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Author Archives: Steve Cook

Experts’ Crystal Ball Sees 4.6 Percent Gain

crysatl2

A survey of 104 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists predicted the U.S. Zillow Home Value Index would rise 4.6 percent year-over-year by the end of 2014, to $177,895, and expected the pace to slow in each of the next four years. The most optimistic group of panelists predicted a 5.6 percent annual increase in home values ... Read More »

Freddie Mac: Apartments are Booming

Moving_Mess

With vacancy rates at a 13-year low, a large cohort of young adult renters and potential renters and a continued demand for apartments that is expected to meet the new supply of units under construction, the multifamily market is looking extraordinarily strong at mid-year. Freddie Mac’s six month outlook for the multifamily rental housing market is strong despite the fluctuating ... Read More »

Appraisers Continue to Fade Away

Things-not-to-say-to-an-appraiser

  The number of active real estate appraisers has continued to decline for the seventh straight year, though the pace has slowed, even as real estate agents revive complaints about low appraisals killing purchase contracts. The Appraisal institute reported today that the number of appraisers fell less than 1 percent in the first half of 2014, lower than the average ... Read More »

One State Leads the Foreclosure Marathon

Florida-two

As the Foreclosure Era enters its final months, completed foreclosures are increasingly concentrating in a handful of states and one state reports three times as many as the next runner-up.  Regions of the nation have virtually returned to normal as their foreclosure inventories dry up and are not refilled. Five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures in ... Read More »

Homeownership Falls to 19 Year Low

OldHouse1w

  The share of Americans who own their homes was 64.7% in the second quarter, down from 64.8% in the previous three months, the Census Bureau said in a report today. The rate matched the level in the second quarter of 1995. The homeownership rate of 64.7 percent was 0.3 percentage points (+/-0.4)* lower than the second quarter 2013 rate ... Read More »

FHA Premium Hikes Kill Homeownership Dreams

FHA_to_Conv

Higher costs for mandatory mortgage insurance are turning would be homeowners into long term renters, according to a recent survey of lenders by the National Association of Realtors. Some 68.4 percent of originators indicated that they had clients who chose not to buy or to put off buying indefinitely because of increases in mortgage insurance rates.  Only 42.1 percent cited ... Read More »

Spring Price Increases Barely Budge Underwater Homes

teaparty

Price increases slowed so much in the second quarter that the numbers of seriously underwater homes and the percentage of equity rich properties barely increased over the first quarter of 2014. The second quarter of 2014 saw only a small percentage decline in the percentage homes that were seriously underwater, 17.2 percent versus 17.4 percent in the first quarter of ... Read More »

Consolidation Creates Megalandlords Dominating Single Family Rentals

keep-calm-and-consolidate-4

“Now we’ll sweep up everybody over the next two years who got stuck, who says I have home price appreciation, which they do. They bought right, but now they are stuck.” The chief executive officer of the second largest hedge fund landlord articulated in an interview with Bloomberg why a handful of megalords are the process of dominating the single ... Read More »

Down Payments Go Up for First-time Buyers

hurdles

Fewer first-time homebuyers are finding a way to buy a house with a relatively low down payment as their options shrink and lenders’ down payment requirements rise. From April through June 2014, about 67 percent of first-time buyers made a downpayment of 6 percent or less, down from 74 percent in 2009, according to the latest Realtor Confidence Index report ... Read More »

Buyers are Tossing in the Towel

Molly Hayden, U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr Public Affairs

  Prospective buyers aren’t even going through the motions of applying for financing as applications for purchase mortgages weakened in May.  Most housing markets remain stalled largely markets moved into their stable range of housing activity according to Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi). The national MiMi value stands at -2.64 points indicating a weak housing market overall with only ... Read More »