Tag Archives: South Salem Homes for Sale

National Home Prices Re-accelerated | South Salem Real Estate

S&P Dow Jones Indices released the Case-Shiller (CS) National Home Price Index for July. The index rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 5.0%, faster than the 2.1% in June. House prices have decelerated since the beginning of 2016 due to the sharp decline in existing home sales at the end of 2015. But, home prices started to accelerate in May and home price appreciation increased to 5.0% in July.

The Home Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.8% in July, following 3.4% in June, confirming the reacceleration in home prices.


However, local housing markets varied greatly. Figure 2 shows home price appreciation for 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas in July.

Twelve out of the 20 metro areas had positive home price appreciation. The highest one in the list was Portland, OR with an annual rate of 8.2%, followed by Denver with an annual rate of 6.6%. Phoenix placed third with an annual rate of 5.9%.

Home price appreciation in the remaining eight metro areas was negative. They are San Francisco, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, and New York. Home price appreciation in Chicago was -5.9%, the lowest among 20 metro areas.



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Manhattan sales down 20% | South Salem Real Estate

There are a lot more apartments available for purchase these days in Manhattan. And fewer people are buying.

Sales of previously owned condominiums and co-ops fell 20 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier as potential buyers grew cautious amid more choices, according to a report Tuesday from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. There were 5,290 resale apartments on the market at the end of September, 53 percent more than the number available in late 2013, the lowest point for listings.

The swelling inventory is providing an opportunity to New Yorkers shut out of a market in which construction has been dominated by ultra-luxury condos aimed at the wealthiest buyers. Resales, particularly those priced at less than $1 million, were in chronically short supply in recent years, and those that made it to the market sparked bidding wars. Now, more owners are listing apartments to profit from climbing values, and they’re finding lots of company.

“Rapidly rising prices over the years have pulled more sellers into the market hoping to cash out,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said in an interview. “But buyers are more wary. There isn’t the same intensity of activity to burn through the new supply.”

Buyers agreed to pay more than the asking price in just 17 percent of all condo and co-op deals that closed in the third quarter, down from a record 31 percent a year earlier, according to Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. Consumers also are taking longer to make a decision. Previously owned properties that sold in the period spent an average of 72 days on the market, up from 67 days a year ago.

The median price of all resales in the quarter climbed 2.6 percent to $950,000, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said. That’s a step down in a three-year period in which annual price growth once reached 18 percent. Many sellers have yet to accept that they can no longer name any price, and the disconnect between their expectations and what buyers are willing to pay is contributing to the drop in overall sales, Miller said.

“We’re clearly seeing a slowdown,” Miller said. “This era of aspirational pricing is coming to an end. Buyers get the message first.”

For a Bloomberg Intelligence piece on New York apartment rents, click here.

Quick Sale

When Connie Lam wanted to sell her Chelsea studio, she knew that curbing her exuberance would help her sell it fast. Lam, who bought the the 441-square-foot (41-square-meter) unit in 2013 for $555,000, listed it for sale in June, just one month before a planned move to California. Working with Douglas Elliman broker Rachel Altschuler, Lam priced her apartment at $625,000 after seeing that another studio of the same size on her floor was already on the market for $650,000.

“There were people who were interested immediately,” said Lam, 28, an attorney now living in Redwood City. “My goal was to get out and have a buyer who was really solid and wasn’t going to back out on me at the last second.”

The listing drew three offers, and was under contract at the asking price within two weeks. The deal closed in August, while the other apartment on her floor, on the market since May, is still without a buyer. Its price has since been cut to $635,000.


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Number of Unfilled Construction Sector Jobs Keeps Rising | South Salem Real Estate

The count of unfilled jobs in the overall construction sector reached another post-Great Recession high in March.

According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis) increased to 210,000 in March. The current estimate represents the highest monthly count of job openings since May 2007.

The open position rate (job openings as a percent of total employment) for March was 3%, also a cycle high. On a three-month moving average basis, the open position rate for the construction sector increased to 2.7%.

The overall trend for open construction jobs has been an increasing since the end of the Great Recession. This is consistent with survey data indicating that access to labor remains a top business challenge for builders.


The construction sector hiring rate, as measured on a three-month moving average basis,  was effectively unchanged in March at 4.9%. In contrast, the quits rate for construction increased significantly in March, rising to a 2.4% rate. This bears watching in the months ahead as it may signal that employers are having trouble retaining existing workers given tight labor market conditions.

Monthly employment data for April 2016 (the employment count data from the BLS establishment survey are published one month ahead of the JOLTS data) indicate that home builders and remodelers hiring stalled in April, falling by 3,800. However the recent hiring pace remains stronger than the second half of 2015. The current 6-month moving average of jobs gains for residential construction is just under 19,000.

Residential construction employment now stands at 2.590 million, broken down as 728,000 builders and 1.86 million residential specialty trade contractors.

res construction employment Apr

Over the last 12 months home builders and remodelers have added 141,000 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point of industry employment following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 603,800 positions.

In April, the unemployment rate for construction workers declined significantly to just under 6% on a seasonally adjusted basis. The unemployment rate for the construction occupation had been on a general decline since reaching a peak rate of 22% in February 2010.


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Northeast, Midwest Markets Warm up as Year Winds Down | South Salem Real Estate

Outside it may be cold and snowy with early storms, but housing prices are warning up in some of the most stunningly negative Midwestern and Northeastern markets, according to Clear Capital’s November market report.

Regionally the West still leads the appreciation parade, with quarterly increases of 1.2 percent and annualized price growth at 7.5 percent.  But the Northeast and Midwest both gained ground compared to earlier in the year.  The Northeast saw an increase in quarterly growth in November, a 0.1% uptick. This is an unexpected shift for a region that, just a few months prior, lagged behind the rest of the country in quarterly growth.

“As the year draws to a close, housing continues to recalibrate and the Midwest maintains its impressive trend. November’s data shows Detroit up 135% from the trough, with other regional MSAs demonstrating strong growth. In January we predicted that the Midwest would be a frontrunner this year for both homeowners and investors, and the region’s small percentage point gains, subsiding losses, and decreased volatility indicate steady improvement that is reflective of the greater recovery,” wrote Alex Villacorta, Ph.D., vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital.

Other market showing new life in the second half of the year are:

  • Providence, R.I. – a mainstay on the list of lowest performing markets until October – has seen a huge increase in growth, jumping from -0.8% quarterly growth in October to 3.1% in November. Gains of this magnitude are more expected during the early spring season, when markets typically gain momentum leading into the peak summer season.
  • Cleveland and Detroit have also seen a similar upward pattern during this typically slower season. Quarterly growth in Cleveland has bumped up 0.2% to 2.2% quarterly growth, while Detroit’s quarterly growth has upticked 0.1% from October to 2.5% quarterly growth in November.
  • While these increases are notable, bringing Cleveland 52.3% and Detroit a whopping 135.1% above trough, don’t be blindsided by the numbers. Cleveland is still -37.1% below peak while Detroit is -39.3%, demonstrating that both MSAs still have a long road to recovery ahead.


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Mortgage Rates average 3.97% this week | South Salem Real Estate

Freddie today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged as analyst expectation turned from world events to the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) October minutes.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.97 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending November 19, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.98 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.99 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.18 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.20 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.17 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.98 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.03 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.01 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.64 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, down from 2.65 percent last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.44 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

As of January 1, 2016, the PMMS will no longer provide results for the 1-year ARM or the regional breakouts for the 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages, or the 5/1 Hybrid ARM

Why are new home sales slumping? | South Salem Real Estate

The rising cost of residential real estate and a slowdown in the U.S. economy is making it harder to sell a house.

10445Sales of new homes plunged in September to the slowest pace in 10 months, the U.S. Commerce Department said Monday, a sign that higher prices and sliding economic growth weigh on the housing market. New-home sales slumped 11.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000, the lowest level since November of 2014.

September’s drop ended a two-month streak of accelerating sales.

Monthly sales of new home often fluctuate sharply, and some forecasters cautioned against reading too much into the latest figures. Pointing to other indicators that show the sector continuing to rebound, such as the National Association of Home Builders’ housing activity index, economist Stephen Brown of Capital Economics said in a note that “we are confident that new home sales will rebound strongly in the coming months.”

Americans’ zeal for newly built homes took off this year, yet now appears close to having topped out. Solid hiring over the past three years has improved many family balance sheets, while rising home prices has returned equity to current homeowners now seeking to upgrade to new residential developments. Sales of new homes have soared 17.6 percent during the first nine months of 2015.

The median sales price of a new home rose 2.7 percent last month to $296,900, the highest price level this year, according to Oxford Economics.

But global pressures began to exert a downward pull on economic growth in recent months. Those pressures could be spread to the housing market if the drop in sales of new homes leads to a decline in construction.

“A stronger pace of sales will need to be seen for the recent stronger pace of single-family housing starts to be sustained,” said Ted Wieseman, an economist at Morgan Stanley.

Job gains slowed in September, while profit margins for many of the largest U.S. businesses with a global footprint stopped growing. The stronger dollar has punished exports abroad and cheaper oil prices have forced energy firms to cut workers and slash orders for pipeline and equipment.

The slowdown has yet to hit sales of existing homes as drastically, but the September pullback in newly built properties was severe.

Purchases of new homes slid in the Midwest, South and West, but plummeted a stiff 61.8 percent in the Northeast.

Prices have climbed sharply as well, making new construction less affordable for would-be buyers. The median new-home sales price has jumped 13.5 percent from a year ago to $296,900.



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Housing: A Near-term Pullback in Home Sales Is Likely | South Salem Real Estate

This week’s housing news revealed the latest data on two leading indicators of home sales, both of which point to additional retrenchment in existing home sales in the near-term.

Pending home sales dropped in August, marking the second decline over the past three months. Combined with the second consecutive drop in average monthly purchase applications in August, existing home sales will likely soften further after posting a 4.8 percent drop in August from an expansion-high pace in July.

Our forecast that 2015 total home sales will be the strongest since 2007 remains on target, however. While purchase applications dropped during the final week of September, average applications for the entire month rose for the first time in three months and are about 23 percent and 8 percent higher than during the same period in 2014 and 2013, respectively. Low mortgage rates will remain supportive for the housing market.

The Freddie Mac survey’s average yield on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages ticked down to 3.85 percent, staying below 4.0 percent for the tenth consecutive week. Home price trends continue to be strong.

The S&P/Case-Shiller house price index showed solid year-over-year appreciation in July, albeit at a more moderate pace than other main measures of home prices reported earlier. Strong housing demand during the summer season, lean inventories, and fewer distressed sales helped boost home prices.

The August construction spending report suggests that real residential investment will likely post solid growth this quarter, though not as strong as the 9.4 percent annualized pace recorded for the second quarter.

 The National Association of REALTORS® Pending Home Sales Index, which records contract signings of existing homes and typically leads closings by one to two months, dropped 1.4 percent to 109.4 in August, the lowest level since March. Pending sales are 6.1 percent above the level a year ago, the smallest year-over-year gain since November 2014. Pending sales dropped in the Northeast, Midwest and South, with the largest decline occurring in the Northeast. The West was the only region that saw a rise in pending sales.

 Private residential construction spending advanced 1.3 percent in August from the prior month, according to the Census Bureau. Spending on new single-family homes rose 0.7 percent, compared with a 4.8 percent jump for multifamily spending. Data for the prior two months were revised lower. Spending for home improvement increased 0.7 percent. From a year ago, new single-family and multifamily construction spending increased 14.0 percent and 24.7 percent, respectively.

 The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city Composite Home Price Index (not seasonally adjusted) rose 0.6 percent in July. From a year ago, the index increased 5.0 percent, a slight pickup from 4.9 percent pace of the prior month. Of the 20 cities, San Francisco, Denver, and Dallas posted the largest year-over-year increases, while New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. saw the smallest gains. The pace of increase for the national index also firmed slightly in July, posting a 4.7 percent year-over-year gain, compared with a 4.5 percent gain in June. Other measures of home prices, including the FHFA purchase-only index and the CoreLogic index, also showed a pickup in year-over-year increases in July.


Read more… fanniemae.com

Mortgage rates average 3.90% | South Salem Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged following a shortened week and mixed economic signals prior to the Fed’s meeting next week.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.90 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending September 10, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.89 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.12 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.10 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.09 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.26 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.91 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.93 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.99 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.63 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.62 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.45 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Following a shortened week, mortgage rates were virtually unchanged, inching up 1 basis point to 3.90 percent. The employment report released last Friday provided mixed signals, adding one more note of uncertainty prior to the Fed’s September meeting. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent in August, the lowest rate since April 2008, but only 173,000 jobs were added, well below expectations. Wages grew 2.2 percent, a neutral indication at best.

Foreclosure Rates, Inventory Continue to Drop: CoreLogic | South Salem Real Estate

Foreclosure inventory and completed foreclosures declined drastically during June, real estate analytics firm CoreLogic found in its monthly survey.

Foreclosure inventory declined 28.9% on a year-over-year basis in June to 472,000 homes. Completed foreclosures also declined year-over-year, down 14.8% to 43,000. Likewise, the number of homes in “serious delinquency,” which the firm defined as 90 days or more past due on mortgage payments, declined 23.3%.

“The foreclosure rate for the U.S. has dropped to its lowest level since 2007, supported by a continuing decline in loans made before 2009, gains in employment and higher housing prices,” said CoreLogic chief economist Frank Nothaft in a release.

“The decline has not been uniform geographically, as the foreclosure rate varies across metropolitan areas,” he said, adding that Tampa, Fla., and Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York have seen increased foreclosure rates.

“Serious delinquency is at the lowest level in seven and a half years reflecting the benefits of slow but steady improvements in the economy and rising home prices,” said CoreLogic president and chief executive Anand Nallathambi in the release. “We are also seeing the positive impact of more stringent underwriting criteria for loans originated since 2009 which has helped to lower the national seriously delinquent rate.”


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Homeownership Falls, Household Formations Rise | South Salem Real Estate

According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), the nation’s homeownership rate in the second quarter of 2015 fell to a post-1967 low point of 63.4%. The homeownership rate decreased by 130 basis points on a nonseasonally adjusted basis from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015.

Compared to the peak at the end of 2004, the homeownership rate has steadily decreased by 5.8 percentage points and remains far below the 25-year average rate of 66.3%.


Homeownership rates decreased for all age groups on a year-over-year basis. The homeownership rate for household heads younger than 35 years old (34.8%) decreased by 110 basis points from the second quarter of last year. The largest decline, however, was for those aged 35-44 (58%), with an annual drop of 220 basis points.


The nonseasonally adjusted homeowner vacancy rate continues to drop after the Great Recession. The current homeowner vacancy rate is 1.8%, 10 basis points lower than last quarter and the second quarter of 2014.

The national rental vacancy rate remains relatively low and declined by 30 basis points to a 6.8% rate for the second quarter on a nonseasonally adjusted basis. The rental vacancy rate was 7.5% for the second quarter of 2014.


The HVS also provides a timely measure on household formations – the key driver of housing demand. Although it is not perfectly consistent with other Census Bureau surveys (Current Population Survey’s March ASEC, American Community Survey, and Decennial Census), the HVS remains a useful source of relatively real-time data.


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