 10 Percent In Past Two Years
Clear Capital just released their June market report showing the top 15 performing housing markets in the U.S. as well as the 15 worst performing housing markets in the U.S. during the month of May 2013, based upon home price appreciation on a quarter over quarter basis. At the top of the list of top performing markets is Las Vegas with a 4.5 percent increase in home prices from the prior quarter and a staggering 27 percent increase over the past year. At the top of the list of worst performing markets is Cleveland Ohio with a 4.3 percent decrease from the prior quarter.
See both lists below: Continue reading The Best and Worst Performing Housing Markets
Today, Radar Logic released it’s latest RPX housing report which indicates that the gain in home prices we have seen over the past year are “driven by unsustainable forces” and that “weakness persists in the housing market“. The report says that tight inventory is what has driven the home price increases with the inventory of homes for sale dropping from 3.4 million homes at the peak of the boom in July 2007 to just 1.9 million homes last month. The inventory of homes for sale in the past year has declined 11.9 percent while home prices have increased 13.1 percent in the 25 metro areas that make up the RPX composite.
Market Issues That Make Home Price Increases Unsustainable:
Continue reading Radar Logic Says Home Price Increases Unsustainable
The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) rose to 106.0 in April from 105.7 the month before. Aprils’ PHSI was at the highest level since April 2010 when it his 110.0 and is the 24th month in a row there has been a year-over-year increase in the index.
Continue reading Pending Home Sales Inches Up In April
Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their Multifamily Production Index (MPI) which dropped two points to an index level of 52. The MPI is an indicator of the attitude of builders and developers on the market conditions on a scale from 0 to 100 with anything over a 50 indicating more builders and developers feel market conditions are improving rather than worsening.
“The apartment sector overall has largely recovered since the downturn, so we have now reached a level of development that is close to equilibrium and can continue at this pace,” said W. Dean Henry, CEO of Legacy Partners Residential in Foster City, Calif., and chairman of NAHB’s Multifamily Leadership Board. “With that said, there are still certain markets around the country that have room to grow.”
Foreclosure sales in the U.S. during the 1st quarter of 2013 dropped 22 percent from the 1st quarter of 2012 according to a report just released by RealtyTrac. According to the report, there were 190,121 properties in the U.S. that were at some stage of foreclosure, or owned by a bank and sold, during the first quarter of this year, a decline of 18 percent from the previous quarter.
More Than One Of Five Residential Sales Are Foreclosure Sales: Continue reading First Quarter 2013 Foreclosure Sales Down 22 Percent From Year Ago
Recent homebuyers that responded to a survey by Redfin indicated that they are accepting the reality of the fact that we are in a seller’s market and showed their willingness to pay more for a home as a result. Buyers cited the low inventory of homes for sale and increasing home prices as key concerns they have as homebuyers.
Highlights of the survey:
Continue reading Homebuyers Willing to Pay More As Result of Sellers Market
The hottest housing market in the U.S. in April was San Jose, CA with almost two-thirds of the homes selling in under two weeks and the supply of homes for sale dropping to under one month, according to a report just released by Redfin. Throughout the country homes were selling quicker in April with the number of homes that went under contract within two weeks increasing by 39 percent from April 2013.
Highlights from the fastest selling housing markets report: Continue reading Hottest Housing Market Is In Silicone Valley
During the first quarter of 2013 there were 13 million homeowners, or 25.4 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage, underwater on their mortgage, according to Zillows Negative Equity Report. In addition, there are another 9 million homeowners (18.2 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage) that, while “not technically underwater”, likely do not have enough equity to move, according to the report.
This puts roughly 22 million homeowners (or 43.6 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage) in a position where they are stuck and cannot afford to move at least until market conditions improve and home prices increase.
Of the 30 largest metro areas covered by the report, Las Vegas had the highest rate of underwater homeowners at 71.5 percent, followed by Atlanta (64.1 percent) and Riverside, CA (59.7 percent). The complete table is below; Continue reading 13 Million Homeowners Still Underwater With Mortgage
One of the keys to a strong real estate market is to have more people moving into your area than out of it, otherwise known as positive migration. In this arena, Texas is at the top of the list with eight of the 15 fastest-growing large cities in the U.S. being found in the state of Texas, according to information just released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Texas is also home to five of the 10 cities in the U.S. that added the most people to it’s population in the past year. Continue reading Texas Cities Tops In Population Growth According to Latest Census Data
Home sales in April were at the seasonally adjusted rate of 4.97 million homes, a slight increase (0.6 percent) from the month before and an increase of 9.7 percent from April of 2012 when home sales were at the annual rate of 4.53 million homes, according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR).
The median sales price of existing homes sold in April was $192,800, and increase of 4.8 percent from March and an increase of 11.0 percent from a year ago when the median sales price of existing homes sold was $173,700.
Highlights from the report: Continue reading Home Sales Increase Slightly in April
Some very diverse cities made the National Association of Home Builder’s top 10 list for the most affordable housing for the 1st quarter of 2013. In the number one spot was Mansfield Ohio where 97.5 percent of all new and existing homes were affordable to people that earned the local median family income. Number two was Cumberland Maryland and in the third spot, Fairbanks Alaska.
At the other end of the list, San Francisco came in #1 as the least affordable housing market where only 28.9 percent of the people with a median family income can afford to buy a home, in spite of the fact that the median family income is almost double that of Mansfield, Ohio, the city with the least affordable housing.
Continue reading 10 Most Affordable and Least Affordable Cities
Two Alabama real estate investors and their company were sentenced today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in Mobile, for their participation in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in southern Alabama, the Department of Justice announced. Continue reading Two Alabama Real Estate Investors Get 20 Months Prison Time for Foreclosure Bid-Rigging
The Top School Districts, combined with the most affordable housing, can be found in the Minneapolis area, according to a report just released by ZipRealty. According to the report, a school district in Minneapolis was at the top of the list with a school score of 9.6 (out of a possible 10) and a median price per foot for homes of $112.
The top 10 places offering the best schools for the most affordable home prices are: Continue reading Top School Districts with Most Affordable Housing
A common discussion among potential homeowners today is buy vs rent in terms of housing and which makes more financial sense. According to a report by Zillow, in 64 percent of the metro areas covered by their report, buying a home is a smarter financial decision.
For the purposes of this report, Zillow looked at all the costs associated with buying or renting a home, including upfront payments, fees, closing costs, insurance, payments, etc and then factored in historic home price appreciation rates and rent increase rates over a 3 year period to determine whether it is smarter to buy a home or rent a home.
The table below shows all metro areas covered by the report as well as the time (in years) that it would take to “break-even” in terms of buying a home versus renting a home.
Continue reading Buy Vs Rent; Buying Wins In 64 Percent of Metros
Spring weather and a shrinking inventory of homes for sale has helped fuel an increase in new home construction activity according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD. According to the report, building permits for new single family homes in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 617,000 homes, an increase of 3.0 percent from the month before and a 27.5 percent increase from a year ago. New home starts slipped a little in April, falling back to an annual rate of 610,000 homes, a decline of 2.1 percent from March but still an increase of 20.8 percent from a year ago.
To view the complete report,[wpsharely] click here.[/wpsharely]
RealtyTrac, just released a report with an interesting twist; instead of just reporting foreclosure activity as they normally do, and are best known for, this report includes an in-depth analysis of building permits issued for new homes as well. The report shows that foreclosure starts during the first quarter of 2013 were down 27 percent from a year ago and permits for new homes were up 27 percent during the same period. Continue reading New Homes Filling Void in Market Left By Fewer Foreclosures
The Justice Department today announced a settlement with the architects and civil engineers involved in the design and construction of multifamily housing complexes located in Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. The department’s lawsuit alleges that nine multifamily housing complexes with more than 800 units covered by the Fair Housing Act’s accessibility requirements were designed and built without required accessible features. No settlement has been reached with the developer, builder or former owners of these properties, who are alleged to have violated not only the Fair Housing Act, but also the Americans with Disabilities Act. Continue reading Justice Department Reaches Fair Housing Settlement with Design Professionals in Disability Lawsuit
Luxury home sales during the first quarter of 2013 rose 34 percent from first quarter 2012, according to a luxury home report just released by Redfin. According to the report, the market for homes priced at $1 million and above has rebounded even faster than the normal housing market.
Included in the report was a list of the top luxury home markets in the country in terms of the number of $1 million+ homes sold from January 2012 through March 2013. It doesn’t come as a surprise that San Francisco is at the top of the list with 474 sales, followed by 3 other California cities, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and San Diego. The complete list is below: Continue reading Luxury Home Sales Hit Six-Year High
Home prices in metro areas throughout the U.S. continued to rise during the first quarter, according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). According to NAR, on a national level, year-over-year home price performance during first quarter 2013 was at the best level in over seven years. Median home prices on single family homes, increased in 133 out of 150 metro areas covered in the NAR report. Continue reading Metro Area Home Prices Continue To Rise