Tag Archives: South Salem Real Estate for Sale

Homeowners doing much better than #renters | South Salem Real Estate

Lee Semel: Flickr/Creative Commons

How has the housing market changed since the recession? A new report by Apartment List paints a less-than-positive picture for renters. In the aftermath of the mortgage crisis, many of the costs of homeownership have gone done, even as homeownership rates reach record lows. At the same time, costs associated with renting have risen at a time when more and more Americans are renting apartments and single-family homes.

While homeownership rates have reached historic lows across the country, hitting numbers not seen since the ‘60s, three particular areas and demographics have seen the biggest loss. According to the Apartment List analysis of Census data,  the recent downturn really hit those living in Sunbelt Cities (Las Vegas, Orlando, Atlanta), Americans under 45 years of age, and Hispanic and African-American consumers.

In fact, minorities experienced the largest drops in homeownership: Hispanics (-4.0%), African Americans (-5.5%), and other minorities (-6.7%). Non-Hispanic whites were somewhat less affected, with a homeownership decline of -3.3%.

Homeownership by ethnicicy

While a drop in the national homeownership rate has serious implications for long-term financial health, those who do own are often reaping the benefits of lower costs, especially compared to renters. Historically low interest rates mean monthly payments have dropped 13% since 2007. That can really add up: the median monthly mortgage payment is $2,754, but widespread refinancing has cut that to $2,263, a savings of roughly $6,000 a year. With median household income at $54,000 in 2014, that extra money can provide a significant boost.

The story is much different for renters. Rents have increased an average of 3.7% nationwide, exacerbating differences between owners and renters. For instance, in Houston, homeownership costs have dropped $289 since the Recession, while the cost to rent has risen by $115.

Rental price comparison US

The median national rent increased from $901 to $934. While $33 may seem small, held up against a steep 14% drop in inflation-adjusted income for renters, and it becomes much more significant.

Like many aspects of the U.S. economy in the last decade, the stratification of the housing market may only increase inequality. Those with the money to buy are reaping the advantages of historically low costs, while those who can’t, especially Millennials and minorities, are being locked out and missing out on a chance to build household wealth.

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http://www.curbed.com/2016/8/18/12533778/homeownership-rental-inequality-study

Case Shiller: Home Prices Rise 5.1% | South Salem Real Estate

Home prices in 20 major U.S. metro areas rose 0.8% in June from the month prior on a non-seasonally-adjusted basis, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. From the same period a year prior, prices saw a 5.1% increase, below the expectations for a 5.2% rise

Sales of new homes up | South Salem Real Estate

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States surged 12.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 in July of 2016. It is the highest figure since October of 2007 and much better than market expectations of 580,000. Figures for June were revised down by 10,000 to 582,000. New Home Sales in the United States averaged 652.45 Thousand from 1963 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 1389 Thousand in July of 2005 and a record low of 270 Thousand in February of 2011. New Home Sales in the United States is reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

United States New Home Sales

 

The D.C. real estate market | South Salem Real Estate

D.C. experienced considerable growth in 2013 and 2014, surpassing national averages. But in 2015 and the first half of this year, most major indicators — including averages sales price, median days on the market and sales to list price ratio — slowed to a pace only slightly ahead the national market as a whole, according to data from Rockville-based multiple-listing service MRIS.

Here’s a snapshot of how the D.C. market performed in the first half of the year:

Average sales price 

On the whole, the average sales price — the average price at which a property sells — of all homes of any type in Washington are up 1.44 percent year to date in 2016 — $646,640 this year compared to $637,452 last year. This is certainly well above the median sales price of a home nationally, which hovers just below $250,000.

In particular, the highest average sales prices year to date in the District are in Zip codes 20007, primarily for Georgetown and Burleith ($1,067,347); 20016 for Cathedral Heights and American University Park ($1,042,904); and 20015 for the area around Friendship Heights and Chevy Chase ($1,017,269).

However, the biggest gainers in average sales price are a mixture of high-priced neighborhoods with developing areas outside the city center. The largest gainer in average sales price through the end of June was American University Park and Cathedral Heights, rising 19.9 percent to $1,042,904 in 2016 from $870,046 in 2015.

Notable growth also occurred in the far reaches of Southeast and Northeast Washington. The second- and third-biggest gainers in average sales price so far in 2016 have been seen around Zip codes 20020 for Anacostia and Hillcrest (up 17.7 percent to $292,159) as well as in 20019 for Deanwood and Benning Heights (up 17.3 percent to $256,417).

Median days on market 

Unlike other leading indicators, median days on the market — the number of days it takes a property to go from active on the market to under contract — is measured in how it shrinks not grows. A low number of days on market often corresponds to a higher sales price and vice versa. For the District, the average days on market as a whole are 39 days for 2016, down one day from 2015.

 

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/where-we-live/wp/2016/08/01/how-the-d-c-real-estate-market-is-faring-so-far-in-2016/

Single-family housing starts slows | South Salem Real Estate

The May pace of single-family housing starts was effectively flat relative to April after downward revisions for prior months, standing at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 764,000. However, according to estimates from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the May rate marks a 10% gain in the pace of single-family construction on a year-over-year basis.

Yesterday’s increase in the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index suggests the industry will expand single-family home construction in the months ahead.

starts_hmi_june

On a three-month moving average basis, single-family starts ticked down due to the elevated construction pace recorded in February. While NAHB expects growth in single-family construction due to favorable demographics, lot supplies are a growing challenge holding back production, particularly in markets in the West and Northeast.

Multifamily starts (2+ unit production) came in at a 400,000 pace on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, showing surprising strength and up 8% on a year-over-year basis. However, the pace of multifamily permits is down almost 28% on year-over-year basis as of May. This is consistent with the NAHB forecast, which shows a smaller total of multifamily starts for this year compared to 2015.

Regionally, expansion has been particularly strong in the South, where single-family starts for April are 17% higher than a year ago. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, 55% of single-family starts for the month were located in the South.

There has been some weakening in the West, where single-family starts are down almost 5% on a year-over-year basis. Access to lots is a key concern. The Midwest showed a monthly drop of 15%, but on a year-over-year basis single-family start are 8% higher. Single-family construction is up almost 13% in the Northeast.

units under production

Taking the long view, an examination of the count of homes currently under construction provides the degree of market mix and momentum of the recovery in home construction. As of May, 56% of units under construction in the nation were multifamily (574,000), a 16% gain in the total from a year earlier.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/06/single-family-starts-flat-in-may/

Dearth of homes for sale in So California | South Salem Real Estate

Packed open houses. Bidding wars. Rising prices.

That’s the landscape for much of the Southern California housing market as the spring selling season gets underway. Competition is as fierce, or even greater, than last year in many corners of the Southland, and would-be buyers can expect a pitched battle if they want to close a deal, real estate agents say.

The frenzied start has been driven by a dearth of homes for sale, low mortgage rates and steady job growth. Homes are selling faster than a year earlier, with more of them going for above the list price, data from online brokerage Redfin show.

“Be ready to write the offer on the Realtor’s car,” mortgage broker Jeff Lazerson said.

Another sign of the market’s strength came this month when data provider CoreLogic reported that sales in February jumped 9% from a year earlier. The median price, meanwhile, climbed 3.7% — the 47th straight month it’s risen.

Lazerson said his clients in Los Angeles and Orange counties are putting an average of five offers on a house before they’re successful. And he’s seeing more demand from first-time home buyers, as well as those who want to upgrade to a bigger home.

“The market seems to be healthy again on all levels,” he said.

Real estate agent Heather Presha has seen the craziness firsthand.

With few homes for sale in the Leimert Park neighborhood where she works, buyers are flooding open houses that pop up. Many are coming from the Westside, no longer able to afford a home near the ocean as prices have steadily risen across the region.

The added demand is pushing values higher in the South L.A. neighborhood filled with old Spanish-style homes.

Pat Douglas, another agent in Leimert Park, put it this way: “Anything good that is on the market is going quick with multiple offers.”

In Los Angeles County, there was a 4.9-month supply of homes for sale in February compared with a 5.2-month supply a year earlier — meaning no homes would be on the market after that time period if sales continued at their current pace and no new listings emerged, according to the California Assn. of Realtors. Orange County saw a similar trend.

The Realtors consider a six- to seven-month supply a market that favors neither buyers nor sellers.

“The inventory issue is why price growth is strong,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson.

Recently there’s been a healthy jump in listings, Richardson said, but it’s unclear if the trend will hold.

If it does, house hunters such as Abigail Lee and her husband, Ray, would be overjoyed.

The couple are looking for a home under $2 million, but they’ve found little suitable near a good public school. They’ve put in only two offers in the roughly six months they’ve been looking — and were unsuccessful both times.

 

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http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-spring-market-20160328-story.html

Leading Marks Index Points to Slow and Steady Housing Recovery | South Salem Real Estate

The economic and housing recovery continues at a slow, but steady pace. For the country as a whole, theNAHB/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), released today, rose to .94 in the fourth quarter of 2015, .01 point higher than its level in the third quarter of 2015, .93, and .04 point higher than its level from one year ago, .90. The index uses single-family housing permits*, employment, and home prices to measure proximity to a normal economic and housing market. The index is calculated for both the entire country and for 337 local markets, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). A value of 1.0 means the market (or country) is back to the last level of normality.

Nationally, all three components of the LMI contributed to the 4-quarter growth in the nationwide score, .04 point to .94, but only house prices and permits contributed to the quarter-over-quarter increase, .01 point, as the employment component of the LMI was unchanged over the last 3 months. Over the year, the house prices component increased from 1.32 to 1.38, 1.37 to 1.38 over the quarter, the permits portion rose from .44 to .48, .47 to .48 over the quarter, and employment rose from .95 to .96, remaining unchanged over the quarter. Regionally, 117 of the 337 markets, 35%, have an LMI Score that is greater than or equal to 1.0 and are considered normal.

Presentation4

While most markets do not have an Overall LMI Score that is greater than or equal to 1.0, a recovery in one or more components of the LMI has taken place in MSAs across the country. At 322, the number of MSAs where house prices have reached normal is the highest of any of the LMI components, however that level has been unchanged over the year. In contrast, the recovery in employment and in permits is smaller but spreading, with the expansion in employment further along. The number of MSAs whose employment component has recovered reached 76 in the fourth quarter of 2015, 11 more than its level in the third quarter and a 73% increase from its level from one year ago, an additional 32 markets. Meanwhile, the number of MSAs whose permits score reached or exceeded 1.0 totaled 41, 8 more than the previous quarter and 17 more than 1 year ago

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/02/leading-marks-index-points-to-slow-and-steady-recovery-for-the-us/

Mortgage credit | South Salem Real Estate

Next September, two months before the Presidential election, America celebrates eight years since the Treasury Department took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and turned them into wholly owned subsidiaries. Since then the federal government’s control over the nation’s housing markets has grown even greater than ever.

While we’ve been waiting for policymakers to fix a broken system of housing, the GSE’s and government programs like FHA are using taxpayer-backed credit to make the housing recovery possible—first to keep virtually all credit flowing in the crisis years, now to open the door to homeownership to more marginal borrowers.

If you’re a first-time buyer or have a less than golden credit past, you’d be crazy to go anywhere else than the government for a mortgage—either a GSE low down payment conforming loan program or a direct federal program like FHA.  Not only do you stand a much better chance of qualifying., even the premium payment on FHA mortgage insurance has been lowered to make the decision easier.

The latest Urban Institute credit availability index (HCAI) shows that although both private and public mortgage credit availability remains above the record low of 4.6 in the third quarter of 2013 (Q3 2013), it has trended downward over the past four quarters.  The HCAI measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default—that is, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan. A higher HCAI indicates that lenders are willing to tolerate defaults and are taking more risks, making it easier to get a loan.2016-01-25_11-07-54

However, mortgage credit availability in the government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) channel—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—has been at the highest level over the past three quarters since the low hit in 2010. Credit availability in the government channel (FVR), which comprises the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Agriculture Rural Develop.

 

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2016/01/mortgage-credit-the-privatepublic-paradox/

New-home sales crush estimates | South Salem Real Estate

2015 tally for new-home sales is 15% higher than 2014

Sales of new homes rebounded handily in December, a signal of continued strength in the housing market.

Sales ran at an annual pace of 544,000, the highest since February, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 506,000 pace.

That represented a 10.8% increase over a slightly upwardly revised November pace of 491,000. New home sales are volatile and often revised, but the trend has been generally up. December’s number was 9.9% higher than the same period a year ago, and there were 501,000 new homes sold during 2015, a 14.5% increase over 2014.
Still, new-home sales are a fraction of what they used to be, even before the housing bubble began to swell. Some builders have found it difficult to attract workers, many of whom left the industry when the bubble burst. Many have remained tentative about building too many homes as the economic recovery remained tepid and wages stagnant.

Many builders have responded to those market conditions by targeting higher-end customers. Prices have risen steadily over the past few years. They averaged $294,575 throughout 2015, up 4% compared to 2014’s average.

Builders, and economists, want to see more first-time buyers entering the market, which would require more moderately-priced homes. That’s a strategy that has worked for the country’s largest builder, D.R. Horton DHI, -0.59% company executives said on a Monday earnings call.

Read: First-time buyers slowly return to housing market

Many builders have seen solid business growth over the past few years, even as their stocks have struggled. Lennar LEN, +0.12% shares have declined about 9% over the past 12 months, while Toll Brothers TOL, -1.12% is down 28%.

The sales data help confirm that the housing market is strengthening, Pantheon Macroeconomic Chief Economist Ian Shepherdson wrote in a note Wednesday. “The consensus always looked timid, given the very warm weather in December; new home sales are measured at the point contracts are signed, which often happens at sales offices at construction sites. Unseasonably warm winter weather makes these sites much more appealing places to visit.”

But other data, including builder sentiment and mortgage applications, signal stronger activity than the pace of new home sales suggest, Shepherdson wrote, “so we have to expect further gains over the next few months.”

 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-home-sales-soar-to-annual-rate-of-544000-2016-01-27

Residential Construction Employment Grew | South Salem Real Estate

The count of unfilled jobs in the overall construction sector remained elevated in October, as residential construction employment continued to grow.

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) came in at 205,000 in October, after reaching 221,000 in September. The cycle high was 225,000 set in July.

The open position rate (job openings as a percent of total employment) for October was 3%. On a smoothed twelve-month moving average basis, the open position rate for the construction sector increased to 2.7%, setting a cycle high and surpassing the top twelve-month moving average rate established prior to the recession.

The overall trend for open construction jobs has been 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.

jolts-dec-pub

The construction sector hiring rate, as measured on a twelve-month moving average basis, remained steady at 4.9% in October. The twelve-month moving average for layoffs was also steady (2.7%), remaining in a range set last Fall.

Monthly employment data for November 2016 (the employment count data from the BLS establishment survey are published one month ahead of the JOLTS data) indicate that home builder and remodeler net hiring jumped significantly, as sector employment increased by 19,600. The November gains continue the improvement in the Fall after a period of hiring weakness early in 2016. The 6-month moving average of jobs gains for residential construction has now increased to a healthier 10,400 per month.

Residential construction employment now stands at 2.644 million, broken down as 743,000 builders and 1.901 million residential specialty trade contractors.

res-constr-employ

Over the last 12 months home builders and remodelers have added 120,000 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point of industry employment following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 658,000 positions.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/12/residential-construction-employment-grew-in-november/