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Author Archives: Steve Cook

Case-Shiller Still Stuck

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  The June Case-Shiller consensus reports an 8.4% year-over-year increase in the Composite 20 index but the Zillow forecast is for the Composite 20 to slow the increase 8.1% year-over-year, and for prices to be unchanged month-to-month. Zillow’s forecast for Case-Shiller’s July 2014 data cuts the non-seasonally adjusted 20-City Composite Home Price Index increase to 7.0 percent and the 10-City ... Read More »

Lag in New Households Retards Recovery

bride threshhold

  Household formation over the past 12 months is less than half of predictions, slowing demand for housing even though it’s increasingly cheaper to buy than rent.  The near term outlook for home sales remains gloomy, according to the latest from Freddie Mac’s chief economist. Household formation still remains very slow and the Census Bureau reports that over the past ... Read More »

Over 35s are Dragging us Underwater

underwater

Homeowners age 35 to 49 are three times more likely to be underwater on their mortgages than those 20 to 34 years old. One out of three boomer owners 50 years and older are likely to be underwater. The U.S. negative equity rate fell to 17 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage in the second quarter of 2014, representing ... Read More »

Purchase Mortgage Approvals Plummeted Suddenly in June

freefall

The approval rate for mortgages to buy homes dropped from 63.6 to 50.3 percent in June, the lowest approval rate for homebuyers’ applications in more than three years since Ellie Mae initiated its Origination Insight Report. The dramatic drop in mortgage approvals coincides with the continued difficulties buyer have having, widely cited as a cause for slowing sales and moderating ... Read More »

Soaring Rents Leave Homeownership Behind

Estate agents signs outside property to let in England.

Buying a home remains a real bargain compared to renting in most areas nationwide, as the share of income typically needed to afford the average home is much lower today than it was in the past. But while buying a home is a great deal, for those current renters looking to buy — particularly millennials — saving up the necessary ... Read More »

Sales Rise but Trail Last Year

single-yellow-ballon

Existing-home sales increased 2.4 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million ibut remain 4.3 percent below the 5.38 million-unit level from last July, which was the peak of 2013. The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in July was $222,900, which is 4.9 percent above July 2013. This marks the 29th consecutive month of ... Read More »

It’s the Year of the Renter

apartment-search

  Apartment rentals are setting records right and left.  Year-to-date  effective apartment rent growth through July leads all post-Great Recession years for the fourth straight month and is just 10 basis points away from the recovery’s peak YTD figure, reached in 2012. Annualized effective rent growth was 3.8% in July, a 12 bps increase from the 3.7% recorded in June ... Read More »

Fannie Sees Sales Plunging as Prices Rise

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  Fannie Mae’s economists downgraded their outlook for 2014 sales following the disappointing housing activity seen during the first half of the year but remained bullish on the housing market’s ability to consolidate it price gains this year. According to the forecast in Fannie’s August Housing Forecast, home sales will fall 3.2 percent below last year’s level of 5,519,000 units ... Read More »

California Markets Deliver Best Long-term Rental Profits

SF

For small investors looking for long-term profits from rental properties, five California markets top the list, according to a Zillow Rentals analysis. In terms of rental income, tax benefits and accumulated home equity (thanks to rapid home value appreciation), landlords in San Jose, California, make the most money: $8,927 per month, or $107,122 per year over a six year period. Other California markets in ... Read More »