According to Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index, a survey established to interview more than 3,000 Americans each week, shows that confidence in the economy is now at the lowest percentage since the presidential election. While confidence has dropped 12 % from the previous week, it is still considered high in comparison with the rest of 2012. The index shows the seasonally adjusted employment rate has advanced 0.2%. More here
The latest December MarketPulse report shows, over the last year rental income on residential properties increased to 12%. CoreLogic researchers are acknowledging the massive improvement in real estate over the recent months saying “The real estate cycle is now producing residential investment that is contributing to economic growth.” Experts are expecting the rise in rental demand in the residential sector to survive into 2013 with feeble job growth and wage income. More here
Predictions for the 2013 housing market seem to hold positive trends. Property values are expected to increase by 2-3%, according to Freddie Mac. The market is also predicted to see more households, with household formation likely to grow from a net 1.20 million to 1.25 million. Near record low long-term mortgage rates are expected to continue into the first half of the coming year but are expected to increase as we move into the second part of 2013, with rates hovering close to 4%. More here
The Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, conducted in November, showed that many of American attitudes are turning around. Surveys found that people are now expressing more confidence toward the housing market. 51% of survey participants said that it would now be easier to comfortably obtain a mortgage. In October, 10% of survey respondents thought home prices would begin to grow over the next year compared to the latest survey in November showing 14% of surveyors believing home prices would grow over the next year. More here
Parameters established by the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) states the housing market is considered to be improving. Many metropolitan areas are being restored, and the improved housing market in metros have increased to an overall amount of 201 in December. The (IMI) also shows states obtaining at least one metropolitan city have also shown signs of growth since November. For approximately 6 months, imperative measures of housing and economic growth have been holding steady in many metropolitan cities. More here
According to recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, mortgage applications increased by 4.5% from the previous week. Also, the refinance share of mortgage activity grew to 83% opposed to last week’s 81%. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of $417,500 or less, dropped to 3.52%, consistent with history’s lowest rate on the (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with loan balances greater than $417,500 rose to 3.79%, while the average contract interest rates for 30 and 15 year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to the lowest rate of the survey’s history. More here
According to Lender Processing Services, foreclosure starts in October dropped to 21.9%. In 2011, October starts dropped even lower to 47.8%. The Lender Processing Services gives warning not to assume the drop in foreclosure starts will result in an improving housing market. LPS also implies the recent foreclosure drop could be temporary, although prices have jumped 3.6% in September and are expected to continue to increase throughout the year. more here.
According to Trulia Price Monitor, asking home prices have increased 3.8%, the largest yearly increase to date and November indicated an annualized growth rate of 10%, proof that home prices are rising. Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist says “The rise is due to job growth, falling vacancies and rebounding from price declines of the housing bust.” A large portion of metropolitan cities are now joining the price rebound. Rent has also increased 5.6% nationwide. more here
According to Economic Forecasting And Analysis Company IHS Global Insight, home sales and home prices are up. In October, existing home sales increased from 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.79 million units. The Case-Shiller report and the Federal Housing Finance Agency report showed price increases of nearly 4%. This percentage is expected to fall over the winter months, as winter is traditionally the low season for home sales. Patrick Newport, an IHS Global Insight economist believes the market is driven by “the fact that we haven’t been building at high levels for a long time.” more here.
The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index is an indicator of future existing home sales based on contract signings, not closings. In October, the index rose 5.2 percent from September’s upwardly revised reading. That puts contract signings 13.2 percent above last year’s level and marks 18 consecutive months of year-over-year improvement. It also brings the index to its highest level since 2007. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said affordability conditions have been favorable for some time but the current spike in activity is likely due to steady job creation and consumers’ increasing confidence in home buying now that prices have begun to rise. October’s totals were boosted by a 15.6 percent spike in the Midwest. Pending sales were down slightly in the Northeast and West, while increasing 5.5 percent in the South. More here and here.