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Housing Starts Pass 1 Million Starts for First Time in Nearly Five Years
Freddie Mac recently released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for April showing that despite the ongoing housing recovery and gains on the construction jobs front, large economic headwinds persist. For example, the stubbornly high unemployment rate serves as a reminder of just how far the economy needs to go to get back to a healthy level. A short preview video and the complete April 2013 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook are available here.
Housing starts were up 47 percent from March 2012 to March 2013, passing 1 million starts for the first time in nearly five years.
The pace of construction job growth has been accelerating in recent months. Over the past year, net construction job growth represented 8 percent of all job gains, while in the last six months it represented 15 percent.
Projecting an increase by $100 billion in refinances in 2014 to account for additional Home Affordable Refinance Program volumes with its extension through 2015.
Projecting residential originations, including single-family and apartments, to be nearly $2 trillion in 2013.
Supported by low mortgage rates, expect total homes built in 2013 to come in at the fastest pace since 2007.
“Until aggregate unemployment decreases substantially we will not experience robust growth. Construction employment is showing signs of life, which should help to improve the overall macroeconomic picture,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.
“Housing construction is starting to pick up, but is well below historical averages. Supported by low mortgage rates we expect more homes to be built in 2013 than in any year since 2007. This increased construction employment should continue to help bring down the overall unemployment rate.”
Freddie Mac compiles data on major economic, housing and mortgage market indicators and offers forecasts based on those indicators.
For more information, visit www.FreddieMac.com.
From Gloom to Bloom: Expecting the Healthiest Spring Season Since 2007
Freddie Mac recently released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook through March showing that as we head into the spring home buying season, continued low mortgage rates, increasing house prices, and gradually improving consumer confidence will help support increased home sales. A short preview video and the complete March 2013 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook are available here.
• Compared to 2012, expect home sales to be up 8 to 10 percent for 2013.
• Expect housing starts to increase to 950,000 units for 2013, compared to 780,000 in 2012.
• In 2012, real estate added $1.5 trillion to balance sheets, and residential mortgage debt outstanding increased by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, indicating household deleveraging might be drawing to a close.
• Because of sequestration spending reductions, expect the unemployment rate in 2013 to average about 7.8 percent, essentially flat for the year or about 0.25 percentage points higher than it otherwise would have been.
• Regardless, the housing wealth effect is taking hold in the broader market which should translate into the healthiest spring home buying season since 2007.
“History shows us not all economic recoveries are created equal and consumer confidence mirrors this fact,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.
“With the spring home buying season upon us, the recent highs in the stock market are a welcome signal of better times ahead. But it will be the gradually declining unemployment rate and steadily improving housing market that will deliver broad-based economic benefits for Americans and, in turn, support the overall recovery.”
For more information, visit www.FreddieMac.com.
FNC Report: Housing Recovery Takes Hold for the Long Haul
Though home foreclosures continue to be a challenge in many hard-hit markets, a report released this week by mortgage technology company FNC indicates the ongoing housing recovery should continue for the long haul.
According to FNC’s Foreclosure Market Report, foreclosure prices have bottomed out in recent months and the foreclosure market has stabilized while underlying home values are rising. Foreclosure prices are at a 10-year low (when the sizes of foreclosed homes are factored in).
This trend of a rising underlying market accompanied by stabilizing foreclosure prices is the first encouraging development in the housing recession, according to FNC Senior Research Economist, Dr. Yanling Mayer.
“The fact that we are seeing a combination of rising home prices and a bottoming out of foreclosure prices is a very good sign the housing recovery is taking hold,” Mayer says. “This is the very first time in the long housing recession that the two are happening at the same time.”
FNC’s report shows that foreclosure price discounts, which compare a foreclosed home’s estimated market value to its final sales price, have dropped to pre-mortgage crisis levels at about 12.2 percent in Q4 2012. At the height of the mortgage crisis in 2008 and 2009, foreclosed homes were typically sold at more than 25 percent below their estimated market value. Additionally, the report indicates that the typical size of foreclosed homes is also approaching pre-crisis levels.
“If you look at the period of short-lived recovery under the first-time homebuyer tax credits, the foreclosure market was still in the midst of rapid deterioration with the influx of delinquent mortgages,” Mayer says. “This time, we are witnessing an entirely different development in the foreclosure market.”
FNC publishes the mortgage industry’s first market-valued based foreclosure price discount to gauge the degree of market distress. For more information about the foreclosure price discount, please refer to FNC’s March 2011 report located here.
More highlights from FNC’s Foreclosure Market Report:
• Single-family REO and foreclosure sales are 18.1 percent in Q4 2012, down from 26.5 percent in Q1 2012 and 24.2 percent in Q4 2011.
• The median foreclosure price is $93,000 or $65 per square foot. In comparison, the median price on non-foreclosure sales is $183,500 or $106 per square.
• Foreclosure price discounts are typically larger for low-tier properties, averaging 18.4 percent in Q4 2012. High-end properties, on the other hand, are typically sold close to their market value.
• Collateral depreciation – the difference between a property’s prior purchase price and foreclosure sale price – continues to decelerate, down to 6.4 percent in Q4 2012 from 8.4 percent a year earlier. Among the re-sales of non-distressed homes, homeowners typically broke even and many even realized a small price appreciation (+0.4 percent).
• Michigan has the nation’s highest concentration of foreclosure sales; 56 percent of homes sold in Q4 2012 are foreclosure sales. In contrast, foreclosure sales in judicial states such as New York, New Jersey, and Vermont only make up 5 percent of home sales.
• Foreclosure rates in a number of the hardest hit states are at or below the national average: Arizona (14.3 percent), California (19.8 percent), Florida (20.5 percent), and Nevada (13.0%).
• Midwest cities including Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, and St. Louis have the largest concentration of foreclosure sales.
• Las Vegas, Phoenix, Riverside, and Sacramento show rapid declines in foreclosure sales in the last 12 months.
• Foreclosure price discounts are much smaller in markets with fast-rising prices. Many buyers in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Sacramento, San Diego, and Riverside paid a price premium on foreclosure sales, meaning foreclosure sales price exceeded estimated market value.
• Judicial foreclosures are generally associated with the largest price discount in foreclosure sales: New York (30 percent), Boston (32 percent), and Philadelphia (32.8 percent).
• Of the cities identified by the Federal Reserve Board as the largest REO inventory markets entering 2012, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Riverside saw a significant decline in market distress during the year.
Phoenix is leading the nation in recovery with home prices up 26 percent in 2012 and foreclosure down from 29 percent to 12 percent.
For more information, visit www.fncinc.com.
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7 Tips for Keeping Your Financial Fitness Resolution
The new year is a great time to get yourself pointed in the right direction financially. “Making small improvements at the beginning of the year is a lot easier than trying to play catch-up,” says financial planner Rick Rodgers, author of “The New Three-Legged Stool: A Tax Efficient Approach To Retirement Planning.”
“Just as you would embark on an exercise program to lose weight and get physically fit, there are simple steps you can take that will lead to being financially healthy and fit.” Here are Rodgers’ seven tips for improving your financial life in 2013.
• Review your credit report - Borrowing money isn’t the only reason to check your credit. Employers check credit reports and so do insurance companies. Your credit score can have a profound effect on the amount you pay for auto and homeowners insurance — and perhaps on health and life insurance in the not-too-distant future. Order your free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.
• Set up an Automatic Savings Plan (ASP) - If your employer doesn’t offer this through payroll deduction you can set one up through your bank or brokerage account. Simply have a certain amount of money withdrawn from your checking or savings account each month and deposited into your investment account. That way, you save it before you ever have a chance to spend it. Try to increase the amount you invest at least once a year.
• Establish a cash flow plan – Business owners know you can’t control what you don’t track. Take the time to forecast your income and expenses for the year, and put it in writing. Then adjust those numbers to reach your goals, such as paying down debt or replacing a car. Track your progress on a regular basis by holding a monthly family finance meeting to review the plan.
• Pay off your credit cards – It’s especially important to take action on debt in 2013. Cash doesn’t earn much interest sitting in a deposit account (less than 1 percent) and even “low interest” credit cards charge 10 to 12 percent. So if you’re sitting on any extra savings, consider using it to pay down credit card debt. Your cash flow plan should include a schedule to eliminate credit card debt as quickly as possible.
• Shop your insurance – Insurance agents are often paid commission based on premium levels, so they have no incentive for finding existing customers lower premiums. However, there is a huge incentive for a competing agent to find you the lowest premium in order to win your business. Make note of the coverage levels you have for your homeowner’s and auto policies and use them to comparison shop. Look at ways to save on your health insurance coverage, too, such as switching to a high-deductible plan and opening a Health Savings Account.
• Write an estate plan – At a minimum you need to have a valid will, power-of-attorney (POA) for your finances and health-care decisions, and a living will (Advanced Healthcare Directive in some states). Decide who will be your personal representative in the event you become incapacitated (POA) or at your death (executor). If you have minor children, choose who will raise them in your absence and establish a testamentary trust for their finances.
• Meet with a financial adviser – An adviser is to financial planning as a personal trainer is to an exercise program. Allow yourself to be held accountable by a third party who will push you to help yourself. Good advisers will help you develop a budget, look at your debts, tax situation, retirement and college savings, estate planning and insurance. You don’t have to be a high-net-worth individual to seek the assistance of a financial adviser. Go to the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and search for one in your area.
Don’t just make a vague resolution to save money. According to Psychology Today, of the millions of American’s who make a New Years resolution, 40 percent have already failed by Jan. 31. Let 2013 be the year you make lasting changes to improve your financial life.
Certified Financial Planner Rick Rodgers is president of Rodgers & Associates, “The Retirement Specialists,” in Lancaster. For more information, visitwww.RodgersSpeaks.com and www.TheNewThreeLeggedStool.com.
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Selling Your Home? Tips for Getting Across the Finish Line in 2013
In case you haven’t heard… FHA loan fees are scheduled to increase… again in 2013!
These changes are projected to be in effect by the early part of 2013, and would raise FHA mortgage insurance rates from 1.25% to 2.05% per year. That percentage increase translates to about an $800 hike in loan costs per year for every $100,000, being financed by an FHA loan, for a home purchase. Additionally, this news also means that, potentially, the loan amount that a home buyer could qualify for would also drop by $10,000 per $100,000 being financed by an FHA mortgage.
The proposed hike in FHA mortgage insurance premiums, for a large number of home buyers, will negatively affect their ‘home purchasing power.’ The price of a home that a buyer could qualify to purchase, when these increased fees are factored in, will most likely be greatly reduced and some home buyers, in certain price ranges, could even be locked out of the market completely.
What does that means to you, if you’re planning to purchase a home with an FHA mortgage? It means that now, rather than later, is the right time to start your search for your new home!
FHA mortgage insurance rate hikes, coupled with lower inventory of homes in certain price ranges, and rebounding home prices in many areas, indicates that people who plan to purchase a home in 2013 should consider doing so in the early part of the year to take full advantage of their ‘home purchasing power.’
If you are planning to sell your home in 2013, you can also apply this news to your plans. It’s a good bet that more buyers will be, most likely, in the market to purchase homes early in the new year which would mean that there will be a larger ‘home buyer pool’ and more interest for your property if it’s on the market in early 2013.
If you’re not sure what property values are for your neighborhood or community, contact a trusted real estate professional for a ‘Market Analysis’ report. This analysis will give you an educated look at whether prices are stabilizing, declining, or rising for your subdivision or community, and based on those facts you can decide, with your agent’s professional guidance, when the time is right for you to put your home on the market for sale.
If you live in the Bradenton, Sarasota, Manatee County, or Sarasota County areas of Florida, or own an investment, vacation, or part-time residence here, The Serena Group would be happy to provide a market report, with no strings and free of charge, for your home… just contact us today to make your request!
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You may also visit our website at: www.Bradenton-Florida-RealEstate.com for a wealth of real estate information including:
mortgage tools and calculators, school ratings, relocation information, new home construction information, area, community videos, home search tools, foreclosures, short sale facts and information, and home buyer and home seller reports and tools.
Bradenton, Manatee County, Real Estate Report, Forecast, Stats, and Data – October 2012
In Manatee county, FL, the median sold price for CONDOMINIUM properties for October 2012 was $89,000
, showing a decrease of 16.4% compared to last month, and an increase of 12.8% from October of 2011. The average days on market for condos sold in October 2012 was 147 days. That number is 6% below the 5-year October average number of 157 days. We realized an 8.2%, month over month, increase in the number of new contracts with 172 new ‘pending’ contracts, & a 2/4% month over month increase for ‘all’ pending contracts with 296. (All pendings = new pendings + contracts carried over from September 2012)
In Manatee county, FL, the median sold price for SINGLE FAMILY HOMES AND VILLA properties for October 2012 wa $185,000, showing an increase of 5/7% compared to last month, and an 18.6% from October of 2011. The average days on market for single family homes sold in October 2012 was 96 days. That number is 20% below the 5-year October average of 119 days. We realized a 1.4% month over month decrease in the number of new contracts with 629 new ‘pending’ contracts, & a 0.2% month over month increase for ‘all’ pending contracts with 1,363 (All pendings = new pendings + contracts carried over from September 2012) and a 4% increase in supply to 1,762 active listing for single family homes and villa homes. This activity resulted in a contract ratio of 0.77 pending contracts per each active listing, . This contract ratio is 153% higher than the 5-year October average of 0.30.
For a detailed real estate market report for your Manatee or Sarasota county zip code or neighborhood, please contact our team, The Serena Group, and we would be happy to provide that report at no cost to you → 941.757.5377
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