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Housing Markets

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 »

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 »

The Return of the Prodigal Single Family Rentals

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It’s no secret that inadequate inventories have been stunting the housing recovery.  Through November, total housing inventory has fallen year-over-year for 18 straight months and supplies are now 11.4 percent lower than they were two years ago.[1] As inventories decline, rising income, improved employment, and historically low mortgage rates have given demand a shot in the arm.  Sales in November ... Read More »

Homebuyers Aren’t Fazed by Rate Run-up

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The super sensitivity of home buyers to the slightest uptick in mortgage interest rates is one of the more puzzling examples of human misperception.  Buyers will rush to close or put their buying plans on ice when rates are rising a wrinkle, even if the actual monthly impact on a mortgage is less than a dinner out at McDonald’s.  They ... Read More »

Imprev Thought Leader Study Shows Softer Confidence in 2017 Housing Market

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Top real estate executives’ confidence in the U.S. economy and housing market for 2017 has softened compared to two years ago, and 42 percent have grown less confident in the world economy since January, according to the latest Imprev Thought Leader Real Estate Confidence study. Respondents included nearly 240 broker-owners and top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms, ... Read More »

Experts Forecast Prices Will Cool Off in 2017

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Home price increases will slow next year from this year’s above average pace of 4.75 percent, and in November 2017, values will reach the median price peak set a decade ago, in April 2007, according to the latest quarterly Zillow® Home Price Expectations (ZHPE) Survey sponsored by Zillow and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC. Estimates based on the survey of 111 ... Read More »

Are Trophy Homes Losing their Lustre?

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With pressure on the homebuilding industry to build fewer trophy homes and concentrate on filling the demand for affordable housing, the data does not bode well for builders. Median prices of new homes have risen steadily during the recession. In September, the median sold price of a new home hit $313,500, 5.5 percent higher than last year’s median of $296,400 ... Read More »

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