Housing Analysis Category
Home builders are gaining confidence in current and future market conditions for new homes, but continue to see below-average foot traffic in new homes.
The reading for May’s National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) /Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) increased by three points to a reading of 44 as compared to April’s revised reading of 41. The HMI measures builder confidence in current sales conditions for newly built homes, buyer foot traffic in new homes and builder expectations for future sales conditions.
Builder Confidence In Future New Home Sales Highest Since February 2007
The HMI reading for current sales conditions for newly built homes rose from 44 to 48. The reading for buyer foot traffic in new homes rose from 30 to 33, and builder confidence in future sales of new homes rose from 52 to 53, which is the highest reading posted for builder expectations since February 2007.
A reading of more than 50 indicates that more builders consider housing markets good than bad.
NAHB Chairman Rick Judson noted that home builders are facing challenges including rising costs for building materials, lots and labor as supply chains recover from the recession. He also said that builders took note of “urgency” among home buyers wanting to take advantage of low mortgage rates, but who are facing a dwindling supply of available homes.
Regional Housing Market Index Unchanged Except In West
HMI readings for three of the four geographical regions used in the HMI survey of builders remained unchanged with the Northeast at 37, Midwest at 45 and South at 42.
The reading for the West declined by five points to 49, and likely reflects the shortage of building space and available new homes for sale. The regional HMI figures are calculated as a three-month rolling average.
In some areas of the West, home sellers are again receiving multiple offers for homes, a clear indication of diminishing inventories of homes for sale.
As an example, the Sacramento Bee recently reported the dilemma of builders faced with fewer available construction-ready lots alongside an increasing demand for homes. As inventories of both new and pre-owned homes shrink, demand for homes is growing as buyers take advantage of low mortgage rates.
With builders feeling confident about the future and poised to ramp up their home building efforts, it is a great time to consider buying or selling a home in Boulder.
Contact your trusted real estate professional to discuss your options right away to take advantage of this exciting opportunity.
RealtyTrac recently reported that national foreclosure filings are down while foreclosure filings are seeing marked increases in some states.
There are two systems for foreclosing residential real estate in the United States; judicial and non-judicial foreclosure. The states individually decide which foreclosure process will be followed in their state.
Judicial foreclosure requires action by the courts because the mortgage is not written including a “power of sale clause”. Judicial foreclosure proceedings generally take longer than non-judicial processes due to this court involvement.
A log-jam of delayed judicial foreclosures are beginning to move through backlogged courts with the result of higher numbers of foreclosures started, foreclosure auctions scheduled, and properties either sold to third parties at foreclosure auctions or repossessed by mortgage lenders.
In states allowing non-judicial foreclosure, the matter may be handled outside of the judicial system as the mortgage is written with the power of sale clause which allows the lender to take control of the mortgaged property to satisfy the outstanding lien.
Here are highlights of April’s foreclosure report:
Nationally, 144,790 foreclosure filings were made in April, a decrease of 5 percent compared to March and representing an annual decrease of 23 percent year-over-year.
Overall, April’s residential foreclosure activity was at its lowest since February 2007. About one of every 905 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing during April.
Due to the aforementioned backlog of judicial foreclosures, scheduled foreclosure auctions hit a 30-month high in April rising by 22 percent between March and April.
Some states had markedly higher rates of foreclosure sales scheduled in April 2013 as compared to April 2012. Examples include Maryland (+199 percent), New Jersey (+91 percent), Ohio (+73 percent), Oklahoma (+57 percent), and Florida (+55 percent)
Foreclosure auctions scheduled in non-judicial states were 7 percent lower in April as compared to March, and were an encouraging 43 percent lower in April 2013 as compared to April 2012; this was the lowest reading for non-judicial foreclosure sales scheduled since December of 2005.
Non-judicial foreclosure sales were impacted in some states as the result of legislation affecting foreclosure procedures. Affected states included Arkansas, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
70,133 U.S. homes went into foreclosure in April 2013, which is 40 percent lower than for March 2013 and 28 percent lower than during April 2012.
With home values increasing and large numbers of delayed foreclosures clearing the books, this data offers further evidence that the U.S. real estate market is steadily improving. As more foreclosures are removed from the housing inventory, home prices should continue to stabilize and increase in the Broomfield area.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly Non-farm Payrolls and National Unemployment Rate for April last Friday. These two reports are collectively called the Jobs Report.
165,000 jobs were added in April, while the unemployment rate dropped from 7.60 percent in March to 7.50 percent in April. 673,000 jobs have been added since January. Jobs were added in employment sectors including business and professional, health care and eating and drinking establishments.
The main impact of the jobs report on home sales and mortgage lending is the ability of would-be home buyers to qualify for mortgage loans.
Long term unemployment and under-employment has worked against consumers wanting to buy homes when interest rates and home prices hit significant lows.
Falling Long Term Unemployment Numbers Help New Home Buyers Buy Homes
Long-term unemployment (workers unemployed for 27 weeks or more) fell by 258,000 workers to 4.4 million in April. The share of long term workers among all unemployed fell by 2.2 percent to 37.4 percent of unemployed workers.
Since January, the number of long-term unemployed has decreased by 687,000 workers and 3.1 percent. Gaining employment is a plus for the economy and for households facing financial stress due to unemployment.
Another significant data set in terms of U.S. jobs measures workers who are working part-time, but who want to work full time. This sector increased by 278,000 in April to 7.9 million.
February and March 2013 Non-farm Payrolls numbers were revised upward. In February, jobs added were changed from 268,000 to 332,000. In March, jobs added were revised from 88,000 to 138,000. This adjusts the number of jobs added for February to March by an additional 114,000 new jobs.
Federal Reserve Bond Purchase Point To Continued Low Mortgage Rates
The Federal Reserve is continuing its program of quantitative easing (QE) by buying $85 billion in bonds and mortgage backed securities (MBS) monthly.
Reducing or eliminating QE would lessen the demand for bonds and MBS; when bond and MBS prices fall, mortgage rates usually rise. Lower mortgage rates can help offset rising home prices and allow more consumers to buy homes.
While home prices are gradually increasing, mortgage rates are still low. This helps moderate-income home buyers with affordability, but these conditions won’t last indefinitely.
In some regions, such as the West, available homes and land are in short supply, which is driving up home prices. This trend is helping home owners, and potentially home sellers, gain higher sales prices for their real estate. Overall, increasing the number of jobs is positive for the economy.
Contact your trusted mortgage lender for a personalized mortgage interest rate quote and to learn more about affordable home loan options.
Housing markets continue to improve according to the S&P Case Shiller Home Price Indices released April 30 for February’s data.
The Indices consist of a 10-City Composite Index and a 20-City Composite Index with housing markets for each city reported based on a three-month rolling average of home prices.
Case Shiller Posts Highest Growth Rates Since 2006
The data released yesterday comprised the Indices’ highest growth rates since May 2006.
For the 12 months between February 2012 and February 2013, the 10-City Composite Index reports that average home prices posted a gain of 8.6 percent and average home prices for the 20-City Composite Index grew by 9.3 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.
All 20 cities posted a year-over-year gain for at least two consecutive months.
The 10-City Composite Index grew by 0.4 percent between January and February, while the 20-City Composite Index grew by 0.3 percent for the same time period.
16 of the 20 cities reported rising annual growth rates for home sales between January and February 2013, while four cities including Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis and Phoenix saw decreases between -0.1 and -0.4 percent in annual home prices between January and February 2013 readings.
Longer-term readings provide a more positive light, as with the example for Phoenix, Arizona.
The month-to-month reading of annual home prices indicated a decrease, but the reading for Phoenix year over year indicates a + 23.0 percent increase in average home prices.
Ten Metro Areas Gain Double Digits Over Past Year
10 cities posted double-digit year-over-year growth rates; they include Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and Tampa.
San Diego and Tampa have joined the double-digit cities in February with average home prices increasing for each city of just over 10 percent.
Phoenix, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Atlanta posted the highest year-over-year gains in average home prices.
Three older cities, New York, Boston and Chicago posted the lowest year-over-year rates in average home price readings.
Atlanta and Dallas achieved the highest annual growth rates since the inception of the 10-City Composite (1991) and the 20-City Composite (2001).
Improving Housing Markets Seen As Beacon Of Economic Recovery
Improving housing markets are considered a leading indicator of overall economic recovery as home ownership typically increases wealth and leads to more spending.
Economists note that while current news for housing markets is good, average home prices remain at 2003 levels, which can be very good for new home buyers.
Shortages of available homes in some areas and news that apartment construction is increasing can impact availability and ultimately, the sale of single-family homes.
According to the the latest Foreclosure Inventory Analysis showed nearly 1.5 million properties were currently in the foreclosure process or being held by banks as Real Estate Owned.
This was up 9 percent from the first quarter of 2012, but down significantly from the apex of foreclosure activity — 2.2 million units — in December 2010.
What Is Distressed Property?
“Distressed property” is a blanket term for homes in foreclosure, short sale or that are REO (Real Estate Owned).
Below are definitions of different types of distressed real estate, so that you can be familiar with the terms.
- Foreclosure: When a homeowner has defaulted on their mortgage for a specified period of time, the bank takes possession of the real estate.
- Short Sale: A homeowner facing foreclosure may request a short sale from their lender to sell the property for less than what is owed.
- REO: Real Estate Owned properties have gone through foreclosure and are held by the bank. This increases the possibility of purchasing these homes at a discount because maintaining an REO is costly for a lender.
All three scenarios offer opportunities for substantial savings, yet all include stipulations with regard to the contract and terms of purchase.
Special Requirements With Distressed Property Purchases
When you buy this type of property, you are dealing with a financial institution instead of a private seller, so it may take more time to get to the closing table.
Be prepared for a longer than normal communication cycle as there are often delays when working with the bank or mortgage lender to come to a decision on an acceptable offer and closing date.
Unfortunately, many distressed properties have more deferred maintenance and repair issues
If you are willing to take the chance and be patient, a distressed property could pay off in terms of a lower purchase price.
Additionally, most buyers of distressed properties see an increase in the value of their Broomfield real estate within a short time of purchase.
In the end, it is strongly advised that buyers work with an experienced property expert when interested in distressed properties because of the additional paperwork and requirements to complete the transaction.
The National Association of REALTORS® released its Existing Home Sales report for March on Monday.
Sales dipped from February’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.95 million to 4.92 million existing homes sold in March, a decrease of 0.6 percent month-to-month.
This reading was lower than Wall Street’s consensus of 5.03 million existing homes sold, but there is also good news.
Sales of existing homes are up by 10.3 percent as compared to March 2012.
Economists note that existing home sales have performed within a narrow range of 4.90 to 4.96 million since November 2012.
This illustrates the impact of lower numbers of existing homes available for purchase in Colorado and around the country.
The National Association of Homebuilders Housing Market Index reports builder concerns including rising materials costs, tight construction credit and lack of available developed lots for building.
Demand for Homes, Fewer Distressed Properties Driving Median Home Price Gains
The national median price for existing homes was $184,300; this is an 11.8 percent increase over March 2012.
This was the largest year-over-year price increase since November 2005.
Low inventories of available homes for sale and fewer distressed properties on the market are supporting rising home prices.
Distressed home represented 21 percent of existing home sales in March, which was their lowest market share since data collection started in 2008.
Distressed home sales decreased from a 29 percent market share in March 2012.
With fewer “bargain-basement” homes on the market, homeowners waiting to sell may be more willing to list their homes which could add to the numbers of existing homes available.
Regional Median Home Prices Rise
Existing home sales declined in two of four U.S. regional markets, were unchanged in one market and rose in one market.
Sales of existing homes are calculated on an annual basis.
Northeast: Sales volume for March was unchanged at 630,000 homes sold annually. The median price is $237,000. This represents a year-over-increase of 6.8 percent since March 2012.
Midwest: Sales increased by 1.8 percent to 1.16 million homes. The median price rose to $141,800, an increase of 7.8 percent year-over-year.
South: Sales volume dropped by1.5 percent to 1.95 million homes. The median home price is $161,700. This is a 10.4 percent increase as compared to March 2012.
West: Sales volume declined by 1.7 percent to 1.18 million homes. This represents an increase of 4.4 percent in existing home sales over March 2012. The median home price in the West has risen by 26.1 percent year-over-year to $258,100. This dramatic increase is attributed by high demand for homes caused by very low home inventories.
While regional median home prices rose across the board in March, regional sales volumes were varied; this suggests that if there were more homes available, there would be more buyers.
Home sales rose for the 11th consecutive month according to the National Association of REALTORS® Existing Home Sales Report for January.
This is the first time this has occurred since the period between July of 2005 and May of 2006.
National Average Home Price Up Over 12% Annually
The national average home price in January was $173,600, which is 12.3 percent higher than for January 2012.
Calculated on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis, Existing Home Sales data is compiled using completed sales of single family homes, condominium units and co-ops.
January’s existing home sales rose by 0.4 percent to 4.92 million sales nationally as compared to December’s revised annual rate of 4.90 million sales nationally.
National sales of existing homes increased by 9.1 percent as compared to January 2012.
Regional Home Sales Support Housing Recovery
Regional home sales for January suggest more good news for housing markets. Seasonally- adjusted annual home sales rose in all regions of the U.S. except in the West, while median home prices rose for all regions.
Northeast: Home sales were up by 4.8 percent in January to 650,000 sales, which is 12.1 percent more homes sold than for January 2012. The median home price rose by 2.4 percent from January 2012 to $230,500.
Midwest: Annual home sales in January increased by 3.6 percent to 1.16 million; this is 17.2 percent higher than for January 2012. The median home price in the Midwest rose to $131,800, an increase of 8.6 percent as compared to January 2012.
South: Home sales were up by 1 percent to 1.96 million sales in January; this represents a 14.0 percent increase in annual sales as compared to one year ago. The average home price for the South was $152,100, an increase of 13.4 percent over January 2012.
West: Home sales fell by 5.7 percent to an annual rate of $1.15 million. This represents a 5.7 percent decrease in sales from one year ago. The median home price in January was $239,800 and was 26.6 percent above the region’s median sale price for January 2012.
A falling inventory of homes for sale may be holding back buyers; the inventory of homes for sale fell to a 4.2 month supply from December’s 4.5 month supply of homes. A 6-month supply of homes is considered average.
Home Prices May Rise Quickly
While the spring home buying season will likely see more homes come on the market in Longmont and the surrounding area , economists caution that home prices could rise faster than expected due to increasing demand. A seller’s market could be in the making.
Mortgage rates also appear to be rising; now may be your best time for gaining the advantage of relatively low home prices and mortgage rates.
The National Association of Homebuilders recently released its Improving Markets Index for the month of February.
The report attempts to identify U.S. metropolitan areas in which the economy is improving, demonstrating “measurable and sustained growth”.
259 U.S. markets are qualified as “improving” this month, a 17-market jump from the month prior and includes participants from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.
Experts point to improving market conditions in at least one market in all 50 states as a strong indication that the housing recovery is gaining substantial momentum.
This increasing momentum may suggest that now may be a very good time to purchase a home.
Compared to September 2011, when there were just 12 improving metro market areas, the widespread positive movement indicates how conditions are steadily improving nationwide.
So what qualifies a market as “improving”? The NAHB uses strict criteria.
First, the group gathers data from the three separate, independent sources :
- Employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Housing price appreciation from Freddie Mac
- Single-family housing permits growth from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Next, for each of the above data sets, the National Association of Homebuilders separates for local data in each U.S. major metropolitan area.
And, lastly, armed with data, the NAHB looks for areas in which growth has occurred for all three data points for six consecutive months; and for which the most recent “bottom” is at least six months in the past.
In this way, the Improving Market Index doesn’t just measure housing market strength — it measures general economic strength.
Of the 22 markets added to the Improving Market Index in November, the following cities were included : Chico, California; Columbus, Georgia; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Topeka, Kansas; and Wenatchee, Washington.
Several markets dropped off the list, too, including Champaign, Illinois; Lebanon, Pennsylvania; and Amarillo, Texas.
The complete list of 259 metropolitan areas on February’s IMI, plus breakouts of the metropolitan areas newly added and dropped is available online at http://www.nahb.org/imi.
Home prices continue their upward climb.
Last week, the S&P/Case-Shiller Index showed home prices gaining 5.5 percent during the 12-month period ending November 2012, marking the largest one-year gain in home prices since May 2010.
The Case-Shiller Index measures changes in home prices by tracking same-home sales throughout 20 housing markets nationwide; and the change in sales price from sale-to-sale.
Detached, single-family residences are used in the Case-Shiller Index methodology and data is for closed purchase transactions only.
Between November 2011 and November 2012, home values rose in 19 of the 20 Case-Shiller Index markets, with previously-hard hit areas such as Phoenix, Arizona leading the national price recovery.
The Phoenix market gained 1.4% for the month and was up 22.8% for the previous 12 months combined.
The top three monthly “gainers” for November 2012 were:
- Phoenix, Arizona : +1.4 percent
- San Francisco, California : +1.4 percent
- Minneapolis, Minnesota : +1.0 Percent
Only New York City posted annual home value depreciation. On average, homes lost -1.2% in value there.
It should be noted, however, that the Case-Shiller Index is an imperfect gauge of home values.
First, as mentioned, the index tracks changes in the detached, single-family housing market only. It specifically ignores sales of condominiums, co-ops and multi-unit homes.
Second, the Case-Shiller Index data set is limited to just 20 U.S. cities. There are more than 3,000 cities nationwide, which illustrates that the Case-Shiller sample set is limited.
And, lastly, the home sale price data used for the Case-Shiller Index is nearly two months behind its release date, rendering its conclusions somewhat out-of-date.
That said, the Case-Shiller Index joins the bevy of home value trackers pointing to home price growth over the last year. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), for example, reported similar home price growth with its November 2012 House Price Index (HPI).
Home values rose 0.6 percent between October and November 2012 nationwide, the FHFA said, and climbed 5.6 percent during the 12 months ending November 2012.
Economists attribute increasing home prices to higher buyer demand, record-low mortgage rates and the gradual improvement of the U.S. economy.
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports that the Pending Home Sales Index fell 4.3 percent in December as compared to the month prior. The index now reads 101.7.
The Pending Home Sales Index measures the number of U.S. homes that have gone “into contract”, but have not yet closed. The report is based on data collected from local real estate associations, and from national brokers.
Despite December’s drop, however, the annual rate at which contracts for a home purchase were drawn increased 6.9 percent from one year ago, and marked the 20th consecutive month of annual purchase contract gains.
NAR reports that 80% of homes under contract are closed with 60 days, with the majority of the remained homes “sold” within months 3 and 4.
Analysts believe that December’s Pending Home Sales Index drop is not a result of a weakening housing market. Rather, it’s a function of a falling national home supply; in particular, a shortage of homes in the West Region offered a prices under $100,000.
The national housing inventory is currently at an 11-year low. However, regionally, results varied :
- Northwest : -5.4 percent from November; +8.4 percent from one year ago
- Midwest : +0.9 percent from November; +14.4 percent from one year ago
- South : -4.5 percent from November; +10.1 percent from one year ago
- West: -8.2 percent from November; -5.3 percent from one year ago
Although December’s Pending Home Sales Index dropped as compared to November, the year-to-year growth of pending home sales suggests a broader improvement in the U.S. housing market. Furthermore, the index is a strong indicator of existing home sales, which means that this season’s home sales should outpace those from 2012.
The Pending Home Sales Index is bench-marked to 100, the value from 2001, which was the index’s first year of existence. 2001 was considered a strong year for the housing market so last month’s 101.7 is considered a positive measure for the housing market.
Analysts project a strong Spring market in Longmont and nationwide.