Uneven Housing Market Growth Expected Over Next Five Years

According to a recent study, housing market recovery will experience uneven growth over the next five years. Data suggests that, by the year 2018, median home prices for single-family homes will average close to the peak that was achieved in 2006. Experts expect Tampa, Memphis, Jacksonville, St. Louis and Milwaukee to experience the largest gains in median priced single-family homes. Co-author of the report and chief research officer at the Demand Institute Louise Keely said, “the strength of the local housing market is among the most telling metrics that helps us assess community health and well-being.” More here

Home Improvement Store Sales Increase

Recent data shows that sales for Lowe’s, a popular home improvement store, have increased over the last year. The store reported a net income of $306 million, in the fourth quarter of 2013, increasing 6.3% from the prior year. Store earnings are affected by home prices, employment, and home ownership. Although sales have grown over the last year, the store has expressed reserve over the coming months saying, “our Consumer Sentiment Survey suggests a continued willingness for consumers to invest in their homes, however, there has been a recent slowdown in both housing activity and jobs growth which makes us cautious.” Additionally, sales are expected to increase around 5%. More here

Home Prices Increasing At Slower Pace

Home prices are increasing at a slower pace which many experts say is good for prospective buyers, as it keeps an increasing number of properties affordable longer. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, property values jumped 13.4 from the end of 2012 in 20 U.S. cities. The housing market is still well on its way to a full recovery according to economists. Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co said, “the housing recovery continues, but perhaps not as vigorously as it did in the first half of last year. Even so, appreciation trends still look pretty good even though they may not be as strong as they were.” More here

Mortgage Rates See Slight Increase

Mortgage rates increased this week with the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rising .02%, Averaging 3.35%, and the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increasing .05%, Averaging 4.33%. According to many experts, mortgage rates are expected to continue rising this year as the economy gains strength. Home prices and sales are expected to increase by approximately 5% over the coming months. Additionally, Home construction and homebuilder confidence fell this month due to severe winter weather that covered a large part of the U.S. More here

Professor Drawn To Reverse Mortgage Business After Rule Changes

Reverse mortgages have become increasingly popular over the years helping many adults, age 62 and older, keep their homes. Columbia Business School professor and reverse mortgage expert, Christopher Mayer, explains why reverse mortgages can help many seniors through retirement debt-free. “You have $3 trillion in housing wealth among older Americans. You have large institutions exiting the market, and more and more elderly with housing debt coming out of the crisis as well as other kinds of debt,” Mayer said. The Federal Housing Administration instated new rules that limit equity borrowers from lump-sum withdrawal, allowing borrowers access to only 60 percent of their equity at closing or during the first year of the loan, protecting seniors from future debt problems. The new rules will also require reverse mortgage borrowers to provide information showing that they can afford to pay insurance and property taxes. Mayer was drawn to the reverse mortgage businesses after the rule changes saying, “those changes all make this a much more attractive business, and the product is a better product.” More here

Housing Data Continues On Positive Track Despite Slow Activity

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Last month’s housing index decreased showing a 16% drop in home construction, while the National Association of Home Builders released data showing that builder confidence has also fallen. Supply and demand continue on a positive track according to certain experts. Sterne Agee chief economist, Lindsey Piegza said, “the decline was pretty evenly divided with single family starts down 15.9% from 681k to 573k, while multifamily starts fell 16.3% from 367k to 307k in January. On an annual basis, starts are off 7% for single family but remain in the black for multifamily units up 8.1%. Housing permits fell 5.4% in January from 991k to a 937k unit pace, up 2.4% on an annual basis. On a three-month average, permits slipped from 1016k to 982k.” More here

Experts Say 2014 Is The Year Of The Jumbo Loan

New data suggests that 2014 is the prime time to take out jumbo mortgages. This year, jumbo mortgage rates decreased and are now nearly as low as rates for conventional mortgages and in some cases lower. The drop in jumbo mortgage rates is a result of lower economic conditions, according to experts. Also, new federal regulations that were made to conventional mortgages last month do not apply to jumbo mortgages, making them much more popular among buyers who have high net worth or want interest-only loans. More here

Winter Weather Affecting Housing Market

Recent data suggests that the economy has declined in certain areas due to the severe winter weather conditions. The National Association of Home Builders has stated that the housing market took a hit this month, decreasing 10 points and averaging 46, the lowest number seen since May of 2013. Kevin Kelly, NAHB Chairman said, “significant weather conditions across most of the country led to a decline in buyer traffic last month, builders also have additional concerns about meeting ongoing and future demand due to a shortage of lots and labor.” More here

Foreclosures Fall to 45,000 Units

According to data released by CoreLogic, completed foreclosures decreased to 45,000 units in December 2013, a 14% fall from the previous year, but still considered high when compared to pre-recession foreclosure rates. The president and chief executive officer of CoreLogic, Anand Nallathambi said, “clearly, 2013 was a transitional year for residential property in the United States. Higher home prices and lower shadow inventory levels, together with a slowly improving economy, are hopeful signals that we are turning a long-awaited corner.” The National Foreclosure Inventory listed 12 states with the lowest foreclosure rates. Wyoming, Alaska, and North Dakota were the top three states with the lowest foreclosure rates. More here

Housing Market Demand Expected To Ease

New data from the Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey suggests that housing market demand will decrease over the coming years as large-scale investors run out of inventory. Experts expect the change to help first-time homebuyers and others looking for single-family rentals. Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow’s Chief Economist said, “buyers entering the market in the next few months will not be competing with cash-rich investors like they were last year which should be some small solace given the higher prices and mortgage rates that they will encounter.” More here