Friday , 2 December 2016
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Housing Markets

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 »

Are Starter Homes Going the Way of the Station Wagon?

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The Millenial generation’s slow start in adulthood is still causing aftershocks in the housing economy.  Unemployment, underemployment and student debt have delayed their household formation beyond the timeframe of earlier generations.  Low interest rates and low down payment programs were enough to get millions of potential buyers into affordable homes before prices soared. Now it looks like an icon of ... Read More »

Unmasking the Millennials

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Zillow’s new Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends, authored by Stan Humphries, Chief Analytics Officer and Chief Economist, is a remarkably valuable 21st Century addition to the body of research profiling the changing face of residential real estate. Its many jewels of new or intuitive findings regarding the mysterious Millennials, the generation that so far has defied expectations, are ... Read More »

Americans Move Less and Impact the Economy

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The median tenure homeowners plan to stay in their homes soared with the housing recession in 2008 for good reasons. Millions of owners were underwater and millions more lacked the 20 percent equity need to sell their home.  Many facing the need to move for job or space reasons found it easier to move and keep their old home to ... Read More »

Rents Cooled in the Third Quarter

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Record levels of new multi-family construction are meeting demand in the nation’s hottest market, cutting in half the pace of rent increases nationwide and driving down median rents in more markets during the third quarter, according to rental analytics firm Axiometrics. Nationally, rents rose only 3% for the third quarter of 2016, more than 2 percentage points below the robust ... Read More »

Summer Ends with Crippling Inventory Shortages

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August brought even worse news for first-time and move-up buyer as chronic inventory shortages grow even, inflating home prices even more.  A double whammy of unaffordable prices and shrinking selections of homes for sale continue to handcuff the housing recovery. “Hopes of a meaningful sales breakthrough as a result of this summer’s historically low mortgage rates failed to materialize because ... Read More »

Mortgage Approvals Soar 51% in Four Years

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As lending standards have loosened over the past four years, closing rates have steadily improved and in August, approvals rates for all mortgages were more than 50 percent higher than they were in August 2012, according to the latest Origination Insights report from Ellie Mae. Closing rates increased from less than half of applications—47.8 percent in 2014—to 72.3 percent of ... Read More »

Freddie Raises Price Forecast, Fannie Turns Bearish on Sales

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Like the blind men with different interpretations of the same elephant, September forecasts by economists at the nation’s largest housing GSEs emphasize differing outcomes from the same forces shaping the nation’s housing economy. After July’s disappointing existing sales report, which NAR’s Lawrence Yun attributed in part to chronically low inventories, Fannie Mae lowered its existing sales forecast for 2016 from ... Read More »

Five Reasons Rentals are Winning the War for the Millennials

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The national homeownership rate has just fallen to its lowest level since June 1965, the month that the Rolling Stones released “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” and Peter Sellers and Romy Schneider starred in “What’s New Pussycat”.  Only 62.9 percent of families now own the homes in which they live.[1] “They’ said homeownership wouldn’t get any lower because the largest ... Read More »

Mortgage Insurance Soared in Second Quarter

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  Mortgage insurance activity, including insurance written by government programs like the FHA and VA as well as and private insurers, rose significantly to $189 billion, up from last quarter’s $140.2 billion and up 11 percent over 2015.  Though FHA’s market share fell to 34 percent in 2016 Q2 (from 41 percent the previous quarter), the private insurance market’s share ... Read More »

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