HPSI Stays Flat, But Buyers Are Optimistic About The Future

As the housing market cools slightly and prices trend downward, consumers feel more positive about their homebuying prospects, according to Fannie Mae’s August Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI). The HPSI is a national telephone survey that polls 1,000 consumers a month about owning or renting a home, price changes, the economy, and overall consumer confidence. The results can help predict future housing outcomes. The HPSI was essentially unchanged in August, falling 0.1 points to 75.7, but the survey revealed that buyers are starting to feel more optimistic about the housing market. For the first time since March, more respondents said they believe it’s a good time to buy a home, rising from 28% to 32%. The percentage of those who…

White House Details Plan to Bolster Affordable Housing

President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced a major initiative to bolster affordable housing in the face of a surge in home prices that is preventing some Americans from becoming homeowners. “The large and long-standing gap between the supply and demand of affordable homes for both renters and homeowners make it harder for families to buy their first home and drives up the cost of rent. Higher housing costs also crowd out other investments families can and should make to improve their lives, such as investments in education,” the White House said in a statement. “President Biden is committed to using every tool available in government to produce more affordable housing supply as quickly as possible, and to make supply available to…

Evictions Could Lead To Homes For Sale, Squeezing Rental Market

A wave of evictions could mean more options for homebuyers, but fewer rental properties on the market. Today, the Supreme Court lifted the Biden administration’s eviction moratorium, declaring that it is almost certain the Centers for Disease Control exceeded their authority by imposing it.  The ruling exposes millions of Americans who are late on their rent to the possibility of eviction, and could impact an estimated 3.6 million households. It is unclear exactly how many evictions will take place. Many local governments have their own eviction moratoriums in place. Some landlords may decide instead to work out repayment plans with their tenants rather than risk their property sitting empty.  But if evictions do happen, the booming housing market could be…

Rocket Drops Refi Fee; Will Others Follow Suit?

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it is dropping the COVID-era Adverse Market Refinance Fee beginning August 1. But what does that mean for borrowers who were already in the process of refinancing loans? That depends on the lender. Rocket Mortgage notified brokers last week that it is dropping the fee immediately for loans in progress. Others haven’t publicly committed to removing the fee – or did not respond to Mortgage Note requests for comment. “As you know, we already repriced earlier today, instantly passing the savings along to your borrowers on all new registrations and your entire floating pipeline,” Rocket said in an email to brokers. “We’re also in the process of applying the 50 bps credit to your…

Covid Relief And The Housing Market

By Damian Bell Late last year, Congress passed a $1.4 trillion continuing resolution to fund the federal government. Just a few months later, a newly inaugurated president is pushing a newly inaugurated Congress to pass a Covid-19 relief bill that dwarfs that government funding package by $500 billion—for a total price tag of $1.9 trillion.  For a housing market that has stood out as a rare bright spot in an otherwise faltering economy, the mammoth undertaking raises the question: What’s in the offing? If it becomes law, the unprecedented liquidity in the stimulus bill seems poised to support continued gains in house prices, which have boomed in recent months thanks to low interest rates. In short, the plan signals smooth sailing ahead—at least for…

‘Zoom Towns’ Thrive As People Leave Cities

Vacation homes are becoming just … homes. A new report released by Redfin on Wednesday found that popular second home destinations are becoming full-time residences for homebuyers – including the Jersey Shore, Cape Cod and Lake Tahoe. The top 10 counties where the housing market is heating up the post are overwhelmingly dominated by vacation resorts, while a majority of the bottom 10 counties are home to dense, relatively expensive cities, including New York, San Francisco and Boston. Here are the top 10 markets: U.S. CountyParent MetroAreaMedianSale Price,YoYChangeHomesSold, YoYChangeMedianDays on MarketMedian Dayson Market YoY ChangeShare Homes  Sold Above List PriceEl DoradoCounty, CA(Lake Tahoe)Sacramento, CA16%80%16-3142%DeschutesCounty, ORBend, OR18%54%17-2234%Ocean County,NJ (JerseyShore)New Brunswick,NJ23%36%28-3135%BarnstableCounty, MA(Cape Cod)Barnstable Town,MA19%51%33-3326%FairfieldCounty, CTBridgeport, CT33%80%63-1530%Essex County,NJNewark, NJ23%37%35-2257%MonmouthCounty, NJ(Jersey Shore)New Brunswick,NJ23%52%25-1833%RiversideCounty, CA (Palm Springs)Riverside,…

Bidding Wars Still Common In US Housing Market

There’s still a ton of competition if you want to buy a house. Redfin released a report Tuesday that finds 56.3 percent of Redfin offers on homes in the United States faced competition in September, down a bit from the 59.1 percent in August. A majority of offers still faced bidding wars for the fifth month in a row. “The slight decline in bidding wars is largely a reflection of a seasonal cooldown, which typically starts in the late summer but was delayed by a few months this year,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said. “But homebuyers are still sweating as they navigate what remains an unseasonably hot seller’s market.” Salt Lake City was the most competitive market with 81.1…

Home Prices Skyrocket In August

The national median home price jumped 11 percent in August from a year earlier – the largest annual increase in more than six years, according to a report released Thursday by Redfin. The median home price in the United States was $328,400. Median prices increased in all 85 largest metropolitan areas that Redfin tracks. The smallest increase was in New York (2.7 percent), while Bridgeport, Conn. (30.7 percent), Memphis (20.5 percent) and Tulsa (+19.8 percent) saw the largest year-over-year increases.   “The supply of homes is tighter than ever, and home prices are growing at the fastest rate in years. Why isn’t this historic seller’s market holding back buyers?” said Redfin lead economist Taylor Marr said. “Homeowners are just now deciding to sell; they were just a little…

Is “Urban Flight” Happening?

While there is anecdotal evidence of people moving from urban environments to the suburbs and beyond, it could take several years before a full data picture to show whether the COVID-19 pandemic led to an urban flight. And even if there was a mass migration out of cities, an American University professor said it’s likely that a vaccine and an economic recovery would lead to people moving back to the urban areas.  “The urban equation has shifted,” said Derek Hyra, a professor in the school’s Department of Public Administration and Policy. “It was mass amenities for small, expensive square footage, and that works for people for a long time. That’s not necessarily the case anymore.” Hyra, who is also director…

Americans Feeling Better About Housing Market

Home buyers and sellers are taking a more optimistic view of the housing market. The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index increased 9 points in June to 76.5, driven by more optimistic views of homebuying and selling conditions, as well as positive views about the potential for home price appreciation. For the year, the index remains down 15 points amid the coronavirus pandemic. “A second month of improvement in June allowed the HPSI to regain some of the sharp losses in optimism observed in March and April,” said Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. “The share of renters who say it’s a good time to buy a home is now at its highest level in…