Monthly Archives: April 2016

Existing Home Sales Jump in March

Source: Michelle Wickett, Senior Loan Originator, Axia Home Loans

“Ah, might as well jump.” Van Halen. Existing Home Sales jumped in March, following February’s slump. But March Housing Starts disappointed, coming in below expectations. Will there be enough inventory options for homebuyers?

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The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported that March Existing Home Sales jumped 5.1 percent from February’s decline to an annual rate of 5.33 million units, just above the 5.30 million expected. Existing Home Sales measure the number and prices of existing single-family homes, condos and co-op sales over a one-month period. The good news is sales rose in all four regions of the country. Plus, Existing Home Sales were up 1.5 percent from a year ago.

However, Housing Starts (when excavation begins on a home) declined 9.2 percent in March from February to an annual rate of 1.089 million units. Single family Housing Starts fell 9.2 percent from February to March, and multi-family dwellings fell 8.5 percent. Despite the month-to-month decline, Housing Starts are up 14.2 percent in March 2016 from a year ago.

The availability of homes for homebuyers still falls short in many areas around the country. In fact, NAR reported that March had 4.5 months worth of existing housing inventory for homebuyers. A six-month supply is viewed as normal. That inventory gap might not be filled by new construction. Building Permits, which are a sign of future construction, declined 7.7 percent from February to March 2016, hitting a 12-month low of 1.09 million units.

When that perfect home is found, however, home loan rates are still hovering in historic territory, which bodes well for consumers.

If you or someone you know has any questions about current rates or home loan products, please email or call me.

Michelle Wickett

360-791-0513

michelle.wickett@axiahomeloans.com

 

 

Home Prices on the Rise: Watching the Affordability Trajectory

Source: RISMedia

Recently, one of the most closely-watched housing market indicators, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, was released, and the numbers largely confirmed what the market has known for a while: U.S. home prices continue to climb at a moderate pace.

More importantly, there is a strong consensus among several widely followed home price indicators – including the Corelogic Home Price Index, FNC Residential Price Index, FHFA House Price Index, and S&P/Case-Shiller HPI – that prices nationwide are appreciating at a steady rate of about 5-6 percent annually amid a growing U.S. economy and low interest rates.

As another busy spring homebuying season is almost upon us, continued price growth is certainly encouraging to those who plan to buy
their very first home, relocate to a different city, or simply to trade an existing home for a newer and bigger one. And, if past boom-and-bust housing cycles have revealed anything about homebuying behavior, it is the fact that psychologically and economically, people prefer to buy homes when prices are
rising than when they are falling.

The spring housing market appears to be off to a good start. The latest seasonally unadjusted February existing-home
sales from the National Association of Realtors indicated total sales grew 6.4 percent from a year ago.

Economic News: Home Price Gains, Job Growth Steady

 

“Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go.” The Seven Dwarfs. A strengthening jobs market and low home rates are digging up demand for limited housing inventory. Meanwhile, home price gains hold steady.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index rose 5.7 percent year-over-year from January 2015 to January 2016. This was in line with estimates and matched December’s 5.7 percent gain. Prices were up 0.8 percent month-over-month. The low inventory of homes available for sale has been the key reason for price growth; more Americans working also has fueled demand.

On the labor front, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 215,000 jobs were created in March, above the 200,000 expected, though down from the 245,000 created in February. While the Unemployment Rate edged higher to 5 percent from 4.9 percent, the report was positive, signaling that despite global economic woes, job growth here in the U.S. remains solid.

At this time, home loan rates continue to hold steady as well, hovering just above historic lows.

 

In a light report week, investors will scour the words of the Fed’s meeting minutes looking for clues regarding the next hike to the benchmark Fed Funds Rate.

  • On Tuesday, the ISM Services Index will be released.
  • Wednesday brings the March Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes.
  • Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be delivered on Thursday.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve. In contrast, strong economic news normally has the opposite result.

If you or someone you know has any questions about the housing market, current rates or home loan products, I would be happy to help. Please don’t hesitate to email or call me.

Michelle Wickett
Senior Loan Originator
Axia Home Loans | NMLS 27830
Phone: (360) 791-0513
Fax: 360-459-1212
License:: NMLS 62804
michelle.wickett@axiahomeloans.com
www.mortgagesbymichellewickett.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go.” The Seven Dwarfs. A strengthening jobs market and low home rates are digging up demand for limited housing inventory. Meanwhile, home price gains hold steady.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index rose 5.7 percent year-over-year from January 2015 to January 2016. This was in line with estimates and matched December’s 5.7 percent gain. Prices were up 0.8 percent month-over-month. The low inventory of homes available for sale has been the key reason for price growth; more Americans working also has fueled demand.

On the labor front, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 215,000 jobs were created in March, above the 200,000 expected, though down from the 245,000 created in February. While the Unemployment Rate edged higher to 5 percent from 4.9 percent, the report was positive, signaling that despite global economic woes, job growth here in the U.S. remains solid.

At this time, home loan rates continue to hold steady as well, hovering just above historic lows.

If you or someone you know has any questions about the housing market, current rates or home loan products, I would be happy to help. Please don’t hesitate to email or call me.

Yellen Says Fed To Continue Rates With Caution

Source: RISMedia

 

U.S. stocks increased on Tuesday after Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Chairwoman, noted in a speech that the Fed would proceed with caution when it comes to interest rate hikes.

During her speech at the Economic Club of New York, Yellen noted the Fed will move precariously based on issues such as low inflation and the overall weak global economy.

“Given the risks to the outlook, I consider it appropriate for the (Fed’s policymaking committee) to proceed cautiously in adjusting policy,” Yellen said.“This caution is especially warranted because, with the federal funds rate so low, the FOMC’s ability to use conventional monetary policy to respond to economic disturbances is asymmetric. If economic conditions were to strengthen considerably more than currently expected, the FOMC could readily raise its target range for the federal funds rate to stabilize the economy.”

These comments echo the Fed’s announcement early in March that it plans to halve its rate hikes this year, from four to two.

Read Yellen’s entire speech here.

Seattle Area Among Forbes “2016’s Fastest Growing Areas”

Source: NAR

 

After being overthrown last year by Houston, Austin regains the number one spot as the fastest-growing city in the U.S., according to a new analysis by Forbes. Adding to its allure, Austin boasts booming technology, pharmaceutical and biotech industries as well as low-cost of living.

Read more: The 20 Hottest Housing Markets This Month

Forbes.com compiled its annual list of America’s Fastest-Growing Cities by ranking the 100 largest metro areas and their surrounding suburbs. For its rankings, they factor in population growth for 2015 and 2016, year-over-year job growth for 2015, the metro’s economic growth rate, unemployment, and median annual pay for college-educated workers in the area.

The following cities topped Forbes’ list as the fastest-growing populations and economies (included below with each city’s population growth for 2015 and projected growth rate for 2016):

1. Austin, Texas

2015 population growth rate: 3.15%
2016 projected growth rate: 1.56%

2. San Francisco, Calif.

2015 population growth rate: 1.24%
2016 projected growth rate: 0.77%

3. Dallas, Texas

2015 population growth rate: 2.16%
2016 projected growth rate: 1.58%

4. Seattle, Wash.

2015 population growth rate: 1.68%
2016 projected growth rate: 1.34%

5. Salt Lake City, Utah

2015 population growth rate: 1.05%
2016 projected growth rate: 1.40%

6. Ogden, Utah

2015 population growth rate: 1.64%
2016 projected growth rate: 1.37%

7. Orlando, Fla.

2015 population growth rate: 2.31%
2016 projected growth rate: 2.03%

8. San Jose, Calif.

2015 population growth rate: 1.27%
2016 projected growth rate: 0.93%

9. Raleigh, N.C.

2015 population growth rate: 2.28%
2016 projected growth rate: 1.44%

10. Cape Coral, Fla.

2015 population growth rate: 2.84%
2016 projected growth rate: 2.15%