Real Estate News

What a difference a month makes. In September, homebuilder mood was in the doldrums, where it has been for most of the year. In October, that mood turned noticeably positive, with the homebuilder index jumping four points to 18 – the highest posting in nearly 18 months. There is still a long way to go before homebuilders approach the heady days of a few years ago, but at least the market is progressing. Builders began work on an annual rate of 658,000 houses in September, a 15-percent increase over August's starts and the most since April 2010. Much of the increased activity was centered on multifamily homes, which surged 51.3 percent. However, work on single-family homes also increased, 1.7 percent, to an annual rate of 425,000 units. The National Association of Home Builders, which compiles data for the homebuilder index, warns that builders face pricing pressure from foreclosed properties. The good news is that foreclosures appear less onerous than they did a year ago. At the same time, homebuilders are adding to supply at a record low rate. In other words, the economics of home building are much more encouraging than they were earlier in the year. The economics of the existing-home market continue to adhere to the recent past. Total inventory declined 2 percent to 3.48 million homes at the end of September, with the sales rate declining 3 percent to 4.91 million units. This came as no surprise; August's sales were exceptionally strong and a slight drop off in the sales pace was expected. Homes that were purchased over the past two months have been financed with mortgage rates that were prevalent during the youth of the purchaser's parents. In the past couple weeks, though, rates have been trending higher and are up around a quarter percentage point from where they were a fortnight ago. That said, mortgage financing is still a very good deal. But will mortgage financing become a better deal? Many in the industry think so. We are less sure, especially when factoring in growing price inflation. Overall producer prices are up nearly 7 percent this year, while the core rate, which excludes energy and food, is up 2.5 percent. On the consumer side, overall prices are up 3.9 percent, while core prices are up 2 percent. The Federal Reserve is trying to hold mortgage rates low by buying longer-term Treasury and mortgage-agency debt. Problem is, the market has been pushing back in recent weeks, as evinced by the spike in 10-year U.S. Treasury note yields. Bottom line, the falling mortgage-rate trend is much less a sure thing than it was a month ago.


RSS Real Estate News

  • These U.S. counties rely on real estate tax breaks the most December 12, 2017
    In a post published on the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Economists' Outlook blog, Nadia Evangelou, an economist for NAR, estimated how tax reform would affect different locations across the country should a final, reconciled bill pass both chambers of Congress, based on which locales are most heavily relying on the homeowner and real estate tax […]
    Marian McPherson
  • 3 expert tactics to win more referrals in 2018 December 12, 2017
    Never underestimate the importance of your sphere of influence in real estate — referrals are the source of an estimated 42% of your business, and an additional 24% comes from past clients themselves. A full 2/3 of your business comes from people you know, so keeping up with them is critical ...
    Devon Broderick
  • Inside Engel & Völkers’ virtual reality theater for home tours December 12, 2017
    Engel & Völkers' downtown Minneapolis branch was pondering what to do with a windowless space when inspiration struck -- it would make the perfect spot for potential buyers to grab a pair of goggles and vet as many as 30 homes in a matter of hours. With reclining arm chairs and special lighting, the VR […]
    Eliza Green
  • Connect the Speakers: Todd Callow on the future of December 12, 2017
    Todd Callow leads the rental, owner and senior housing categories for Move (across and, and will speak during the session, "Product update: What’s new at Facebook, Zillow, Google and," at Hacker Connect on Monday, January 22, 2018, at The Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square ...
    Matthew Shadbolt
  • Connect the Speakers: Stefan Martinovic on a big year ahead for REBNY December 12, 2017
    Stefan Martinovic will speak at Hacker Connect on Monday, January 22, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, Times Square, during the session, "Overcoming the tech integration problem." ...
    Matthew Shadbolt
  • Connect the Speakers: How a family team works, New York style December 12, 2017
    Sydney and Kenny Blumstein will present at Inman Connect New York as part of Agent Connect on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Their session is entitled, "Anatomy of a team: family style, how it works." ...
    Matthew Shadbolt
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    New real estate agents are often told they should have a social media presence. Unfortunately, no one ever seems to know quite what that means or how to choose among the many different options ...
    Miguel Berger
  • 10 reasons to market your next listing with 3-D tech December 12, 2017
    A few years ago, it didn't seem likely that any strategy could replace open houses and real estate agent-guided home tours when it came to marketing a home ...
    Richard Wolff
  • Rebuild or buy new? 6 factors to consider after a natural disaster December 12, 2017
    Hurricanes took "a toll on over 270,000 homes” this year. In Texas and Florida alone, damage is expected to exceed $150 billion. Such numbers aren’t isolated to one or two events. Other hurricanes, wildfires, tornados and other natural disasters happened in 2017 that led to even more damages and repair costs across the nation ...
    Alec Sears