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Author Archives: Steve Cook

Housing Momentum is Grinding to a Halt


The U.S. housing market is struggling to maintain momentum as housing prices continue to moderate and purchase applications fall. The latest reading of Freddie Mac’s newly updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®) shows a slight decline in the national value through July. The national MiMi value stands at 73.4, indicating a weak housing market overall and showing a slight decline (-0.45%) ... Read More »

Only 10.7 Percent of All Mortgaged Homes Still Underwater


Nearly 950,000 homes returned to positive equity in the second quarter of 2014, bringing the total number of mortgaged residential properties with equity in the U.S. to more than 44 million. Nationwide, borrower equity increased year over year by approximately $1 trillion in Q2 2014.  Approximately 5.3 million homes, or 10.7 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, were ... Read More »

August Sales Took a Dip


Nothing like a plunge in the pool to bring the housing recovery back to reality. Each sales report and forecast paints a picture of a declining market as the spring/summer market faded away.  Now there’s a growing consensus that existing home sales will fall below the magic 5 million number for only the second time in the past eight years. ... Read More »

Closing Rates for Purchase Loans Hit New High….Finally

break record

Nearly two out of three applications for mortgages to buy a home were approved in August, a new high for purchase loan approvals.  Despite the progress tight lending standards are still handicapping the housing recovery. The closing rate is a new high for Ellie Mae’s monthly Origination Insights reports, which began in late 2011.  Since November 2011, the purchase loan ... Read More »

Millennials Warm Up a Little Bit


Millennials are feeling slightly better about themselves, which is making pollsters feel even better about the future of the housing markets.  Just how long the next generation will take to get serious about the process of home buying still makes experts nervous. Overall, Americans are more confident in their housing market than at the start of the year, according to ... Read More »

Are Inventories nearing the Danger Zone?


Prompted by two years of steadily rising prices, inventories are reaching levels higher than they have been in two and a half years according Zillow. Inventory shortages have plagued real estate markets for much of that time, but the latest data suggests that the pendulum may have swung too far in the other direction.  Zillow reported that national for-sale inventory ... Read More »

Rents Rise as Renters Become Better Risks

apart article

A better class of renter is changing the fact of Rentorship in America, creating a climate for higher rents. Rental applicants, especially those applying for less expensive units, continue to see improvements in their credit risk, according to the latest TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions industry report. The average ResidentScore, a measure used to assess a rental applicant’s risk level, improved ... Read More »

First-time Buyers Miss the Boat


Eligible homebuyers could benefit from a growing number of homeownership programs. According to the third quarter Down Payment Resource™ Homeownership Program Index, 91.7 percent of the country’s homebuyer programs are funded, up from 90 percent in June. The South still leads in the total number of available homebuyer programs, followed by the West. The index is developed by Down Payment ... Read More »

Homeownership Decay Fuels Multifamily Demand

Leaning Wooden Shack Rear Porch - Golden, Oregon - HDR - Infrared Black & White

The multifamily sector, especially apartment buildings for rent, are rebounding at a record pace at the expensive of moribund homeownership rates, especially among young adults. Construction of buildings with at least five apartments hit the highest monthly construction pace since the beginning of 2006, according to the latest economic forecast from Fannie Mae. The latest absorption rates for unsubsidized, unfurnished ... Read More »

Summer’s End Cools Luxury Sales


Luxury home sales peaked in late June but by the first of September the market crossed over into a buyers’ market for the first time since early spring, though not strongly so. Median luxury prices also have been falling since the end of June, according to weekly market reports from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. Last week ILHM’s Market ... Read More »