Builders Reveal Top 10 Biggest Concerns

Builders Reveal Top 10 Biggest Concerns
National Association of Home Builders   article by Daily Real Estate News | January 17, 2018

House Construction 103Homebuilding is still falling short in many markets in alleviating the shrinking inventories of homes for sale. But builders are blaming the construction shortfall on several factors.

Builders revealed the following top 10 “significant” problems they expect to face in 2018, according to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo Housing Market Index:

  1. Cost/availability of labor: 84%
  2. Building material prices: 84%
  3. Cost/availability of developed lots: 62%
  4. Impact/hook up/inspection or other fees: 60%
  5. Local/state environment regulations and policies: 45%
  6. Inaccurate appraisals: 42%
  7. Federal environment regulations and policies: 42%
  8. Difficulty obtaining zoning/permit approval: 42%
  9. Gridlock/uncertainty in Washington making buyers cautious: 42%
  10. Development standards (parling, setbacks, etc.): 38%

Once again for 2018, builders said the cost and availability of labor is their chief concern. The number of builders who are reporting this as a problem is growing. In 2017, 82 percent of builders said cost and availability of labor was their top concern; the percentage has grown to 84 percent of builders heading in 2018.

The availability of labor started growing as a problem among builders since 2011. In 2011, just 13 percent of builders rated labor as a significant problem, but by 2012, the percentage jumped to 30 percent and has ever since continued to increase each year.

“Both the availability of labor and lots highlight the expected constraints of a recovering housing market,” the NAHB reports.

Source: “Building Materials Prices and Labor Access Top Challenges for 2018,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (Jan. 16, 2018); REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 011718

Mortgage Rates Ring in New Year With a Dip

Mortgage Rates Ring in New Year With a Dip
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | January 5, 2018

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Borrowers kicked off 2018 with a mortgage rate drop. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is now down a quarter of a percentage point from a year ago.

“Treasury yields fell from a week ago, helping to drive mortgage rates down to start the year,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell four basis points from a week ago to 3.95 percent in the year’s first survey. Despite increases in short-term interest rates, long-term interest rates remain subdued.”

The spread between the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and five-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage is at the lowest since 2009, Kiefer says.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 4:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.95 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.99 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.20 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.38 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.44 percent average. A year ago, 15-year ARMs averaged 3.44 percent.
  • 5-year ARMs: averaged 3.45 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 3.47 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.33 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 010518

Mortgage Rates Up Slightly This Week

Mortgage Rates Up Slightly This Week
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | December 22, 2017

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Average mortgage rates inched up, but the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remains below 4 percent and continues to offer home buyers and refinancers historically low rates.

“Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates have been bouncing around in a narrow 10 basis points range since October,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The U.S. average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased 1 basis point to 3.94 percent in this week’s survey. The majority of our survey was completed prior to the surge in long-term interest rates that followed the passage of the tax bill. If those rate increases stick, we’ll likely see higher mortgage rates in next week’s survey. But even with yesterday’s increase, the 10-year Treasury yield is down from a year ago, and 30-year fixed mortgage rates are 36 basis points below the level we saw in our survey last year at this time. Mortgage rates are low.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Dec. 21:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.93 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year-rates averaged 4.30 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.38 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.36 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.52 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.39 percent, with an average 0.3 point, increasing from last week’s 3.36 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.32 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 122217

NAR: Homes Selling Faster Than Ever

NAR: Homes Selling Faster Than Ever
National Association of REALTORS®   article by Daily Real Estate News | December 22, 2017

The time homes spent on the market hit an all-time low in 2017 at just three weeks, the National Association of REALTORS® reports. A low inventory of homes for sale mixed with strong buyer demand has helped to keep market times low from 2014 to 2017.

During the height of the housing boom from 2001 to 2005, homes sold within a month of being listed. But as the housing market began to slow in 2006, the median time jumped to six weeks, and then to 10 weeks by 2009.

Tight inventories and a lack of construction of homes has helped to keep homes selling faster in recent years, NAR notes.

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Source: “Drop in Time on Market to Sell a Home,” National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook blog (Dec. 21, 2017); REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 122217

Nationally: Existing-Home Sales Gains Strongest in Decade

Nationally: Existing-Home Sales Gains Strongest in Decade
National Association of REALTORS®   article by Daily Real Estate News | December 20, 2017

For the third consecutive month, existing-home sales were on the rise, with all major regions of the country except the West posting a “significant hike in sales activity” last month, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday.

dec16_DN_EHSInfographicTotal existing-home sales—which includes completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—increased 5.6 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million. Sales are now 3.8 percent higher than a year ago and are at the strongest pace since December 2006.

“Faster economic growth in recent quarters, the booming stock market, and continuous job gains are fueling substantial demand for buying a home as 2017 comes to an end,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “As evidenced by a subdued level of first-time buyers and increased share of cash buyers, move-up buyers with considerable down payments and those with cash made up a bulk of sales activity last month. The odds of closing on a home are much better at the upper end of the market, where inventory conditions continue to be markedly better.”

Here’s a closer look at November’s numbers:

Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types in November was $248,000, increasing 5.8 percent from a year ago.

Supply: Total housing inventory at the end of November dropped 7.2 percent to 1.67 million existing homes available for sale. Inventories are now 9.7 percent lower than a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace. “The anticipated rise in mortgage rates next year could further cut into affordability if these staggeringly low supply levels persist,” Yun says. “Price appreciation is too fast in a lot of markets right now. The increase in home builder optimism must translate to significantly more new construction in 2018 to help ease these acute inventory shortages.”

Cash purchases: All-cash sales comprised 22 percent of transactions in November, up from 21 percent a year ago. That makes up the highest share of all-cash sales since May. Individual investors are the biggest source of cash sales. They purchased 14 percent of homes in November, unchanged from a year ago. “The elevated presence of investors paying in cash continues to add a layer of frustration to the supply and affordability headwinds aspiring first-time buyers are experiencing,” Yun says. “The healthy labor market and higher wage gains are expected to further strengthen buyer demand from young adults next year. Their prospects for becoming homeowners will only improve if more lower-priced and smaller-sized homes come onto the market.”

First-time home buyers: This group accounted for 29 percent of sales in November, down from 32 percent a year ago.

Days on market: Properties remained on the market for an average of 40 days in November, down from 43 days a year ago. Forty-four percent of homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month.

Distressed properties: Foreclosures and short sales made up 4 percent of sales, down from 6 percent a year ago. Broken out, 3 percent of sales in November were foreclosures while 1 percent were short sales.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 122017

FHA to Increase Loan Limits in 2018

FHA to Increase Loan Limits in 2018
FHA   article by Daily Real Estate News | December 11, 2017

handsFollowing on the heels of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Housing Administration announced that it will increase its loan limits in most areas of the country in 2018. The FHFA had announced new limits for loans eligible for purchase or guarantee by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Nov. 28.

In high-cost areas of the country, the FHA’s ceiling on loan limits will rise from $636,150 to $679,650, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition, the national mortgage limit for FHA-insured reverse mortgages—known as home equity conversion mortgages—will rise from $636,150 to $679,650.

The FHFA calculates new limits each year based on median home prices.

The FHA loan limits will rise in 3,011 counties but will remain unchanged in 223. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s new conforming loan limits for 2018 will be $453,100 for conforming loans and $679,650 for jumbo loans in some high-cost areas. The new limits for the FHA and the FHFA will take effect on Jan. 1.

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 121117


Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® License 318311 ♦ Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular ♦ (615) 371-2474 office
kb@bargers-solutions.com emailkb@kennethbargers.realtor email
www.bargers-solutions..com webkennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood, Tennessee 37027 address

Mortgage Rates Climb This Week

Mortgage Rates Climb This Week
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | December 8, 2017

Borrowing costs are increasing, but home buyers can still snag an interest rate that is lower than a year ago.

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“This week’s survey reflects last week’s uptick in long-term interest rates, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate up 4 basis points to 3.94 percent,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The 30-year mortgage rate has been bouncing around in a 10 basis point range since September. While long-term rates have been relatively steady week-to-week, shorter term interest rates have been on the rise. The spread between the 30-year fixed mortgage and the 5/1 Hybrid ARM rate was 59 basis points this week, down 43 basis points from earlier this year. With a narrower spread between fixed and adjustable mortgage rates, more borrowers are opting for a fixed product.”

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported this week that the ARM share of conventional mortgage applications was 16.7 percent, down from more than 20 percent in the spring.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 7:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.90 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.13 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.36 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.30 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.36 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.35 percent, with an average 0.3 point, rising from last week’s 3.32 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.17 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 120817


Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® License 318311 ♦ Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular ♦ (615) 371-2474 office
kb@bargers-solutions.com emailkb@kennethbargers.realtor email
www.bargers-solutions..com webkennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood, Tennessee 37027 address