Posts

Existing Home Sales Grow, But Not Like 2017

 

Existing home sales saw an uptick in March growing 1.1 percent to 5.6 million from 5.54 million in February according to the latest existing-home sales data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Monday.

However, sales remained 1.2 percent below the same period last year as a shortage of inventory and constraints kept sales activity below the 2017-levels, the report indicated. The monthly existing-home sales data by NAR includes completed transactions for single-family , townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops.

According to the data, the median price of existing homes in March was $250,400 and marked an increase of 5.8 percent from $236,600 recorded in March 2017. The price increase in March 2018 marked the seventy-third consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

“Although the strong job market and recent tax cuts are boosting the incomes of many households, speedy price growth is squeezing overall affordability in several markets—especially those out West,” said Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR.

A shortage of supply of existing homes is another factor that has kept home sales below the year-ago level according to Yun. “Robust gains last month in the Northeast and Midwest – a reversal from the weather-impacted declines seen in February – helped overall sales activity rise to its strongest pace since last November at 5.72 million,” he said. “The unwelcoming news is that while the healthy is generating sustained interest in buying a home this spring, sales are lagging year-ago levels because supply is woefully low and home prices keep climbing above what some would-be buyers can afford.”

By the end of March, total housing inventory climbed 5.7 percent to 1.67 million existing homes available but was still 7.2 percent lower than the same period a year ago, NAR’s data indicated. Inventory has fallen year-over-year for 34 consecutive months now and unsold inventory is at a 3.6 month supply at the current sales pace.

Shortage of inventory has also led to stiff competition as buyer demand continues to grow, NAR said. According to the report, properties stayed on the market for 30 days in March, down from 37 days in February and 34 days last year. In fact, the report said, 50 percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.

Yun pointed out that real estate agents were seeing the seasonal ramp-up in buyer demand, but without the commensurate increase in new listings coming onto the market. “As a result, competition is swift and homes are going under contract in roughly a month, which is four days faster than last year and a remarkable 17 days faster than March 2016,” he said.

Here are Central Florida’s 25 Wealthiest ZIP Codes ranked by per capita income

If you’ve ever wondered where individuals making the most money live, we’ve got you covered.

Here, we compiled a ranking of the area’s wealthiest ZIP codes ranked by per capita income in the slideshow above, using data collected by OBJ parent company American City Journals.

Here’s how the ZIP codes break down by county:

Click through to see if your ZIP made the list.

And later this year, we’ll give you the region’s wealthiest ZIP codes ranked by median household income.

What Does The 2018 Housing Market Look Like?

Oftentimes, it’s difficult to predict the . In the last decade alone, we’ve seen a market crash and slow rebound.

However, while some experts are focused on yet another housing bubble, real estate has been on the rise. In October, sales of new U.S. single-family homes hit their highest level in 10 years across the country.

What’s the market forecast for next year? Industry insiders and top experts have similar predictions.

As a future or current homeowner, it’s important to stay on top of the changes in real estate. Read on to learn what the 2018 housing market has in store.

Inventory Shortages

New home sales may be on the rise, but the number of available is on the decline.

Low home inventory has made home prices more expensive in recent years. This trend will continue in 2018, making it more difficult for first-time and budget-focused buyers to enter the market.

There are 12 percent fewer homes on the market than there were a year ago. If this trend continues, homebuyers will be faced with stiffer competition and higher prices. This will make the demand for home purchase loans even greater.

What’s contributing to this low inventory? There are several theories.

Rising housing costs have added emphasis to high-end construction. More expensive homes are being built, which is making it more difficult to find affordable homes.

Homeowners might also be less likely to sell their homes than they were pre-crash. Despite it being a seller’s market, they aren’t looking to enter the market. They’d rather stay locked into their current mortgage.

Whatever the reason, the inventory shortage is expected to continue. Low inventory and high prices will force new homebuyers to get creative if they want to find an affordable home.

Housing Market Opportunities

Certain demographics have seen an abundance of housing opportunities. They can expect these opportunities to be even greater in 2018.

One such demographic is sellers of mid-priced single-family homes. These are some of the most in-demand homes across the nation.

Developers and sellers can make big money on this valuable sector of the market. More millennials are seeking to buy starter homes while baby boomers are scaling back.

The housing shortage isn’t all bad for buyers. Experts are predicting that housing prices will slow down in the coming year.

Forecasts show that the average U.S. house price growth will be 4.9 percent in 2018, which is lower than the 6.6 percent growth seen in the second quarter of 2017.

Prices might be curbed thanks to mortgage rates. A moderate increase in mortgage rates should help decrease refinancing activities.

You can still expect higher growth in big markets such as Seattle and San Francisco. Yet good mortgage rates, limited refinancing, and market stability will still help buyers in 2018.

Your Next Move

Predictions show low-inventory, high-prices, and market stability in 2018.

You don’t have to wait until these predictions come to fruition. Contact us now to learn more about buying your dream home. We offer free loan advice with no cost or obligation.

Inventory Shortage at Crisis Levels in Nation’s Hottest Housing Markets

For-sale inventory is stuck at crisis levels in some of the nation’s hottest housing markets where home values are appreciating fastest. The number of homes for sale nationwide has declined on an annual basis for the past 35 straight months, and just 16.7 percent of a panel of housing expertsii surveyed in December 2017 expect a meaningful increase of home building in 2018, a sign that limited inventory could continue to drive the housing market this year.

 

“Tight inventory fueled by a tight labor market and low interest rates propelled home values to record heights in 2017, but the outlook is now much less certain,” said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas. “Tax reform will put more money in the pocket of the typical buyer, but will limit some housing-specific deductions. Overall, this should increase demand for the most affordable and ease competition somewhat in the priciest market segments. On the supply side, the market is starving for new homes, but it won’t be easy for builders struggling with high and rising land, labor and lumber costs. Aging millennials and young families may be able to find more affordable new homes this year, but they’ll most likely be in further-flung suburbs with more grueling commutes to urban job centers.”

Lack of inventory, coupled with strong demand from home buyers, is one reason why home values across the country are reaching new peaks. The median U.S. home value rose 6.5 percent over the past year to $206,300, the highest it has ever been.

 

7 things to know today and Orlando housing market

 

Good morning, Orlando!

It was a good year for Orlando-area Home Sales, says Allyn Maycumber of WeKnowNona, as both home sales and the median price showed increases over the year-ago period, the Orlando Regional Realtor Association reports.

Home sales last year totaled 37,198, an uptick of 3.8% above 2016’s 35,829. In addition, Orlando’s annual median home price of $220,000 is 10% higher than the 2016 annual median price of $200,000.

ORRA President Lou Nimkoff said the median price was driven during 2017 primarily by a combination of strong buyer demand and very low inventory levels, and “Realtors expect prices to continue their upward trend in 2018, albeit at a slower rate.”

“We also expect low inventory to continue to exert its influence on the market in 2018, especially in the highly desired lower-priced categories,” said Nimkoff. “In fact, the lack of affordable housing in Orlando is a concern that Realtors anticipate will be at the forefront of community discussion in 2018.”

Meanwhile, a look at sales county by county shows Lake County was 7.2% above 2016; Orange County, 2.8%; Osceola County, 7.9%; and Seminole County, 3.8% below 2016.

And be sure to check out these other Tuesday headlines:

TRENDING

Rumor: A new Orlando theme park to be announced in 2018 

Disney Springs lands among New York Times’ top places to visit in 2018

Lucky’s Market to open its 2nd C. Fla. store, hire 150 people

Lucky’s Market, a natural foods grocer, plans to open its second Central Florida store this spring in a 30,000-square-foot space at 1720 E. Highway 50 in Clermont that formerly was occupied by Sweetbay Supermarket. More here.

Here’s what ULA is shooting to space in January from Florida’s Space Coast

United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral on Jan. 18,between 7:40-8:20 p.m., carrying a missile detection satellite to orbit. Click here to see photos of what ULA is shooting into space.

Orlando International Airport food vendor to hire 145 new workers

Beverage and food provider for traveler HMS Host, the Orlando International Airport’s primary food concessionaire, will host a job fair this week to hire 145 people. The in-person hiring event will be on Thursday, Jan. 18 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport. More here.

Orlando gas prices face upward pressure

Area gas prices are holding steady, but there is upward pressure on prices at the pump due to rising oil prices, AAA said. The most expensive gas in Florida is in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($2.58) and Miami ($2.53). The least expensive gas price averages in Florida are in Orlando ($2.39), Jacksonville ($2.39) and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater ($2.39).

Equifax was 2017’s most-complained-about finance company

Atlanta-based Equifax Inc., which was hit with a massive hacker attack last year, not surprisingly received the most consumer complaints in 2017, a new report says. In fact, in 49 states (every one except North Dakota) Equifax (NYSE: EFX) received the most complaints.

Whirlpool, Apple partner on home appliance front

Whirlpool Corp. and Apple Inc. will now be involved in how consumers use their home appliances. Whirlpool, the Benton harbor, Mich.-based maker of consumer appliances, said Apple Watch users will be able to control various home appliances later this year. More here.

How Much Is Your Home’s Collateral Value?

Traditional Appraisal and Automated Valuation Models Don’t Always See Eye to Eye.

Recently the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced plans to waive the requirement of a professional appraisal on qualified purchase loans with a loan-to-value ratio at or below 80 percent.  For Fannie Mae, the new waiver option extends the Property Inspection Waiver program which was initially only applicable to refinancing loans. Similarly for Freddie Mac, the move has expanded lenders’ option to use automated evaluation tools, in lieu of a traditional appraisal, on both purchase and refinancing loans when working with its Loan Advisor Suite.

The GSE announcements came amid reports of a shortage of state-certified and licensed appraisers, especially in rural areas.  Nonetheless, the announcement was not without controversy. The Appraisal Institute (AI), the country’s largest trade association of real estate appraisers, has raised safety and soundness concerns of eliminating the appraisal requirement and is seeking a legislative rollback as it regards “the requirement for the completion of full appraisals to determine the true equity position of individual properties” fundamental to prudent risk management for the mortgage finance sector.  Under the federal banking regulations for real estate transactions, automated appraisal methods are generally reserved as a due diligence tool rather than as the primary valuation.

From a market economics perspective, a clash between automated evaluations and traditional appraisal seems rather inevitable, as advanced analytics and big data technology have steadfastly pushed the boundaries of collateral evaluation capabilities. Today’s automated valuation alternatives are often powered by large databases that can capture information on a given property as well as transaction records in and around the property in consideration.

 What Title of figure 2 is

In mortgage underwriting and securitization, collateral risk is typically quantified by loan-to-value (LTV) ratios. For purchase loans, the LTV ratios at origination are valued at the lesser of purchase price and appraised value. Since traditional appraisals infrequently come in below purchase price – about 10 percent of the time among loan applications or less than 4 percent among funded loans – a loan’s collateral risk measure is typically unaffected by appraisal.

But that could change quickly using an automated valuation model (AVM). Here is a quick look at the difference between traditional appraisal and AVMs, with implications for origination LTV. This blog analyzed a sample of recently appraised single-family purchased with mortgage financing for which a CoreLogic AVM value was also available.  The sample consists of approximately 190,000 purchase-loan properties appraised between July 2016 and June 2017.

Figure 1 shows the distribution of the properties’ traditional appraisal value relative to their purchase price. A majority of the appraisals were either exactly at the contract price (31.6 percent) or slightly above it (58.6 percent), leaving about 10 percent of the properties appraised below the purchase price. With very few appraisals on the low end, the purchase price effectively determined origination LTV during loan underwriting.

Figure 2 shows the distribution of the AVM values relative to the purchase price: 45.4 percent of the AVM values were at or above the contract price, while 54.6 percent were below it. Compared with traditional appraisals, the AVM values were more symmetrically distributed about the purchase price but with thicker tails on both ends (that is, greater uncertainty in the valuation). For the 5-in-9 properties with an AVM value below the purchase price, the LTV ratios for these loans would be higher had the AVM valuations been used instead of a traditional appraisal.

Since the odds of an AVM coming in below the purchase price were 55-45 in this analysis, compared with 10-90 for traditional appraisals, AVM usage will increase the underwriting LTV on a much larger number of loans. And the ‘fatter tail’ of the distribution below the contract price means that the upward LTV adjustment will more often be larger than for a traditional appraisal.

While the industry may debate which valuation method is likely more accurate than the other, or more importantly, which is more useful than the other in predicting default risk and loan performance, there is one thing we can all agree on: Lenders and mortgage investors need reliable information about a loan’s and portfolio’s collateral risk to make informed underwriting and investment decisions.

[1] The property must be a single-family, primary residence or second home with a value less than $1 million; additional restrictions apply.

[2] See the Interagency Advisory on the Availability of Appraisers, issued by the federal banking regulators on May 31, 2017. https://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2017/nr-ia-2017-60a.pdf

[3] The Appraisal Institute press release, “Appraisal Institute Joins 35 Groups Seeking to Halt Appraisal Waivers,” September 7, 2017.

[4] See the Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines 2010, which was originally issued in 1994 by the FDIC, OCC, FBR, and OTC, in accordance with Title XI of the 1989 FIRREA.

[5] A recent study by researchers at Fannie Mae reported less than 4 percent of the purchase loans guaranteed by the agency during 1992-2015 had an appraisal below the purchase price. The study can be accessed at http://www.fanniemae.com/resources/file/research/datanotes/pdf/working-paper-102816.pdf

[6] The AVM valuation date (or, AVM “as of” date) did not fall exactly on the appraisal date, but ranged from 15 days to about 3 ½ months after the appraisal date.

[7] Because the data set did not include the buyers’ loan amount, analysis by LTV ratio could not be performed. It remains to be seen whether the distribution of AVM valuations or appraisal is affected by leverage. However, if the valuations are unbiased, we should not expect leverage to affect the valuation outcome.

Cities Higher at Risk for Bubble

Image

Are we in a housing bubble? Whenever house prices increase faster than general inflation for a year or two, we hear that question more often. Can the market sustain the new higher price, or has something artificially or temporarily inflated these prices?

Nationally, over the past five years, the increase in house prices has outpaced inflation by 34 percent cumulatively since 2012 (figure 1). Though noteworthy, the increase is less than half the pace seen between 1997 and 2006, which saw house price growth outpace inflation by 87 percent.

Locally, there are areas of concern

Of course, real estate is local, so we should also ask if there are any regional housing bubbles. We examined the same two key factors to measure the likelihood that a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is in a bubble, and we offer a method that ranks the largest MSAs against each other based on these factors.

We began with the 37 largest MSAs and looked at the real increase in house prices since their lowest point following the crisis (the trough) and our measure. We then sum the rankings and re-rank the MSAs most likely to be in a bubble, our “bubble watch” rank.

The top 10 MSAs are ranked high on both home price growth and lack of affordability measures. But further down the list, the rank could be driven by one measure or the other.

Thanksgiving Day Dining and Events in Orlando

Planning a Turkey Day getaway to Orlando? You’ll be thankful you did. There’s a cornucopia of tasty delights, shopping deals, hotel specials and fun events to enjoy this . Your Turkey Dinner cravings will be satisfied this Thanksgiving in Orlando. Just come hungry!

Thanksgiving Dinner Options

Whether you’re looking for an intimate dinner for two or celebrating with the whole family, Orlando’s most scrumptious restaurants and luxurious hotels that are offering Thanksgiving dining options where there’s something for everyone! But make your reservations early – you’ll thank us later.

Family-Friendly Restaurants

Are you looking for that special dinner out with the family, where the food, atmosphere and fun are the main attractions? In Orlando, there are many restaurants that are a feast on the eyes, as well as the taste buds – and serve up plenty of entertainment!

Shop ‘Till You Drop

Discover a shopper’s paradise, starting on Black Friday, like no other destination. Retail therapy and unbelievable values are never far from reach this holiday season among Orlando’s quaint boutiques and expansive shopping malls. And discover unique boutiques and holiday gifts along Park Avenue in Winter Park.

Dine, Shop & Stay

One of the biggest shopping days of the year is almost here and if you’re looking for the perfect gift for yourself or for that special someone, shopping in Orlando can be a joyous delight. But even if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, there’s no reason to get your tinsel in a tangle. Our Orlando shopping expert, Melanie Pace, has provided her top tips for a more enjoyable, less-stressful shopping experience.

Thanksgiving Weekend Events

The holiday weekend in Orlando also has a full plate of family fun events.

Hundreds of vehicles will be showcased during the Central Florida International Auto Show during Thanksgiving weekend.

The Seniors First Turkey Trot 5k is a Thanksgiving tradition in downtown Orlando that is a must-see!

Holiday Harbor Nights at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Kick off the holiday season at our popular food and wine event from 6:30 pm – 9 pm. Enjoy select wines and sparkling wines, expertly prepared gourmet foods and live music, plus the grand illumination of Portofino’s Christmas tree and more on the picturesque Harbor Piazza. General admission $50 ($55 at the door), VIP $85 (online only). Purchase tickets online at LoewsHotels.tix.com.

Orlando Eye developer submits plans for luxury lakefront homes

A well-known developer is moving forward with plans to put 13 multimillion-dollar on the last large developable land tract off the Butler Chain of Lakes.

Unicorp National Developments Inc. on Sept. 12 filed a preliminary subdivision plan in Orange County to build a 13-lot single-family development on 16.59 acres of The Hubbard Estate.

The development would be inside Arnold Palmer‘s Bay Hill community just west of the golf course on the shores of Lake Tibet in Orange County, Orlando Business Journal previously reported.

Unicorp has selected a couple of builders, including Jones Clayton Construction Inc., which provided renderings of the first speculation home that will be built in the neighborhood at 9000 Hubbard Place. A name for the subdivision has not been finalized yet.

Unicorp President Chuck Whittall previously told Orlando Business Journal the home prices would range from $5 million-$15 million.

The owners of The Hubbard Estate — the 2012 Hubbard Family Trust — authorized on June 13 Orlando-based Bio-Tech Consulting Inc. to make a conservation area determination on behalf of Unicorp, OBJ previously reported.

Jones Clayton Construction was not immediately available for comment.

Unicorp is the developer behind the I-Drive 360, Westside Shoppes, the Starflyer under construction on International Drive, and a host of other projects.

Home sales drop—again—and will continue ‘unless supply miraculously improves’

House . Real Estate Sign in Front of a House.

After a brief improvement in June, home sales continued their downward slide in July, with buyers signing fewer contracts to purchase existing .

An index of so-called pending home sales, which represent closings one to two months from now, fell 0.8 percent compared with June, according to the National Association of Realtors. That is the fourth monthly drop in the past five months. June’s reading was also revised lower. The index is now 1.3 percent below a year ago and has fallen on an annual basis in three of the past four months.

“Buyer traffic continues to be higher than a year ago, the typical listing has gone under contract within a month since April,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors. “The reality, therefore, is that sales in coming months will not break out unless supply miraculously improves. This seems unlikely given the inadequate pace of housing starts in recent months and the lack of interest from real estate investors looking to sell.”

 The supply of homes for sale at the end of July came in at 2.11 million, 9 percent lower than a year ago. That has fallen year over year for 26 consecutive months.

The housing market remains stuck in a holding pattern with little signs of breaking through. The pace of new listings is not catching up with what’s being sold at an astonishingly fast pace,” Yun added.

Closed sales to buy existing homes fell more than expected in July, with Realtors citing the lack of supply as the primary reason. Prices are also a factor though. The median price of a home sold in July hit $258,300, the highest July price on record. Mortgage rates have been falling through the summer and are now sitting at 2017 lows, but they are still slightly higher than one year ago. Rates have been so low for so long that they provide little relief from the fast-rising prices.

California, which boasts the priciest and tightest in the nation, saw sales slip across the board in July. The number of homes for sale fell yet again and prices hit decade highs.

“The San Francisco Bay Area posted modest year-over-year gains in home sales this May and June, but a tight inventory and waning affordability have taken a toll, and July 2017 sales fell to the lowest level for a July in six years,” said Andrew LePage, research analyst at CoreLogic.

Pending home sales in the Northeast fell 0.3 percent for the month and were 2.4 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest, sales decreased 0.7 percent for the month and were 2.8 percent lower than July 2016. In the South, sales declined 1.7 percent from June and were 0.2 percent below last July. In the West, sales rose 0.6 percent for the month but were 4.0 percent below a year ago.

Yun noted that national sales numbers could weaken more than expected this fall, due to the disruption in the Houston housing market from Hurricane Harvey.