Showing posts from September, 2018

Trouble On The Horizon

Mortgage rates have jumped to a 7 year high—4.72%

Fed Raises Rates

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time this year and signaled it was on track to raise them again in December.

Top Millenial Zip Codes Trend Towards Urban Cores

It's not a news flash to learn that Millennials—people born between 1977 and 1996—love living in the city. But what cities and urban areas in particular do they favor? To find out, apartment-search firm RENTCafĂ© analyzed U.S. Census data to find where millennials live and their next potential hot spots. The company then ranked ZIP codes in the 30 biggest U.S. cities by three measures: (1) highest increases in millennial population from 2011 to 2016; (2) largest current share of millennials; and (3) highest current population of millennials. As predicted, downtown and areas surrounding urban landscapes are the clear favorites among the Gen Y crowd. Two downtown Los Angeles ZIP codes, 90014 and 90013, saw the highest increases of millennials from 2011 to 2016, at 91.4% and 60%, respectively. The third- and fifth-ranked ZIP codes jumped over to the East Coast, in New York City’s Battery Park City and Lincoln Square, with 54.5% and 47.7% reported increases, respective

Homes Appreciate Faster In Cities At Higher Natural Hazard Risk

In the 2018 U.S. Natural Hazard Housing Risk Index, ATTOM Data Solution reports that median home prices in the cities within the top 80th percentile for natural hazard risk across all categories – including flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, and hurricane storm surge – have appreciated by 40% on average over the last 10 years, 1.7 times the 24% average home price appreciation rate over this period. This category also posted lower than average foreclosure rates (0.21% compared to the 0.38% national average) and a lower share of seriously underwater mortgages (4.7% compared to 8.5%). The exceptions to this trend are cities in the Very High flood risk category. In cities within the 80th percentile for flood risk or above, active foreclosures represented 0.61% of all properties, seriously underwater mortgage loans represented 8.9% of all homes with a mortgage, and home prices have appreciated by 12% over the last ten years. “While combined natural disaster risk has not seeme

America's Top Housing Markets

USA Today is out with an analysis from 24/7 Wall Street that identifies places where home price growth is greatest and places where home prices are not hot. San Jose, of course, tops the first list with Las Vegas and Boise 2nd and 3rd. Decatur, Ill. tops the second. Interestingly, the biggest market in the country is on the latter list. Like anything else, home prices are driven by supply and demand forces, which are highly correlated with the area's economy, job market, and population changes. Demand tends to be higher in stronger economies, with a healthy job market, and a growing population. While the price of a typical single-family home rose by more the $100,000 in some of the more high-demand metropolitan areas from the second quarter of 2017 to the second quarter of 2018, in a handful of cities, the median home value declined over the past year.

Home Prices Are Dropping

Redfin reported Thursday that signs continue to point toward a   changing market   that's letting home buyers be more selective as supply constraints begin to ease in the hottest markets. As a result, sellers are feeling compelled to adjust their expectations — and their prices. In the four weeks ending on September 16, 26.6% of homes listed for sale had a price drop, the highest level on record since Redfin began tracking this metric in 2010. Redfin defines a price drop as a listing price reduction of more than 1% and less than 50. Adobe Stock/tab62 "After years of strong price growth and intense competition for homes, buyers are taking advantage of the market's easing pressure by being selective about which homes to offer on and how high to bid," said Taylor Marr, Redfin senior economist. "But there are some early signs of a softening market, and the increase in price drops may be another indicator that sellers are going to have trouble getting the pr

Who Can Afford To Live Where?

According to a recent report by Trulia, teachers, first responders, tech workers, restaurant workers, and even doctors are having a hard time buying a home in the communities where they work especially if they happen to be in America’s biggest housing markets. Trulia used median wage data from the Labor Department and factored in affordability as defined by a debt-to-income ratio of 31% or less. They assumed plunking down a 20% down payment and a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at a 4.44% interest rate. Teachers took a big hit and are worse off or the same as last year in 85 of the largest 93 metro areas. First responders are taking it on the chin in  California  cities. Despite earning more than $100,000 in San Francisco and  San Jose  first responders can afford just 2.4% and 6.6% of currently listed homes. Restaurant workers are also getting shellacked and many tech workers in Silicon Valley are unable to afford a home near where they work. Last year, first responders could afford

Best Cities For Single Family Homes

Space, as in square footage, is a genuine asset for people who are raising a family. SmartAsset set out for the second year in a row to find places where space can be had for a reasonable price within city limits.  Arizona  cities placed five in the top 10. Here's SmartAsset: In order to rank the best places to buy a home big enough to raise a family, we examined a total of six factors. Specifically, we looked at change in home values, change in rent, percent of housing-cost burdened homeowners, housing costs as a percent of household income, percent of homes with at least two bedrooms and average effective property tax rate. Check out our data and methodology below to see where we got our data and how we put it together to create our final rankings. Key Findings Phoenix metro area is a great place –  Five of the top 10 cities in this study lie in the  Phoenix  metro area. That means it’s tough to go wrong if you’re looking for a family home anywhere near Phoenix. Even Phoen

Delinquency Rate At 12 Year Low

The nation’s overall delinquency rate was 4.3% in June 2018, down from 4.6% in June 2017, according to the latest  CoreLogic  Loan Performance Insights Report. This marks the lowest recorded delinquency rate for the month of June since 2006, when the delinquency rate was 4.2%. The highest June mortgage delinquency rate was recorded in 2010 at 11.3%. The foreclosure inventory rate stood at 0.5%, down from 0.7% in June 2017. This is the lowest foreclosure level since 2006 and below the average pre-crisis level of 0.6% Mississippi  had the highest delinquency rate in June 2018 at 8%, and the Colorado had the lowest delinquency rate at 2%.  Florida  posted the highest year over year increase from 5.2% in June 2017 to 5.8% in June 2018. Among the 10 largest metros in the nation,  Miami  had the highest delinquency rate at 7.2%, up from 6.2% in June 2017, while  San Francisco  had the lowest at 1.5%.

Ashton Woods Home-Buyer Survey--What's In & What's Out?


New HERS Chages To Take Place January 1, 2019

A new amendment to the HERS rating will take effect on January 1st, 2019, after which all HERS raters will be required to use an index adjustment factor to reduce HERS score variations between larger and smaller homes. Due to a quirk in the HERS formula, homes with large floor areas or multiple stories have been found to have 20% lower (better) HERS scores than than smaller homes with the same material properties and energy measures. RESNET’s new index adjustment factor is designed to “even out the difference” between homes constructed with the same envelope, reducing the variance in HERS scores from 10.8 points to 2 points, according to EnergyGauge USA. The timing of the amendment coincides with the overall decrease in new home size. New homes had been decreasing in size over the last two years as builders added more entry-level homes for millennials and other first-time home buyers. Although new single-family home size increased at the beginning of 2018, NAHB economists expect i

The Modern Farmhoue

Perhaps it's a bit ironic that today's hottest exterior design trend achieves modernity by calling upon tradition. After all, doesn't "modern farmhouse" sound like a contradiction in terms? How can a farmhouse – rustic, unassuming, rugged – harmonize with the austere look of modern design? But here we are with pared-down, streamlined farmhouse designs taking over (or so it feels). And it seems that a few key elements tie it all together: the metal roof and sleek siding. The formula is well known by today's hot designers. Says designer Jason Breland (from popular design firm House Plan Zone): "When it comes to the exterior of the modern farmhouse, it's all about one thing....clean lines. Horizontal and vertical siding as well as metal roofing all merge together perfectly to form the trifecta of 'cleanliness.' Pair that with high contrasting colors such as dark metal roofs/white siding or white siding/dark windows, and you can rest assured th

Mortgage Fraud Up

CoreLogic ®  (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released its latest  Mortgage Fraud Report . The report shows a 12.4% year-over-year increase in fraud risk at the end of the second quarter, as measured by the CoreLogic Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index. The analysis found that during the second quarter of 2018, an estimated one in 109 applications, or 0.92% of all mortgage applications, contained indications of fraud, compared with the reported one in 122, or 0.82% in the second quarter of 2017. Adobe Stock / Narong Jongsirikul The CoreLogic Mortgage Fraud Report analyzes the collective level of loan application fraud risk experienced in the mortgage industry each quarter. CoreLogic develops the index based on residential mortgage loan applications processed by CoreLogic LoanSafe Fraud Manager ™ , a predictive scoring technology. The report includes detailed data for six fraud type indicators that complem

How Navy And Brass Became Today's Popular Design Trends

Currently, the combination of dark blue and brass hardware is appearing everywhere in the sphere of interior design. From kitchen cabinets and bathroom faucets to the use of the styles in public spaces like restaurants, the trend steers away from the all-white trend and presents a high-end feel.  Vox ’s Eliza Brooke says the colors are the convergence of two separate design trends with similar origins. See her description of why the industry is seeing it everywhere below. T he housing market crash of 2008 resulted in a lot of all-white interiors, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. A blank slate of a home is easier to sell than a heavily stylized space, and homeowners decorated accordingly. Renters shied away from making alterations to their spaces for fear of losing their security deposits. During this period, minimalism boomed across the design world. An entire generation of post-recession startups built their branding around sans serif logos, clean lines, and stripped-down co

Fall Home Design Trends

Each season brings a new wave of home design items and approaches. It is sometimes difficult to determine which trends will have lasting power and which will quickly become outdated .  Here is feedback from  several interior designers to get a sense of what home decor trends will blow up this fall. Some of the colors and materials that are currently trending are expected to remain in style. "Blonde wood, pastels, but very dusty pastels." "They have a deeper, almost grey undertone, beautiful greens and soft pinks that really transform the space into a more light and airy feeling. It's very Nordic, very Scandinavian." In addition to darker colors and materials, designs that incorporate double-duty furniture will respond to the increased movement towards urbanization and people living in smaller spaces. Sofas that double as beds and dining room tables that serve as an office are two examples of furniture that can be used multi-functionally. Metallic accents an

More Than 1,000,000 Homes Planned In California High Risk Areas

According to  The  Sacramento  Bee, around 1.2 million new homes will be built “in the highest wildfire risk areas” of  California  between 2000 and 2050, despite threats facing the rural areas. Wildfire experts and scientists believe not enough attention is being spent on designing homes to withstand fires or discouraging the rapid growth in these once rural areas. Instead, people are blaming public entities and climate change for the fast-spreading blazes. “We’re seeing wildfires that have always been a part of the landscape that are now interacting more and more with us - not just because they are getting larger, but because we’re building in wildfire prone regions,” said Stephen Strader, a researcher and geographer at Villanova University. “If we don’t stop what we’re doing, this is only going to get worse.” Strader studied wildfire history in the western United States going back three decades, then mapped population growth in areas where fire activity had ranged from medium t

Backup Battery Requirements For Your Automatic Garage Door Opener Coming Soon In CA

California  Senate Bill 969, which requires newly sold or installed electric garage door openers to have battery backups, was enrolled and presented to Governor Jerry Brown on August 24st, 2018 after passing both the state Senate and state Assembly. If signed into law, the bill is set to take effect on July 1st, 2019. State Senator Bill Dodd first introduced the bill in January, after at least five victims of October 2017’s wildfires were trapped in their garages by widespread power outages. Dodd had encountered this issue himself while trying to evacuate his  Napa  home. The Consumer Federation of California, which has sponsored Bill 969, notes that while garage doors can be opened manually, this may be difficult or impossible for many people, especially seniors. “This past year’s fires demonstrate the need to protect people when the power goes out,” said Richard Holober, the Consumer Federation of California’s Executive Director. “This new law will keep people from being trapp

Home Flipping Profits Are Down

Homes flipped in the second quarter of 2018 yielded an average gross return on investment of 44.3%, down from 47.8% in the previous quarter and down from 50.0% in Q2 2017 to the lowest average gross flipping ROI since Q3 2014, according to the  ATTOM Data Solutions  U.S. Home Flipping Report released Thursday. The report shows a total of 48,768 U.S. single family homes and condos were flipped in the second quarter of 2018, a home flipping rate of 5.2% of all sales — down from a 6.6% home flipping rate in Q1 2018 and down from a 5.4% home flipping rate in Q2 2017. Hand-out Home flipping returns drop to nearly 4 year low (PRNewsfoto/ATTOM Data Solutions) Homes flipped in Q2 2018 sold for an average of $65,520 more than what the home flipper purchased them for, down from an all-time high average gross flipping profit of $69,500 in the first quarter and down from an average gross flipping profit of $69,000 a year ago. The average gross flipping profit in the second quarter was the l

Mortgage Payments Now Consume More Income

A monthly mortgage payment for the typical U.S. home requires 17.5% of the median income, up from 15.4% a year earlier, according to Zillow®'s second quarter  affordability report  out Thursday. The monthly mortgage burden is greater than the historic average in 10 of the 50 biggest U.S. housing markets, the report said. Seven of these 10 markets are along the West Coast, which has seen particularly strong home value appreciation since the recession. The typical rent now requires 28.4% of the median income, slightly lower than it did a year ago as rent growth has slowed below the pace of income growth. Although rent affordability remains worse today than it was in the 1980s and 1990s, it has gradually improved after peaking in late 2010. "Low mortgage rates have kept first-time homeownership and move-up homes within reach for many Americans, even as home values have soared to new heights," said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas. "While mortgage rates re

San Francisco Is Targeting Net Zero Construction by 2030

San Francisco's Mayor London Breed is embracing an ambitious plan for reducing the city's greenhouse gas emissions that will require all buildings constructed starting in 2030 to be net-zero carbon emitters. The city is also striving to become carbon neutral by 2050. The city's Department of the Environment pegs 46% of local carbon emissions to the electricity and gas used in homes and office buildings. While the goal of his plan focuses on making buildings more efficient and getting power from renewable sources, the fine details have yet to emerge. The city has an abundant reliance on natural gas for power which produces methane - a greenhouse gas. One of the solutions being proposed is replacing natural gas-powered water heaters with electric ones. Breed is expected to roll out the climate announcements Wednesday alongside other city leaders at the Moscone Center, where a major international climate summit will be held next week. The roof of the convention center wil