Monday, April 28, 2014

Initial Reports Suggest Slow Start for Spring Housing Market

According to Morningstar Investment Research, the latest news was neither terribly encouraging nor discouraging. The good news is that the rather dramatic rate of decline in existing-home sales has been halted. By single month, at an annualized rate, existing-home sales dropped from 5.4 million units in July to 4.6 million units in March. That 4.6 million figure was nearly identical to February. Still, if this had been entirely a weather issue, the industry should have been able to do something a little better than eke out a slightly smaller decline. The year-over-year data doesn't paint a flattering picture, either.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Big Picture on Home Prices

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Home Buyers Crowd the Early Spring Market

Despite media reports of tight money from lenders, purchase mortgage transactions continue to outnumber refinance transactions. according to Dan Green's latest issue of The Mortgage Reports.

 On February, for the 8th straight month, mortgage lenders closed more loans for U.S. home buyers than for homeowners refinancing an existing mortgage. The market share statistic takes on added weight when we consider that nearly one-third of all home purchases are done with cash.

 According to mortgage origination software firm Ellie Mae, which handles more than 3 million mortgage applications per year, purchase mortgage closings grabbed an additional four percentage points in market share this past February as compared to the month prior, marking the eighth consecutive month during which purchase market share climbed.

Purchase loans as a percentage of all closings have increased 25 percentage points in the past 12 months. There are several reasons why today's purchase loans are gaining market share. The first is that home prices have steadily and slowly climbed nationwide, which has created an urgency among today's U.S. buyers.

 Home values are up more than 10 percent annually in many U.S. cities going back to 2011, with values are up more than twenty percent in select cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas