The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI) posted a reading of 58 in the fourth quarter of 2019, up three points from the previous quarter (Figure 1). The RMI has been consistently above 50—indicating that more remodelers report market activity is higher compared to the prior quarter than report it is lower—since the second quarter of 2013. The overall RMI averages current remodeling activity and future indicators.
Current market conditions increased two points to 56 in the fourth quarter of 2019 (Figure 2). Among its three major components, major additions and alterations gained four points to 56, minor additions and alterations increased by one point to 54 and the home maintenance and repair component rose one point to 58.
The future market indicators gained three points to 60 in the fourth quarter (Figure 3). Calls for bids increased by three to 58, amount of work committed for the next three months gained three points to 57, the backlog of remodeling jobs jumped five points 64 and appointments for proposals increased by two points to 62.
The fourth quarter RMI reading reflects solid demand for remodeling, supported by a strong overall economy and low interest rates. Remodelers still face challenges in the market, including skilled labor shortages, making it harder to work off a backlog quickly.
Contracts for new, single-family home sales inched down 0.7% in September to a 701,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate according to estimates from the joint release of HUD and the Census Bureau. The decline came off a downwardly revised August estimate, which was decreased from an initial reading of 713,000 to a new estimate of 706,000. Year-over-year, the September estimate is 15.5% higher. Sales in September continue strength supported by lower mortgage rates. Are you looking for an Online conveyancing quote? then try My conveyancing specialist, because moving home can be a very exciting experience. It can however, also be a stressful and expensive.
Total sales for the first nine months of 2019 (527,000) were 7.2% higher than the comparable total for 2018 (491,000). We expect sales volume to continue to trend up slightly in the coming months as more new homes are built.
For the first nine months of 2019 (and relative to the first nine months of 2018), new home sales were up 12.8% in the South, 7.3% in the West, and down 10.3% in the Northeast and 10.6% in the Midwest, due to some tax reform related effects and affordability.
Compared to last month, inventory of new homes for sale declined 0.6% to 321,000 in September. It is the fourth straight decline since June 2019. The current months’ supply stands at a balanced level of 5.5.
Median new home sales price (price of a home in the middle of the distribution) dropped 7.9% in September to $299,400 compared to August ($325,200) and 8.8% lower than a year ago ($328,300). Median new home sales price dipped below $300,000 for the first time since May 2016.
About 15% of newly built home sales are priced under $200,000 in September, compared to 10% last month and 9% one year ago. While more affordable entry-level homes were sold in September, the number of new homes priced above $400,000 decreased.
The U.S. inventory of homes for sale was flat in the first quarter, compared with a year earlier, the first time since 2016 there wasn’t a decline, according to a Truliareport.
Inventory increased in 50 of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, up from just 19 areas one year ago. Starter-home supply rose 3.5% year-over-year – the fastest annual growth rate observed in more than 6 years – while the number of luxury homes on the market fell 4.5%, the report said.
The increase likely is being driven by homes lingering on the market as high prices put them beyond the reach of first-time buyers, according to the report. About 54% of homes for sale were in the starter- or trade-up-home segments – in other words, the first few rungs of the housing ladder.
“The markets with the greatest growth in inventory are also markets where prices have rapidly risen to notoriously high levels and supply has been severely constrained over the past few years,” the report said. “This rapid appreciation has caused affordability to deteriorate more quickly in these areas, and the nascent rise in inventory may actually reflect an exhaustion of demand in these communities, more than it reflects a greater number of sellers listing their homes.”
The 10 markets with the largest gains in inventory are also among the nation’s most-expensive housing markets, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego.
“Even in these markets, dramatic increases in inventory – especially among starter homes – have yet to stem the tide of declining affordability,” the report said.
Nationally, there were 273,282 newly-listed homes on the market during the first quarter, down 6.9% from the 293,481 in the year-earlier period. In other words, inventory growth was driven by homes that were listed in prior quarters.
“Inventory growth seems to be driven more by ebbing demand rather than an infusion of new supply,” the report concluded.
The first quarter data may be representing the tail-end of a housing slump caused by November’s eight-year high in mortgage rates that since then have fallen.
At the end of March, the U.S. average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage had the largest one-week decline in more than 10 years, dropping to 4.06%, according to Freddie Mac. Since then, it has bounced around in a narrow band, and this week averaged 4.1%.
In March, pending home sales increased 3.8% as the cheaper financing costs brought more buyers into the market, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Last week, an index measuring mortgage home-purchase applications rose 5% from a week earlier and was 5% higher than the year-ago week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
“We saw a good week for the spring home buying season,” MBA’s Joel Kan said in the report released on Wednesday.
Freddie Mac November Forecast: Expect Modest Housing Market Growth in 2019
According to Freddie Mac’s November Forecast, the biggest unknown about the housing market next year is whether current negative trends, such as lack of housing supply, will persist or the market will adjust to the shock of higher mortgage rates and resume modest growth.
Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “Almost all the trends in the U.S. housing market have been negative in recent months as housing market activity continues to adjust to higher mortgage rates.”Khater added, “If new home sales are to resume growth in 2019, builders may have to shift their focus to more modestly priced homes and smaller sized homes to help offset housing affordability concerns. But with cost pressures pinching profitability, this will be a significant challenge.”
Expect GDP growth to average 3 percent in 2018 before slowing to 2.4 percent in 2019 and 1.8 percent in 2020.
Expect total home sales to decrease 1.6 percent to 6.02 million in 2018 before slowly regaining momentum and increasing 1 percent to 6.08 million in 2019 and 2 percent to 6.20 million in 2020.
Expect home prices to increase 5.1 percent in 2018 with the rate of growth moderating to 4.3 percent in 2019 and 2.9 percent in 2020.
Expect single-family mortgage originations to decline 9.9 percent year-over-year to $1.63 trillion in 2018, falling slightly to $1.62 trillion in 2019 and dropping once more to $1.60 trillion in 2020. This is the result of shrinking refinance activity.Adjusted for inflation in 2017 dollars, an estimated $14.2 billion in net home equity was cashed out during the refinance of conventional prime-credit home mortgages in the third quarter of 2018, down from $18.3 billion a year earlier and substantially less than the peak cash-out refinance volume of $102 billion during the second quarter of 2006.
Softwood lumber prices fell 10.3% in October—the largest drop since May 2011—according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The producer price index for softwood lumber has fallen 21.2% since setting the cycle and all-time high in June (see below). Even after the decrease, however, the index currently sits just 4.7% lower than the prior-cycle high set in 2004.
The final demand price index for OSB has followed a path similar to that of softwood lumber over the last three months.
Since climbing 38.1% in the first seven months of 2018, OSB prices have fallen 16.6%. The price index for OSB is now 15.2% and 15.7% higher than it was to start 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Residential construction goods input prices increased 0.4% in October and have now risen 7.5% over the last twelve months. The index decreased only twice during that period, by 0.1% and 0.5% in December 2017 and August 2018, respectively. Year-to-date residential construction goods input price increases in 2018 (+5.6) continue to outpace the increase during the same period in 2017 (+2.9%).
Gypsum prices fell 1.6% in October, continuing what has been a relatively volatile year. The price index for gypsum products is 6.3% higher than it was to start 2018, but the year-to-date price increase masks large fluctuations within the year. Consecutive-month increases of 5.4% and 6.1% have been partially offset by two-month decreases of 3.3% and 1.8%.
The last several large increases in the gypsum price index has been foreseeable, as large wallboard producers sent out price increase announcements in the March-May and October-December periods. These announcements informed customers that wallboard prices would increase effective as of January or June/July, depending on the announcement date. Examples of such announcements may be found here and here.
Ready-mix concrete prices declined 0.5% in October. After a large price increase (relative to historical data) in early 2018, prices of ready-mix concrete dropped and have remained essentially unchanged since July.
Triangles, and the sloping ceilings they create, don’t make a natural fit for human habitation. But for his idyllic wooden house in rural Sweden,architect Leo Qvarsebo embraced the triangle, creating for himself a sloping isosceles of a summer home.
Positioned between a patch of woodland and a green pastures, the Qvarsebo Summerhouse was designed like a triangle to give stunning, unobstructed views of an idyllic vista in Dalarna. Large windows frame the landscape on three separate floors, while the front of the building opens up to a gorgeous terrace, including a swing set for Qvarsebo’s children.
Qvarsebo says that despite the fact it isn’t very close to any trees, he thinks of it as a treehouse for adults. As such, there’s a rope connected to the peak of the roof, so he and his kids can scale the facade. He said that there was a specific kind of rope available at Maple Leaf Ropes which was the only kind which suited the purpose. Even inside, though, climbing the home’s central staircase is meant to feel like a treehouse. “The climb to the top is via several levels and offers both views and privacy,” he says. “From each level of the house you can see up to the next, creating a curiosity to continue to climb and once you’re up, the view is breathtaking.”
Homes are seen for sale in the northwest area of Portland, Oregon, in this file photo taken
Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. houses unexpectedly fell in June after five straight months of increase, suggesting some cooling in home resales activity after recent hefty gains.
The decline in contracts, which came on the heels of reports showing the pace of home price appreciation stalling in major cities and new home sales dropping, did little to change perceptions that the housing market recovery was on track given a tightening labor market.
“The June decline is a hiccup. It is important to bear in mind that there is still plenty of fundamental support for the housing market,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto.
The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, declined 1.8 percent to 110.3.
Still, the index was the third highest reading for this year and contracts were up 8.2 percent from a year ago.
Pending home contracts become sales after a month or two, and last month’s drop pointed to a pause in sales of existing homes after they reached a near 8-1/2-year high in June.
Economists had forecast pending home sales rising 1.0 percent last month.
U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data as investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting. The housing index .HGX was up 0.97 percent.
The U.S. central bank’s statement will be scrutinized for clues on the timing of the first rate hike, which is expected later this year. The Fed has kept its short-term interest rate near zero since December 2008.
The median sales price for a home in the Hamptons declined 6.5 percent to $849,000 compared to 2014, according to the report. The number of homes that were sold fell 15.7 percent to 590 this year, down from 700 sales at this time last year. However, average home price rose 2.5 percent year over year.
The conflicting data are a result of a reaction in the market from last year’s sales, said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers, who authored the report.
Last year saw an explosion of pent-up demand as people began to consider real estate again for the first time since the housing crisis, Miller said. That demand resulted in 700 sales, a record number.
“That demand has mostly been absorbed, so what we have now is the prices showing mixed trends, but sales are down,” he said. “There isn’t the same sense of urgency by buyers that there was a year ago, but there is still above-average activity occurring. It’s just not at the breakneck pace it was last year.”
The current market in the Hamptons is just returning to normal, the CEO of Douglas Elliman, Dottie Herman, said. While sales aren’t record breaking, they are still healthy.
She also noted that in a small market like the Hamptons, big outliers can move data.
For the fabulously wealthy, a Hamptons property is soon to hit the market at $95 million, according to real estate agents at Sotheby’s. The estate, known as Burnt Point, is an 18,000-square-foot shingle traditional built on 25 acres with water on three sides. The home is being sold by the Stewart J. Rahr Foundation, and the proceeds will continue to fund the foundation’s philanthropic efforts.
As far as famous artists go, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, born July 15, 1606, has to be among the most celebrated and well-known. He’s most revered for his oil-on-canvas paintings and his etchings completed during the Dutch golden age of painting in the 17th century. This period saw several Dutch artists practicing in a style of detailed realism.
A big chunk of Rembrandt’s work, including several famous self-portraits and arguably his most famous painting ever, The Night Watch (1642), was created over two decades while he lived in a central Amsterdam house. In celebration of the renowned master’s birthday, more than four centuries ago today, here’s a look at his former home.
In 1639, Rembrandt and his wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, moved into a remodeled house in Amsterdam for which they paid 13,000 guilders, about $7,200 in today’s money, a huge sum at the time.
The home, which is now the Rembrandt House Museum, seen here, had been drastically remodeled in 1627 and 1628. During the remodel, the home gained a story, a new facade and a triangular corniced pediment — a feature that was the height of modernity at the time, according to the Rembrandt House Museum website. The museum says the remodel was probably spearheaded by Jacob van Campen, who later was the architect for Amsterdam’s town hall, now the Royal Palace, on Dam Square.
But the homeowner experience wasn’t kind to Rembrandt. Despite his sizable income, he couldn’t keep up with his mortgage payments, which eventually led to his bankruptcy, according to the museum. And it wasn’t just the mortgage payments. Rembrandt had fine tastes and reportedly spent more than he was bringing in.
During this time, he had a habit of buying old-master paintings and drawings, busts of Roman emperors and suits of Japanese armor, and built up a large collection of antiquities.
In 1656 the home was basically foreclosed on, and it and Rembrandt’s possessions, including his art collection, were sold off by his creditors. He then rented a small house until his death in 1669.
Between 1658 and 1911 the house was split in two and altered, according to the museum. The city of Amsterdam bought the dilapidated house, which would have been torn down had Rembrandt not famously lived there. A foundation took control in 1907.
One has to wonder, amid all the stress of owning a house and getting behind on payments, what this home meant to Rembrandt as a place of creativity, safety and nourishment, and how it might have influenced his work, for better or worse.
In the self-portrait shown here, which Rembrandt painted in 1640 shortly after moving into the house, he looks rather calm and confident, with perhaps just a hint of worry on his brow.
Just a few years after going bankrupt and losing his house, now living in a small rental home, he painted this self-portrait in 1659. To me he looks considerably aged, not just by time but by stress and perhaps even considerable loss.
A restoration of Rembrandt’s home was completed in 1911, though it looked nothing like when the Dutch painter lived there. In 1998 and ’99, the home was restored to look as it did during Rembrandt’s time there. The result of this meticulous restoration — headed by building historian Henk Zantkuijl, an expert in 17th-century houses — is seen in these photos. Ironically, Rembrandt’s bankruptcy inventory played a big role in aiding Zantkuijl’s restoration.
Yesterday on Housecall, we discussed ways to increase your home value with indoor décor. Today, we’re focusing on what you can do outside the home to give it an added monetary boost.
Curb appeal is everything when it comes to selling your home, and that means your home’s exterior needs to be in optimal condition. In fact, 71 percent of prospective home buyers say that a home’s curb appeal is an important factor in their buying decision. This infographic fromLawnStarter shows seven exterior home improvements that can increase resale value and help sell your home even faster:
Replace Your Front Door
Believe it or not, a front doorsays a lotabout you and your home. A quality front door can be a huge asset for your home’s value, and how secure your home feels upon entrance. Kelly Fallis ofRemote Stylistsays, “It’s the first thing a buyer walks through. Repaint or replace; their first impression rests on it.” According to House Logic, a standard 20-gauge steel door can cost around $1,230, but that investment can more than pay for itself with the amount of value it adds to your home. A quality front door replacement can bring you a return of around 102 percent, which makes it a great bang for your buck.
Over 92 percent of prospective home buyers use the Internet at some point during their search process, meaning a lot of eyes are going to be looking for pictures of your home. You want to be able to showcase your property in the best light possible to drive interested parties in for a closer look. According toBankrate, a quality landscaping job has the potential to net you a whopping 252 percent return in increased home value. John Harris, a landscape economist, has stated that updated landscaping can increase a home’s value by 28 percent and have it sold 10-15 percent quicker.
Most prospective homeowners tend to look at what they need to update or work on in the homes that they look at. Repainting your home can cause less stress on the buyer since they know that the job is fresh and adds to the look of the home. That being said, don’t go overboard with color choices. Choose warm and inviting colors, such as taupe, tan or white. “Individuals too often minimize the impact of a first impression,” says James Alisch, managing director of WOW 1 DAY PAINTING. “The exterior paint job of a home greatly impacts how potential buyers feel about a place.” You want to make sure that potential buyers can envision themselves inside your home, and having a neutral exterior color is appealing to a larger pool of buyers. If you do feel the need to add some brighter colors, make sure that they aren’t overpowering and can work well with the neutral base. It’s best to consult your local home improvement store to discuss your options and budget.