Guest Post from:
Senior Loan Originator
Axia Home Loans
Housing Starts surged in June, increasing 9.8 percent to 1.174 million units. May’s figures were also revised higher. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, surged to a near eight-year high as well. It’s important to note that the increase in Housing Starts mostly came from the multifamily construction sector, which can be volatile. Ground breaking for single-family homes declined in every geographic region but the South.
Overall, construction trends have recovered following the harsh winter earlier this year. The recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index reading of 60 confirms this, as builder confidence has reached its highest level since November 2005. Readings over 50 show that more builders view conditions as good rather than poor. NAHB Chairman Tom Woods noted, “As we head into the second half of 2015, we should expect a continued recovery of the housing market.”
However, other areas of our economy continue to struggle. Retail sales have been inconsistent from month to month. After disappointing figures in April, May’s numbers rebounded, boosting hope that the U.S. economy would gather some steam. However, June’s sales couldn’t continue that momentum, as they declined 0.3 percent. May’s figures were also revised downward.
With the saga in Greece nearly resolved, investors should begin to get back to the fundamentals of the U.S. economy: economic data, earnings season and the specter of rising interest rates. The Fed will be closely watching housing, retail sales and other key reports this summer, as they consider when to raise their benchmark Fed Funds Rate.
Despite the recent volatility in the markets, home loan rates remain attractive and near historic lows. If I can answer any questions at all for you, please get in touch!
Senior Loan Originator
Axia Home Loans | NMLS 27830
Phone: (360) 791-0513
License:: NMLS 62804
Homes.com® recently released its April 2015 Local Market Index,
a price performance summary of repeat sales in the top 100 markets,
and the companion Midsize Markets Report for the next 200 largest markets.
Among the nation’s top 300 markets, 137 markets (46 percent) have now
achieved full pricing recovery in April, compared to 130 markets
(43 percent) in March’s report.
All top 100 markets saw annual increases, and for the fourth month in a row,
all markets increased their 3-month average index point change.
The 3-month average increase range for the top markets was 0.85 percent
to 1.19 percent.
Of the top 100 markets, the markets with
minimal price declines have rebounded by an average of 108 percent.
The average rebound percentage of the moderate price decline markets
is at 101 percent of the prior peak price. Of the severe price decline markets,
the average rebound percentage is 83 percent.
Mortgage rates are looking stable amid an improving housing
market, with Freddie Mac’s latest survey showing that lenders were
offering 30-year fixed-rate home loans this week at an average
interest rate of 4.02 percent, up from 4 percent a week ago.
The results of Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, released Thursday, says
the average for a 15-year fixed mortgage slipped from 3.23 percent to
3.21 percent. The start rates for adjustable mortgages also fell slightly.
While higher than recent levels, Freddie’s survey showed the 30-year
average at less than 3.6 percent at one point in January–the rates
are still exceedingly low by historical standards and lower than
a year ago, when the 30-year loan averaged 4.14 percent.
Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, noted that home sales
have strengthened recently as buyers anticipate that the
Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates later this year.