Unique Opportunities: A Look At The Spring Season In Nontraditional Markets

By CHUCK GREEN Tradition dictates that April and May are the hottest months for the housing market but there are unique opportunities in parts of the country where that isn’t necessarily the case. Rick Sharga, president & CEO of CJ Patrick Company in Trabuco Canyon, California, says that although there is truth to the idea that home sales increase as the weather improves, there are exceptions to the rule. “Markets with a late spring – cold weather states in particular like Alaska or North Dakota – might have a later start to the traditional home selling season, while markets with more temperate clients like California and Hawaii may not be quite as dependent on changing seasons to encourage home buyers…

Spring Is Here: What To Expect This Season

By CHUCK GREEN As the traditional spring homebuying season begins, a lack of inventory, high interest rates, and economic uncertainty due to banking troubles have dominated the news. So what can people expect? Rick Sharga, president and CEO of CJ Patrick Company in California, told The Mortgage Note that it’s “unlikely to be a banner period for home sales. Extremely low inventory of homes for sale coupled with poor affordability are likely to keep sales activity fairly weak, even though seasonal trends usually see sales and prices increase during the spring and summer months.” Although the second quarter is typically the peak season for home sales, that has been disrupted in recent years, noted Sharga. “This seasonal trend didn’t happen…

Commercial Spaces: Have Hotels Recovered From The Pandemic?

By CHUCK GREEN Putting on the Ritz? Or at least booking a stay there? As the hotel industry continues to regain its traction this year in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, according to at least one industry leader, it seems that, overall, luxury brands generally have been on a faster track toward recovery than others. “Resort markets are off the charts,” Jim Butler, partner and chairman of the Global Hospitality Group in Los Angeles, told The Mortgage Note. “Everybody went as soon as they could.” In 2020, the value of the luxury hotel market stood at $174.9 billion, according to Mordor Intelligence. During the forecast period 2021-2026, it’s projected to hit a compound annual growth rate of more than…

Trends: Employees Return To The Office This Year

By CHUCK GREEN More people in business, including those in lending, are returning to in-person work after the pandemic. According to a survey released by Resume Builder last fall, 90% of companies will require employees to return to the office in 2023. Disney laid down the law at the start of the year, making it mandatory for corporate employees to show up at the office – starting March 1 – four days a week. Starbucks corporate employees were told to report to work in person at least three days a week by the end of January. Based on data from employers in 10 major U.S. cities, badge-swipe tallies collected by security firm Kastle Systems indicated office occupancy reached 50.4% for…

Are We Moving Toward A Buyer’s Market? Maybe

By CHUCK GREEN As the average mortgage rates decline and markets slow in parts of the country that were red-hot during the pandemic, we at The Mortgage Note decided to ask who is currently in favor during negotiations – the buyer or the seller? It seems that the current consensus on the ground is that there are benefits to being either. Aaron Kozikowski is a loan officer at Ross Mortgage Corporation. The company is headquartered in Troy, Michigan, and serves customers in Michigan, Kentucky, Florida, and Virginia. Kozikowski said “in this market, we’ve been seeing homes sit on the market longer, which allows buyers to take their time instead of having to put in an offer immediately. Sellers are also…

Sellers Feel The Pain Of Price Drops

By CHUCK GREEN Next time you run into someone in the local Starbucks who happens to have their home on the market, be a sport and plop an extra scone into their bag, huh? A little butter and jam, too? After all, sellers probably aren’t riding the wave of a sugar high induced by whatever they will pocket in their real estate transactions as experts say the price of an average home in the United States is decreasing. The cities expected to be the most heavily hit include: San Francisco: -10.36% Seattle: -9.55% San Diego: -7.24% Los Angeles: -5.61% Denver: -5.60% Dallas: -4.34% Portland: -4.25% Las Vegas: -3.69% What is contributing to the drop in housing prices? B. George Ratiu,…

Forget Student Loans, How About Forgiving Our Mortgage Loans?

By CHUCK GREEN and KIMBERLEY HAAS The U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing two cases challenging the legality of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan on Feb. 28 and The Mortgage Note is asking the question, why not mortgage debt relief when that is a bigger burden to average Americans? Mortgage balances rose by $282 billion in the third quarter of 2022 and were at $11.67 trillion by the end of September. According to a press release issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan balances slightly declined to $1.57 trillion. Total household debt reached $16.51 trillion in Q3. That includes mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and student loans. Sarah Paulson, a certified financial planner at Valkyrie Financial…

Predictions: Chilly Market Ahead For Housing In 2023, Conditions Improve In 2024

By CHUCK GREEN According to experts, not only is the housing market expected to continue cooling this year, the forecast remains chilly entering 2023. Real house prices jumped 10.5% in September and logged a 60.6% YOY increase, according to First American’s Real House Price Index. But prices fell in 15 out of the top 50 markets they analyze. Mortgage originations saw their largest annual decline in 21 years this fall, further evidence that the housing boom is coming to an end. Originations fell 47% YOY in Q3, according to ATTOM Data’s Q3 2022 U.S. Residential Property Mortgage Origination Report. Quarter-over-quarter they were down 19%, the sixth consecutive drop. So, what in the name of the cranky barometer’s up? For one thing, surprise, surprise,…

Leaders: There Are Still Potential Buyers Despite The Odds

By CHUCK GREEN Despite a plethora of obstacles, there are prospective buyers chomping at the bit to purchase a home, according to experts. On Wednesday, Zillow Home Loans Senior Economist Matthew Speakman released a statement on mortgage rates dropping after a report on inflation showed that price pressures may finally be easing. “The arrival of weaker-than-expected October Consumer Price Index data was just the sign investors had been waiting for, and markets viewed it as a signal that the Federal Reserve may finally take its foot off the brakes as it determines the path forward for monetary policy,” Speakman said. “Bond yields tumbled as a result and mortgage rates – which had spent the last few weeks oscillating at or…

Sun Belt Deals Called Off As Housing Market Slumps

By CHUCK GREEN During the pandemic homebuyers fled to southern states for warmer weather but now would-be purchasers are bailing out of deals at a faster clip than anywhere in the country. According to analysts at Redfin, 60,000 deals were called off nationally in September. That’s 17% of the homes that went under contract that month. In Florida, Jacksonville had 745 home-purchase agreements fall through, equal to 30.3% of homes that went under contract. That was the highest percentage among the metros Redfin analyzed. They were followed by San Antonio, TX (25.3%), Atlanta, GA (25%), Orlando, FL (24.6%), and Tampa, FL (24.5%). In August, about 800 home purchase agreements were tabled in Jacksonville. That’s 26.1% of homes that went under contract…