Posted tagged ‘Census Bureau’

Low Inventories Conceal Hidden Vacancies, Threat Looms Nonetheless

November 9, 2013

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A lot of inventory is being held of the housing market for numerous reasons. Some are being held off because they need repairing and a lot of them are just sandbagging them to not have to show a huge loss at this time when they sell. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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While headlines continue to portray a housing market with rising prices and tight inventory, the Census Bureau released its Housing Vacancies and Homeownership report this week.

Government data reveal a dark cloud looming behind the bright headlines. Vacancies remain high, and according to Trulia, more than three-fourths of the nation’s largest markets are dealing with bigger shares of vacant homes than they saw prior to the latest housing bubble.

With inventory levels retracting even further — falling 3.3 percent year-over-year in the third quarter, according to Realtor.com — it may seem counterintuitive that vacancies would be high. However, according to the Census Bureau, about 53.5 percent of vacant homes are currently being held off the market.

The vacancy rate today is 10.2 percent, according to Census data, down from a peak of 11 percent in 2010 but stubbornly higher than the pre-bubble 8.8 percent.

Furthermore, the high vacancy rate is widespread. Trulia pointed out in a blog post Wednesday that vacancies exceed pre-bubble levels in 86 of the largest 100 metros in the country.

Some homes are being held off the market temporarily for repairs before being listed for sale or rent. However, Trulia warns that when these homes hit the market, demand may not rise to match the new inventory.

“Household formation was alarmingly slow,” said Trulia’s chief economist, Jed Kolko in a statement Tuesday responding to the newly released Census data. Household formation totaled about 380,000 year-to-date in the third quarter, notably lower than the historical annual norm of about 1.1 million.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Hidden Vacancies

Does Q3 Uptick in Homeownership Reveal Good News or False Hope?

November 7, 2013

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This is not a turning point in the formation of new household. As long as the unemployment numbers are as high as they are no real improvement in this area can be expected. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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The Census Bureau’s announcement Tuesday that the national homeownership rate ticked up slightly in the third quarter of this year has some analysts wondering if this is a turning point for homeownership and others labeling slow household formation as a persistent hindrance to a full housing market recovery.

“Today’s data could be interpreted as an early sign that mortgage buyers are finally beginning to make more of a contribution to the housing recovery and the eight-and-a-half year decline in homeownership rates may finally be coming to an end,” Capital Economics said in a statement released Tuesday.

On the other hand, Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko said in response to the Census data, “Household formation was alarmingly slow and vacancies remain stubbornly high.”

The national homeownership rate stands at 65.3 percent as of the end of the third quarter, up 0.3 percentage points from the previous quarter, but down 0.2 percentage points from last year, according to the Census Bureau.

The homeownership rate is highest in the Midwest, where the third-quarter rate is 69.6 percent, and lowest in the West where it is 59.5 percent. The Northeast and South stand between with homeownership rates of 63.6 percent and 66.9 percent, respectively, according to Census data.

All four regions demonstrated increases over the third quarter. However, a look at seasonally-adjusted data reveals a stagnant homeownership rate of 65.1 percent nationally in the third quarter, unchanged from the second quarter and down 0.1 percentage point from the first quarter of the year.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Uptick in Homeownership

Housing Market Running at 85% of Normal, Pre-Recession Activity

October 12, 2013

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This is somewhat surprising but very good news for the housing market. 85% of pre-collapse is really better that could be expected.  For a more detailed look at this subject please read the article below.

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A new index from First American and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) suggests that about one in seven housing markets have returned to or surpassed their pre-recessionary levels of activity.

The new Leading Market Index (LMI), released for the first time this week, measures employment growth data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home price appreciation data from Freddie Mac, and single-family housing permit growth from the Census Bureau to measure overall improvements in each market.

While the LMI helps illustrate how far the recovery has come in the last several years, NAHB chairman Rick Judson said it also measures “how much further it has to go as we continue to face some significant headwinds in terms of credit availability, rising costs for lots and labor, and uncertainties regarding Washington policymaking.”

According to the association, the index registered a score of 0.85 nationwide, indicating that the national housing market is running at 85 percent of normal activity.

Of the nearly 350 metro markets examined, 52 have reported levels of activity at least equal to those before the recession hit. What’s more, housing markets in 118 metros scored 0.9 or higher, which Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Co., described as “a very encouraging sign of things to come.”

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, ranked highest on the list of improved major markets, posting an index score of 1.41-41 percent better than its last normal market level. Other major metros reporting growth include Honolulu, Hawaii; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Austin and Houston, Texas.

To read the complete article please use the link below.

Housing Market

Pending Sales Index in 3rd Straight Monthly Drop

September 29, 2013

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A lack of inventory and the tougher requirements for getting a mortgage contribute as much to this drop in the pending sales index as the higher mortgage rates. New housing starts are up and that is reflected in the rise in the new home contracts. Please read the article below.

 

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Continuing to respond to higher mortgage rates, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) slipped for the third straight month, dropping 1.6 percent in August to 107.7 the lowest level since April, the National Association of Realtors which compiles the index reported Thursday. Economists had expected a more modest decline, 1.0 percent, to 108.3. NAR also revised the July index down to 109.4 from the originally reported 109.5.

 

The index covered the same month in which new home sales, reported Wednesday by the Census Bureau of Department of Housing and Urban Development, improved 7.9 percent. Like the PHSI, new home sales are tracked when buyers sign contracts. The existing home sales report for, also a product of the NAR, is based on closed transactions.

 

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said the drop was expected as a consequence of buyers accelerating purchase decisions while mortgage rates were increasing. Indeed, existing home sales jumped in both July and August. The corresponding PHSI rose a sharp 5.8 percent in May – the strongest month-month increase in two years. The index dropped a scant 0.4 percent in June.

 

Yun downplayed expectations for home sales.

 

“Moving forward, we expect lower levels of existing-home sales,” he said, “but tight inventory in many markets will continue to push up home prices in the months ahead.”

 

To read the complete article please use the link below.

Pending Sales Index

July Pending Home Sales in Steepest Drop So Far This Year

August 31, 2013

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Just imagine what will happen when the government stops pouring billions of dollars into the housing market.  Please read the article below and let me know what you think.

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Responding to higher mortgage rates and higher prices, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) slipped 1.3 percent in July—the steepest decline this year—to 109.5, the group reported Wednesday. Economists had expected the index for July would drop to 109.8, which would have been a 1.0 percent decline from June’s 110.9. The June index was unchanged.

The index covered the same month in which new home sales, reported last week by the Census Bureau and HUD, plunged 13.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted sales pace of 394,000, the lowest rate of the year. Like the PHSI, new home sales are tracked when buyers sign contracts. The existing-home sales report, also a product of NAR, is based on closed transactions.

Although the group downplays monthly price changes when it reports closings, NAR economist Lawrence Yun cited higher prices as affecting new contracts.

“Higher mortgage interest rates and rising home prices are impacting monthly contract activity in the high-cost regions of the Northeast and the West,” Yun offered as an explanation for the drop in the PHSI.

The Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for June, reported Tuesday, rose 2.2 percent to their highest levels in almost five years.

Increasing rates and prices, though, could also serve as a catalyst for contracts and sales as buyers rush to lock in prices or rates before they go higher.

The drop in the July PHSI was the second monthly decline, the first time the index has fallen for two straight months since last November and December. At 109.5, the index is at its lowest level since April.

To see the complete article – please use the link below.

Home Sales in Steepest Drop

Weak Household Formation Hampers Housing

July 31, 2013

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Between the high number of foreclosures, lack of inventory, the increase in home prices and higher mortgage rates this is really no surprise. Please read the article below and let me know what you think.

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The number of households owning homes rose a scant 32,000 in the second quarter, but the homeownership rate remained at 65.0 percent, the lowest level in 18 years, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

At the same time, the Census Bureau data showed the number of new household formations dropped dramatically in the first half of the year, an average of about 500,000 new households per month compared with 1.4 million new households per month in 2012.

The homeownership rate peaked at 69.2 percent in the second quarter of 2004. The rate measures the proportion of households owning their primary residence and is computed by dividing the number of household that are occupied by owners by the total number of occupied homes.

The Census Bureau also reported the homeowner vacancy rate fell to 1.9 percent in the second quarter from 2.1 percent in the first quarter. The homeowner vacancy rate is the proportion of the homeowner inventory that is vacant and for sale.

The Census data paints a grim picture for the home sales market, which has already been struggling against mortgage restrictions and weak inventory. The Census report suggests homeownership may have lost its place in the “American dream” as a new generation of potential home buyers may have become wary of homeownership as a result of the wave of foreclosures in the last several years.

If the monthly average of new households continues for the rest of the year, it would mark the weakest year for household formation since 2010, when the monthly average was 443,500 new households.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Weak Household Formation

Weak Household Formation Hampers Housing

July 31, 2013

Image

Between the high number of foreclosures, lack of inventory, the increase in home prices and higher mortgage rates this is really no surprise. Please read the article below and let me know what you think.

The FHA Condos Approval Company, Inc.

Please +1 Us on Google, Follow Us on Twitter or Like Us on facebook

The number of households owning homes rose a scant 32,000 in the second quarter, but the homeownership rate remained at 65.0 percent, the lowest level in 18 years, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

At the same time, the Census Bureau data showed the number of new household formations dropped dramatically in the first half of the year, an average of about 500,000 new households per month compared with 1.4 million new households per month in 2012.

The homeownership rate peaked at 69.2 percent in the second quarter of 2004. The rate measures the proportion of households owning their primary residence and is computed by dividing the number of household that are occupied by owners by the total number of occupied homes.

The Census Bureau also reported the homeowner vacancy rate fell to 1.9 percent in the second quarter from 2.1 percent in the first quarter. The homeowner vacancy rate is the proportion of the homeowner inventory that is vacant and for sale.

The Census data paints a grim picture for the home sales market, which has already been struggling against mortgage restrictions and weak inventory. The Census report suggests homeownership may have lost its place in the “American dream” as a new generation of potential home buyers may have become wary of homeownership as a result of the wave of foreclosures in the last several years.

If the monthly average of new households continues for the rest of the year, it would mark the weakest year for household formation since 2010, when the monthly average was 443,500 new households.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Weak Household Formation