Tuesday , 21 February 2017
Home » Author Archives: Steve Cook

Author Archives: Steve Cook

Rates Beat Inventories as 2017 Bad Guys

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Rising mortgage interest rates and their impact on mortgage affordability beat out inventory shorttagers as the most significant force driving the 2017 housing market, according to the latest Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey. On average, experts said rates on a 30-year, fixed mortgage will need to reach 5.65 percent before significantly impacting home value growth, though a sizable share said ... Read More »

December Sales Improved but are Still 2.2 Percent Below Potential

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  December home sales were up from a shaky November, but they could have been better if not for the inventory shortage. Tthe market for existing-home sales underperformed its potential by 2.2 percent or an estimated 129,000 (SAAR) of sales, an improvement from the 6.2 percent underperformance in November The difference is the gap between actual and potential sales, as ... Read More »

Bad Signs for Sales?

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Will 2016 be remembered as the peak of the recovery?  It was the best year for sales in more than a decade.  Will sales take a break in 2017, a victim of political uncertainty, rising rates and prices that are outpacing incomes? Even worse, will 2017 herald a multi-year downtrend in sales? Last year, existing-home sales finished 2016 at 5.45 ... Read More »

Are Rents on the Ropes?

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Has the long-anticipated boom in multifamily housing construction finally ignited a capacity glut that will lower rents and reduce pressure on renters to buy? Rental growth has fallen to the lowest level in six years and rents in top luxury markets have declined over the past four months in the wake of rising capacity. New apartment inventory levels grow by ... Read More »

Home Improvement Boom to Slow Slightly but Remodelers Anticipate Another Busy Year

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The latest projection from the Joint Center for Housing Studies’ Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) calls for a slight slowing in annual growth in home improvement and repair expenditures will rise 6.7 percent at $317 billion, a strong but slight slowing of the  6.9 percent growth estimated for 2016. Remodelers are anticipating another year of widespread revenue growth in ... Read More »

Meet Tomorrow’s Rising Star Chief Economists

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Not so ago, national reporters covering housing relied on four or five chief economists in the housing sector to help to understand and interpret real estate economic data for their readers. These gurus were on everyone’s Rolodex because they worked for big organizations like NAR, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the National Association of Home Builders and megabanks. With the housing ... Read More »

The Color of Homeownership

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It’s no secret that the nation’s homeownership rate has reached its lowest point since the Census Bureau began tracking it in 1994. What’s less known is how greatly homeownership divides America by race.  New research from the Pew Institute raises fears that the bleaching of homeownership will continue for at least another generation. In 23 years of boom and bust, ... Read More »

Better Days are Ahead for Marginal Home Buyers?

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As the top officials to serve in the new Trump Administration are named and they outline their priorities, the broad outlines of the new government’s housing policies are taking shape.  Further details won’t complete the picture until the weeks follow the inauguration. Even once they settle into office, some of the policy changes in store—especially reducing and revoking regulations—can take ... Read More »

As Homeowners Move Less Often Will Agents Sell Fewer Homes?

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Did you miss the news item that will certainly impact your business for years to come? Homeowners are selling the homes two and a half times less often than they did just a few years ago—and now it is clear that it’s not a temporary aberration.  Homeowners are staying put 50 percent longer than they did in 2007, from six ... Read More »

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