A normalizing of the housing market in the last few years has meant a huge decline in distressed inventory available for sale—which has contributed to the low levels of existing homes for sale in recent months. Despite the lack of inventory, investors are becoming more involved in the market, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Monday
The short supply of existing homes combined with price appreciation and slow wage growth has resulted in an over-the-month decline of 7.1 percent for the seasonally adjusted annual rate of existing-home sales in February, from 5.47 million down to 5.08 million, according to NAR’s February 2016 Existing-Home Sales Report. Over the year in February, existing-home sales were up by only 2.2 percent.
“The overall demand for buying is still solid entering the busy spring season, but home prices and rents outpacing wages and anxiety about the health of the economy are holding back a segment of would-be buyers,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.
Investor activity in the existing-home sales market has been on the rise as of late. The share of investor-purchased homes rose from 17 percent in January to 18 percent in February, which was the highest investor share since April 2014. Approximately 64 of those investors paid cash for the homes they purchased in February.
“Now that there are fewer distressed homes available, it appears there’s been a shift towards investors purchasing lower-priced homes and turning them into rentals.”
As a further indicator that investor activity is increasing, the distressed sales share rose by 1 percentage point over-the-month in February up to 10 percent (7 percent foreclosures, 3 percent short sales), Investors were also able to purchase distressed inventory at much lower prices in February—the average discount for foreclosed homes during the month was 17 percent below market value, up 4 percentage points from January; for short sales, the average discount was 16 percent below market value, also up 4 percentage points over-the-month.
The increased investor activity may be preventing potential first-time buyers from entering the market, however. NAR reported that February’s first-time buyer share (30 percent) is down 2 percentage points over-the-month and is at its lowest level since November 2015. The 30 percent for February matched the first-time buyer share for all of 2015.
“Investor sales have trended surprisingly higher in recent months after falling to as low as 12 percent of sales in August 2015,” Yun said. “Now that there are fewer distressed homes available, it appears there’s been a shift towards investors purchasing lower-priced homes and turning them into rentals. Already facing affordability issues, this competition at the entry-level market only adds to the roadblocks slowing first-time buyers.”
The homes that ARE on the market aren’t staying there long. The number of days an existing home stays on the market in February was 59 days, which was down from 64 days in January and 62 days in February 2015. About 35 percent of the homes sold in February were on the market for less than a month. Short sales were on the market for an average of 126 days; for foreclosures and non-distressed homes, the average number of days on the market was 57.
“With low supply this spring buying season, it’s easy for buyers to get discouraged when their offer is rejected in favor of a higher bid,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “That’s why it’s important for buyers to stay patient and work with a realtor to develop a negotiation strategy that ensures success without overstretching their budget.”
Article printed from DSNews: Posted By Brian Honea
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WHO AM I?
I am the basis of all wealth, the heritage of the wise, the thrifty and prudent.
I am the poor person’s joy and comfort, the rich person’s prize, the right hand of capital, the silent partner of thousands of successful people.
I am the solace of the widow, the comfort of old age, the cornerstone of security against misfortune and want. I am handed down through generations, as a possession of great value.
I am quietly growing in value through countless days. Though, I might seem dormant, my worth increases, never failing, never ceasing. Time is my aid and the ever increasing population adds to my gain. I defy fire and the elements, for they cannot destroy me.
My possessors learn to believe in me and invariably they become envied by those that have passed me by. While all other things wither and decay, I alone survive. The centuries find me younger, always increasing in strength. All oil and minerals come from me. I am the producer of food, building materials and the home to every living thing. I serve as the foundation for homes, factories, banks and stores.
I have not been produced for thousands of years, yet, I am so common that thousands, unthinkingly and unknowingly, pass me by.
Who am I? “I AM LAND.”
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The housing market is slowing down, with home values seeing the first negative monthly change since the market began its recovery nearly four years ago, according to the Zillow July Real Estate Market Reports.
Nationally, home value appreciation is leveling off after its rapid pace in the early years of the recovery. Homes lost 0.1% of their value in July, falling to a Zillow Home Value Index of $179,900.
Homes appreciated 3% on an annual basis, down from 3.4 percent in June.
“This slight dip in home values is a sign of the times. Many people didn’t think it was happening, but it is: we’re going negative,” said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell. “We’ve been expecting to see a monthly decline as markets return to normal. However, this is not like the bubble bust. We’re not going to see 10 percent declines. The market is leveling off, and it’s good news, particularly for buyers, because it will ease some of the competitive pressure.”
Of the 517 metros covered by Zillow, 204 saw a slowdown, including major metros like Washington, DC and Cincinnati, where home values declined month-over-month in July. The slowing appreciation is a sign that the market is returning to normal; economists have expected to see growth flattening out as the recovery continues.
“Nationally, 63% of homes listed for sale on June 17 were still on the market on August 17, which is up a bit from 61% for the same period last year,” says Ralph McLaughlin, Housing Economist for Trulia. “And it turns out homes across all price tiers have slowed about the same.
“Home sales in all three tiers slowed 2-3 percentage points compared with a year ago. The share of low-price and mid-priced homes still on the market after two months increased 2 percentage points, compared with a 3-point increase for high-tier homes. As always though, the national trend hides big differences from one local market to another. In many metros, the sales pace is quickening, while slowing in others,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin said affordability may be starting to play a role in the priciest markets. Of the 50 most expensive housing markets, those with fewer homes for sale that are affordable to the middle class in 2014 tended to experience a slowdown.
“In other words, home buyers, no matter how competitive the market is, have a limit. When the stock of cheaper homes dries up, not every buyer is able to up their budget and put offers on homes in a higher price tier,” he said. “So some may delay buying a home, which leads to existing homes sitting on the market a tad longer. Still, homes in these expensive markets are moving faster than other less expensive metros.”
Slowing home values could provide more opportunities for hopeful buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines for the market to cool off. More homes may be coming online as homeowners who have been watching strong home value growth decide to list their houses as appreciation slows and smaller gains are expected. This could help ease the constrained inventory the market has been facing for the past several months.
Meanwhile, rents continue to grow at a rapid pace, up 4.2% from last July to a Zillow Rent Index of $1,376. With no sign of rents slowing down and the potential for more homes for sale, conditions may be right for buyers to enter the market.
By Trey Garrison, reprinted from Housingwire.com
ASK THE PIG – “How Do You Value Diseconomies?”
A diseconomy in real estate is a condition unrelated to the property itself that can negatively affect its value. An example of this might be an area that was recently flooded (even if the subject property was not), a home that backs up to a cemetery or trailer park, or a property that is situated near a power transformer.
Determining the after repair value of a home with a diseconomy comes back down to the basics of comparable sales data, however not in the way that it’s traditionally used. Because there may not be sales on similar homes in the area with the exact same diseconomy, it may take a little more research and a few more calculations to get to an educated guess on your subject property’s value.
For example, I recently had a PIG member contact me for a deal review/ARV on a home that backed up to a cemetery. On this particular road, there were only about 10-12 homes that also backed up to the cemetery, and so finding a comparable sale in the last 6-12 months for a traditional CMA was going to be difficult. So, to determine the after repair value on your subject property, you would need to calculate the percentage difference that a home historically sells for compared to a home that’s not against the cemetery.
To make this calculation, you would take the 2 most recent sales, whenever they took place…let’s say 2005 & 2009. Most investors know that these 2 years will produce drastically different SALES PRICES due to the market boom in 2005, however the effect of the cemetery can still be accurately calculated. For the 2005 sale, you would find 3 other similar homes in the neighborhood that SOLD IN 2005, and compare their sales price to the one backed up to the cemetery. Then you would do the same for the home in 2009, and typically these numbers will be similar. You would then run comps in the neighborhood in the past 6-12 months, and deduct the percentage historically associated with the homes near the cemetery.
However, if at any time you don’t feel like you can get a good comfort level on how the diseconomy will affect the value, I would strongly recommend you PASS on the deal. There are plenty of investment opportunities out there, and so there’s no reason to take a gamble and lose money when it’s not necessary. This is especially true for those of you who are beginners, as you will most likely have less of a safety net, and need your 1st few deals to be home runs.
Have a question for “Ask the PIG”? Send it in to us at email@example.com. Want access to dozens of hours of teaching, fix & flip walk throughs, and live Q&A sessions from anywhere in the world? Then join the Professional Investors Guild today…click here for more info!
Lending product HomeReady expands to include refis
Thanks to new research and lender input, Fannie Mae announced its new HomeReady mortgage that will replace MyCommunityMortgage, Fannie’s previous affordable lending product.
The latest product is designed to help creditworthy borrowers with lower and moderate incomes access an affordable, sustainable mortgage.
“HomeReady will help qualified borrowers access the benefits of homeownership with competitive pricing and sustainable monthly payments,” said Jonathan Lawless, vice president for underwriting and pricing analytics at Fannie Mae.
“We are also confident this mortgage option will create business opportunities for lenders serving the changing demographics and borrower needs seen in today’s market.
Back at the end of last year, Fannie expanded its MyCommunityMortgage product to include an option for qualified first-time homebuyers that would allow for a down payment as low as 3%.
At the time, the 3% down payment option was only allowed if at least one co-borrower was a first-time buyer. However, with the new update, first-time and repeat homebuyers can purchase a home using HomeReady with a down payment of as little as 3%.
Lenders can now also reach a wider audience due to a new functionality through Desktop Underwriter that will automatically flag potentially eligible loans.
While this will still be a small percentage of Fannie’s portfolio overall, this update will still help lenders find borrowers who are getting skipped over.
Also, in more good news for lenders, Fannie Mae’s pricing is more favorable and simplified for lender use, and eliminates or caps standard loan level price adjustments.
This is welcomed news after Tuesday’s announcement from the Mortgage Bankers Association that total loan production expenses – commissions, compensation, occupancy, equipment, and other production expenses and corporate allocations – decreased to $6,984 per loan in the second quarter of 2015, from $7,195 in the first quarter of 2015.
As for borrowers, they will be required to complete an online education course to prepare them for the homebuying process and provide post-purchase support for sustainable homeownership.
The education course, called Framework, is provided by the Housing Partnership Network and the Minnesota Homeownership Center, and is based on the requirements of the HUD Housing Counseling Program and the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling.
Additionally, the lending requirements borrowers simplified.
Under the update, income from a non-borrower household member can be considered to determine an applicable debt-to-income ratio for the loan, helping multi-generational and extended households qualify for an affordable mortgage. According Fannie Mae’s research, these extended households tend to have incomes that are as stable or more stable than other households at similar income levels, positioning them well for homeownership.
Other HomeReady flexibilities include allowing income from non-occupant borrowers, such as parents, and rental payments, such as from a basement apartment, to augment the borrower’s qualifying income.
Fannie will provide more details to lenders in the coming weeks through a Selling Guide announcement, with HomeReady guidelines anticipated for Desktop Underwriter inclusion in late 2015. Fannie Mae anticipates accepting loan deliveries under the HomeReady guidelines in late 2015 as well.
HomeReady will be available to borrowers at any income level for properties in designated low-income census tracts, and to borrowers at or below 100% of area median income for properties in high-minority census tracts or designated natural disaster areas.
For properties in remaining census tracts, HomeReady borrowers must have an income at or below 80% of AMI. Approximately half of census tracts will be subject to the 100% AMI limit or have no income limit.
By: Brena Swanson, Housingwire.com
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