Builder Confidence Falls, Signaling A Market Slowdown

Builder confidence fell eight points in May, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The HMI registered a reading of 69 in May, a significant drop from April. This is the fifth consecutive month of decline and the lowest reading since June 2020. The low reading suggests that the housing market is slowing thanks to affordability challenges. “The housing market is facing growing challenges. Building material costs are up 19% from a year ago, in less than three months mortgage rates have surged to a 12-year high and, based on current affordability conditions, less than 50% of new and existing home sales are affordable for a typical family,”  said NAHB Chief Economist Robert…

Fannie Mae Commits $5M To 2022 Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge

Fannie Mae has committed $5 million to its second annual Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge (IC22), the GSE announced. The challenge seeks to “attract innovative ideas that will help advance racial equity in housing,” according to the press release. Fannie Mae will receive proposals from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, as well as from individuals and teams.  Proposals should address supply, funding, and credit barriers. IC22 is part of the GSE’s Sustainable Communities Partnership and Innovation Initiative, which helps to develop collaborative, cross-sector approaches to advancing sustainable communities. “Fannie Mae is proud to launch the next iteration of the Innovation Challenge and support innovative projects that promote racial equity in housing in the United States,” said Maria Evans, Vice President…

Existing Home Sales Fall For Second Month

Existing home sales fell for a second month in March, down 2.7% from February and 4.5% YOY, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Existing home sales are now down to an annualized rate of 5.77 million. March sales dropped in three of the four major regions but stayed stable in the West. But all four regions saw YOY declines. “The housing market is starting to feel the impact of sharply rising mortgage rates and higher inflation taking a hit on purchasing power,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.  “Still, homes are selling rapidly, and home price gains remain in the double-digits.” Properties remained on the market for an average of 17 days, down from 18 days both in…

March Home Sales Dropped 4% From Feb, Sign Of A Potential Slowdown

Home sales dropped by 4% last month and 8% YOY, closing out a fast-paced March with signs of a potential cooldown, Redfin reported. Homes sold at their fastest pace ever and for more above list price than any other March in history. The median home-sale price rose 6.2% to $412,700, a record high and the fastest month-over-month gain for this time of year since 2013. But seasonally adjusted home sales fell 4% thanks to severe inventory shortages, rising rates, and accelerating home prices. Seasonally adjusted active listings—the count of all homes that were for sale at any time during the month—fell 13% YOY to an all-time low. “Although pricey coastal markets began showing early signs of a slowdown in late…

Bidding Wars Hit Highest Level Since April 2020

Bidding wars hit their highest level since at least April 2020, with 70% of home offers from Redfin agents facing competition in January, a new Redfin report found. This is up from 67.7% in December and 61% in January 2021. The report chalks up the increased bidding to a combination of rising interest rates, high demand, and low inventory. January marked the first time rates hit 3.5% since the beginning of the pandemic, and have jumped to nearly 4% in the first weeks of February. New listings continue dropping, hitting record lows. “Rising mortgage rates are intensifying an already-severe shortage of homes for sale because buyers are feeling more urgency to buy while homeowners are feeling less urgency to sell—an…

Morning Roundup (12/06/2021)– Omicron Fears, Zillow Recovery

Good Morning! Today is Monday, December 6. Former Senate Majority Leader and Republican Presidential Nominee Bob Dole died yesterday. He was 98 years old. Bitcoin recovered from a weekend crash that brought its value below $50,000. Omicron may have been spreading at a New York anime convention before cases were officially confirmed in the US. And in mortgage and housing news… Market-Crash Flashback?: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have raised their loan limits to nearly $1 million in some communities. Does that mean lenders are repeating the same mistakes which led to the 2008 crash? Analysts React To Omicron: How will Omicron impact the housing market? Analysts are optimistic it won’t cause significant damage. Zillow Bouncing Back: Zillow is recovering…

CoreLogic: Double-Digit Rent Growth In September

Strong demand and the labor market are fueling single-family rent price increases which remain at record highs. September data from CoreLogic’s Single-Family Rent Index shows rents increased 10.2% year-over-year (YOY), compared to a 2.6% YOY increase in September 2020. Rents increased across all four tiers of rental prices used by CoreLogic. Lower-priced rentals (less than 75% of the regional median) saw an increase of 8.3% YOY, while rents in the lower-middle price range (75%-100% of the regional median) rose 9.3% YOY, both more than doubling their growth from the same time in 2020. Rents for higher-priced properties broke 10%, with higher-middle priced (100%-125%) rents climbing 10.5%, compared to 2.4% in September 2020. Higher-priced rentals (125% or more of the regional…

Analysts See Airbnb As A Major Player In 2022 Housing Market

Airbnb is predicted to increase its inventory by 25% in 2022, giving it huge leverage to impact the residential real estate market next year, according to analyst Chris Linsell. During a presentation at the 2021 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, Linsell, senior real estate writer for TheClose.com, said Airbnb’s expansion will likely negatively impact housing affordability and inventory. “Airbnb (is) not just selling their product to consumers, they are selling to the providers of the product. They are selling twice without holding their own inventory. This unique model opens up an incredible level of scalability,” he said. “Many of those housing units are going to come from the residential real estate market.” He noted that the impact on residential housing could…

HUD Awards $36 Million To Help More Than 250 Communities

By Kimberley Haas More than 250 rural, suburban and urban communities will benefit from $36 million earmarked to produce about 8,000 units of affordable housing throughout the country. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman held a virtual press conference on Tuesday morning to announce the “capacity-building” awards, which are expected to stimulate nearly $150 million in total investments. “We are really focused on building strong and vibrant communities through grants like this and through the work of our local and state leaders,” Todman said. Todman said it has been thrilling to work with leaders at the White House and HUD to stand up these initiatives “that we know will pay dividends for our children and grandchildren in…

NAR: Housing Affordability Improved In August

Housing affordability improved in August for the second straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) housing affordability index report. Month-over-month, mortgage payments fell by only 1.1%, while median family income fell by 0.7%. The index hit a low of 146.5 in June but rose to 151.3 in August. But affordability declined year-over-year (YOY), with monthly mortgage payments rising 13.9% to $1,210 from August 2020. Median family income rose only 3.9%. The effective 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.89% in August compared to 3% a year ago. The median existing-home sales price rose 15.6% YOY. Home prices are in a seasonal cool-down, which could account for the numbers. But consumer sentiment on home buying continues to trend downward,…