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Housing Markets

First-time Buyers Continue to Struggle


  The nasty late spring that kept the northern states frozen into March and early April delayed the annual spring buying season for thousands of sellers and buyers, including first-time buyers.  Now that the sun is shining there’s no excuse and a lot of concern for the poor showing first-timers are making these days. This week the National Association of … Read More »

Homeownership is Movin’ on Up


Rising prices, shortages of entry level homes and a lackluster economy are combining forces to change the face of homeownership.  The result is a sea change in the median prices of home purchases and a growing gap in the financial profiles of those who can afford to own a home and those who will live their lives as renters.  These … Read More »

Sales Surge, Still Trail Last Year


Existing-home sales rose strongly in May as did new home sales, which rose in May by greatest monthly increase in 22 years.  Yet sales still trailed the torrid sales pace of a year ago. Total existing-home sales rose 4.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million in May from an upwardly-revised 4.66 million in April, but remain … Read More »

Equity Poverty Keeps Inventories Begging


Steady price increases driven by another season of inventory shortages has convinced a record number of consumers that now is a good time to sell a house.  Unfortunately, millions of homeowners are missing the opportunity. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44pecent of American adults say it’s a good time for someone in their area to be … Read More »

Freddie Mac: Housing Weaker than Projected


  Though home purchase applications have picked up with onset of the spring season, they’re still currently 13 percent below last year. As a result, last week Freddie Mac’s economists lowered their overall homes sales forecast from 5.5 million to 5.4 million. Low for-sale inventory is helping to sustain house price and rent gains but at the expense of affordability … Read More »

Mortgage Default Risk Now 13 Percent Higher than in 1990s


Despite tighter lending standards enacted by mortgage lenders beginning in 2007 and new regulations like the QM Rule, the risk of mortgages originated today is 13 percent higher than it was in the 1990s. The Default Risk Index for the second quarter of 2014 rose to 113 from last quarter’s revised 112 in our baseline scenario. Under current economic conditions, … Read More »

Zillow: Coming Soon to an MLS Near You

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  Zillow’s “Coming Soon” program raises important questions about potential role of  ”pre-listings” in MLS marketplaces and whether economists should use them to track prices and inventories. Zillow now is posting properties that are “not yet on the market, but expect to be listed for sale within 30 days” so that buyers can “identify homes that will be listed for … Read More »

Will Locked-in Owners be Locked Out of the Market?


Put five of the nation’s top housing economists together on a panel and it’s unlikely they will agree on the big issues facing residential real estate, but at a June 12 panel at this year’s spring conference of the National Association of Real Estate Editors in Houston, they did.  Unfortunately, their consensus was not good news for anyone who makes … Read More »

CoreLogic: Prices to Rise Deep into 2015


Home prices are projected to increase 1.0 percent every month from until May 2014, reaching an 6.3 percent year-over-year increase (+/- 1.5 percent) from April 2014 to April 2015, according to the latest forecast by the CoreLogic Home Price Index. excluding distressed sales like foreclosures and short sales,  prices are expected to rise between 0.8 percent month over month and … Read More »

Homeowners Get Whole Faster When the Water is Deeper

Couples performing underwater at Weeki Wachee Springs near Brooksville

One of the best measures of the housing recovery is the steady progress than is being made in markets across the country to return home values to their peak values seven or eight years ago.  While sales sag despite retreating interest rates and inventories provide just enough listings to prevent last year’s price eruption, homeowners are leaving negative equity and … Read More »

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