U.S. Economy Grows

The current United States’ economic outlook has grown this year, and according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the economy is expected to grow by 3.5% by the end of the year’s first quarter. The housing market recovery has played a pivotal role in aiding the economy’s growth. The OECD said, “monetary easing appears to be feeding through to the real economy as household consumption has picked up and the housing sector has begun to rebound.” More here

Foreclosures Drop Significantly

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency stated that loans in any stage of the foreclosure process dipped below 1 million by the end of 2012, showing a significant improvement for the first time since 2011. The amount of foreclosures completed in the last few months of 2012 also fell 8.9% from the previous year and totaled 105,875 to close the year according to the OCC report. More here

Real Estate Equity Improves

Real estate equity increased to the largest percentage seen in 65 years, in 2012. According to Federal Reserve data, property values grew 25% and exceeded mortgage values by $8.2 trillion. Banks are also becoming more accommodating with home equity loans as the market continues to improve. 6% of lenders relaxed equity standards by the end of last year, the most seen in approximately 18 months. More here

Housing Market Growth Expands

The housing market growth has spread to 274 metropolitan cities according to the National Association of Home Builders Improving Markets Index. The expansion has brought new jobs and local tax revenues to an increasing amount of cities as well as home starts and sales. David Crowe, the NAHB Chief Economist said, “with just over 75 percent of the 361 metros covered by the IMI now seen as improving, the housing market is on considerably more solid footing than it was at this time last year.” More here

Experts Suggest It's Prime Time To Buy

Experts are suggesting buyers keep in mind how fast the prices of homes will increase as the housing market continues to improve. RealtyTrac vice president, Daren Blomquist explained that individuals or families who purchased their current home over the last 3 years should consider moving up as their property value and equity has increased. Blomquist also advised that the low interest rates most of the U.S. is experiencing are not expected to last forever. More here

Fixed-Mortgage Rates Decrease

Freddie Mac stated in the most recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey that fixed-mortgage rates decreased slightly last week, helping interest rates fall. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hovered just under 4% over the last year and are expected to sustain the percentage going into spring 2013. 15-year fixed-rate mortgages spiraled downward as well dropping to 2.72%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage experienced no change while the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM decreased to 2.63%, a .01% fall from the previous week. More here

Morgan Stanley Proprietary Index Indicates Future Home Price Growth

According to the most recent global securitized credit report, Morgan Stanley, a financial services firm, increased their U.S. home value appreciation forecast to nearly 7% this year. The company expects home prices to jump 5% in 2014 and rise roughly 4% in 2015. The Morgan Stanley Proprietary Index, that indicates future home prices, increased in January by 1.67% and suggested the growth in home prices will continue. More here

Home-Building Demand Soars

According to the National Association of Home Builders, builder confidence has dropped slightly, but home-building demand continues to increase. The Chairman at the NAHB, Rick Judson said, “many of our members are reporting increased demand for new homes in their markets.” Building supply companies are finding it difficult to keep up with the high demand in supply. The long term prognosis for home building supply and demand is expected to grow over the coming six months. More here

Home Prices Expected To Grow 7% In 2013

Home prices are expected to grow by 7% this year according to JPMorgan Chase, while other investors expect to see a much larger increase. Investors have taken a keen interest in distressed properties and non-performing loans, which has aided the gain in home prices. JPMorgan Chase also suggested that distressed sales should drop over the next 9 months. Experts have also expanded their overall housing market confidence for the remainder of 2013. More here