Market Muse | June 9th, 2017
Market Muse with Warren Dow reports:
- Home prices are on fire – and look to continue to stay hot through balance of 2017
- The national housing report 63% of homeowners with mortgages have seen a rise equity since 2016
- Millennials are the largest group of home buyers for the fourth consecutive year.
- Fannie Mae has declared it’s a sellers market
What’s happening in the housing market
Home prices are on fire – and look to continue to stay hot through balance of 2017
According to its recently released Home Price Index (HPI,) CoreLogic reported that home prices are up both year over year and month over month. Nationwide, home prices increased year over year by 6.9% in April 2017 compared to April 2016 and increase month over month by 1.6% in April 2017 compared with March 2017. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 5.1% on a year over year basis from April 2017 to April 2018.
CoreLogic also reported that U.S. homeowners with mortgages (which is roughly 63% of all homeowners) have seen their equity increase by a total of $766.4 billion dollars since the 1st quarter of 2016 – an increase of 11.2%. Today, nearly 9 million borrowers have regained equity since the height of the housing crisis in 2011.
On the other hand, the total number of residential mortgages with negative equity decreased 3% from the 4th quarter of 2016 – to 3.1 million homes or 6.1% of all mortgaged properties. CoreLogic Chief Economist stated, “One million borrowers achieved positive equity over the last year, which means mortgage risk continues to steadily decline as a result of increasing home prices.”
And there’s more news on mortgages out today – Freddie Mac just released it Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing the 30-year fixed mortgage dropping for the 4th consecutive week and hitting its lowest level in nearly seven months. 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 3.89% with an average .5-point for the week ending June 8, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.94%. For reference, a year ago at this time the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.6%.
With the market so hot, one has to wonder what’s happening with home flipping – the practice of buying and then reselling the same property within a 12-month period. Well, ATTOM Data Solutions just released its Q1 2017 US Home Flipping Report, which showed that home flipping fell to the lowest level in two years during the 1st quarter of 2017. Interesting, at the same time, the share of those flips using mortgage financing rose to a 9-year high. The company reported that there were 43,615 single family homes and condos flipped during the 3-month period, down 8% from the previous quarter and 6% from a year ago. Flipping accounted for 6.7% of all single-family home and condo sales during the quarter, an increase from 5.8% in the fourth quarter, but unchanged from a year earlier.
So what’s up with the millennials?
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released it 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which found that millennials were the largest group of home buyers (34%) for the fourth consecutive year. By comparison, baby boomers were 30% of buyers.
“Millennials have been fairly slow to get into the market, but we are seeing an uptick in millennial buyers this year – which is a good sign, because as home values rise, we want a wider number of people to participate in this housing recovery,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “There’s a pent-up demand and as the economy continues to improve, we expect to see more people in their early thirties, adults who are still living with their parents – clearly not their idea of the American dream – to begin to look for their own housing units.”
In other housing news, economists at Freddie Mac see the U.S. housing market “on track to eclipse last year as the best in over a decade.” The company’s May Outlook gives credits to the housing market’s strong start to 2017 in part to the surprising downward movement of interest rates since March. After rising to 4.3% in March, mortgage rates have dipped back down near the 4.0% range and have been holding pretty steady. The general sentiment is that the Fed will increase rates a few times before the end of 2017. All told, Freddie Mac thinks 2017 is shaping up to be the best year for housing in over a decade.
Finally, Fannie Mae has declared it’s a sellers market.
Based on Fannie Mae’s monthly National Housing Survey, the net share of Americans who said that now is a good time buy a home reached a record low of 27%, (a decrease of 8%,) while the net share who stated that it is a good time to sell a home reached a record high of 32%, a gain of 6% in May 2017.
Fannie Mae said it was only the 2nd time in the survey’s history that the net share of those saying it’s a good time sell surpassed the net share of those saying it’s a good time to buy. In fact, the “sell” component is 19 point higher that the same time in 2016. All of this makes perfect sense since the market has been on fire and continues to stay hot.
Look for more market muse episodes soon.