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Integration Gives Buyers More Information

ATTOM Data Solutions and Auction.com have expanded their strategic partnership that makes Home Disclosure Reports powered by ATTOM Data Solutions available for properties nationwide posted for sale on Auction.com.

Available on nearly 120 million U.S. properties, Home Disclosure Reports provide information in more than 42 categories, including neighborhood, school, crime and environmental data. Additionally, Home Disclosure Reports are able to pull in-depth public record property profiles that consist of ownership details, loan position, equity, sales history, building permits and property tax information.

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“As the premier disposition company in the market, our mission and focus are to create the most dynamic and trusted real estate market place for buying and selling Foreclosure Sales and Bank-owned properties,” said Jason Allnutt, general manager for Auction.com. “The addition of ATTOM-powered Home Disclosure Reports provides our customers with greater insights and data to help them make more informed and educated decisions.”

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Beginning in January 2017, Auction.com made the Home Disclosure Reports available for select properties following a limited-access trial period. As a result, the number of Home Disclosure reports downloaded by Auction.com customers doubled between January and March. Based on positive user experience during the trial period, Auction.com will continue to make ATTOM’s Home Disclosure Reports available moving forward.

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“The comprehensive and intuitive Home Disclosure Reports are empowering buyers, investors and sellers navigating Auction.com with crucial information they need to know about a property and its neighborhood before completing an online transaction,” said Rob Barber, chief executive officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. “The reports synthesize a myriad of data points from hundreds of disparate data sources into an organized and user-friendly format designed to convey the key details to consumers quickly and clearly. These reports will help further the common mission of ATTOM and Auction.com to make real estate transparent.”

“Home Disclosure Reports provide an added value into listed properties that buyers appreciate,” said Colleen Lambros, chief marketing officer for Auction.com. “It is our goal to ensure that buyers have access into insights that allow them to bid with confidence.”

CRE Market Remains Healthy

Ten-X (formerly Auction.com), an online real estate marketplace, has released its latest – and newly rebranded – Ten-X Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Nowcast which reveals that commercial valuations in December increased 26 basis points from November, a healthy showing despite divergent valuation patterns across the five major commercial sectors. Here’s the scoop:

Four property segments saw valuations increase in December according to the pricing index, which combines Google Trends data, Ten-X’s proprietary transaction database and investor surveys to forecast CRE pricing trends in real time. Retail valuations increased 79.5 basis points for the month, apartment increased 72.7 basis points and office increased 17.1. But the most significant gain was seen in the industrial sector, which rose 335.3 basis points, bringing the sector’s nowcast level 19.3 percent above its year-ago level and possibly impacting performance in other sectors.

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“After lagging the other commercial segments for years, the industrial sector has recently taken off,” said Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio, who cited the sector’s increasing rents and sharp improvement in vacancies as key contributors to its standout performance. “As perhaps the only commercial property segment to benefit from technology changes through e-retail fulfillment demand, Industrial is getting a lot of attention from investors. Bidding activity has increased for industrial properties offered on our online auction platform and investor sentiment is bullish.”

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Meanwhile, hotel valuations saw a sharp downturn, dropping 275.3 basis points for the month following a similarly lackluster showing in November. Muoio noted that investors appear to have turned bearish on this particular sector as the strengthening dollar has hurt foreign travel to the U.S. and encouraged Americans to vacation abroad, and as innovations like Airbnb have increased shadow competition.

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Home Sales Will Rebound

Auction.com has released its latest Auction.com Residential Real Estate Nowcast which projects that existing home sales for the month of December will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 4.8 and 5.11 million annual sales, with a targeted number of 4.95 million – up 4.1 percent from a surprisingly lackluster November.

Last month, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) released its existing home sales data for November, reporting an 11.2 percent month-over-month decrease in home sales to 4.76 million units – even after its downward revision to 5.32 million units for October. This is the lowest level noted since April 2014 and represents a 3.8 percent year-over-year decline, the first annual decrease since September 2014. The drop-off was unexpected by both economist estimates and Auction.com, which predicted a more moderate decline for November and a range of 5.2 to 5.54 million units in its most recent nowcast.

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Auction.com Chief Economist Peter Muoio cautioned against reading too much into November’s surprisingly weak sales figure, pointing to the presence of several positive underlying fundamentals that typically lead to home sales: a healthy job market, wage gains, improved consumer confidence and – at least through the end of 2015 – low interest rates.

According to Muoio, “One potential cause for the November drop-off is the introduction of the CFPB’s ‘Know Before You Owe’ mortgage initiative, which could have created processing delays and pushed closings out a month or two. If this is the case, we could end up seeing home sales bounce back from the November low by early 2016.”

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While new regulations may have caused a temporary slowdown, low inventory and affordability concerns represent ongoing challenges that could further restrain home sales going into 2016. “Inventory of homes for sale continues to be extraordinarily low, since a very large number of homeowners are in negative or near-negative equity positions,” said Auction.com Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “What could pose more of an issue in 2016 is the combination of potentially higher interest rates and rising home prices making homes less affordable for potential buyers.”

Home prices continue to inch up following four consecutive month-over-month declines from the summertime peak. NAR recently reported a 6.3 percent year-over-year increase in median existing home prices in November to $220,300 – well within the range of $214,057 – $236,589 that Auction.com predicted last month. Findings from the Auction.com Residential Real Estate Nowcast suggest that sales prices for existing homes will fall between $212,156 and $234,488 in the month of December with a targeted price of $223,322, representing a 7.3 percent year-over-year increase.

November Home Sales Were Flat

 Auction.com, LLC, an online real estate marketplace, has released its latest Residential Real Estate Nowcast which projects that existing home sales for the month of November will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.19 and 5.54 million annual sales, with a targeted number of 5.36 million – relatively flat from October, though up 8.4 percent year-over-year.

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“People looking to buy a home today face dual constraints – extraordinarily low inventory and extremely tight credit,” said Auction.com Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “But demand may be weakening as well, since the number of first-time homebuyers continues to be lower than normal, and purchases by investors – especially investors from China and Europe – appear to be slowing down a little bit as well. It will be interesting to see what happens to demand if the Fed raises rates in December and lenders respond by hiking mortgage interest rates.”

Earlier this month, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) released its existing home sales data for October, reporting a 3.4 percent decrease in home sales to 5.36 million units, a 3.9 percent increase from the year-ago level and well within the range of 5.26 – 5.51 million units that Auction.com predicted last month.

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Existing home sales gains have stalled since May, averaging a 5.45 million annual sales pace and ranging between 5.30 million in August and 5.58 million in July. This period of pause comes as little surprise, according to Auction.com Chief Economist Peter Muoio, who noted that the plateau corresponds with a soft spot in the economy, some downshifting in job growth, and the financial market turbulence experienced in late summer.

“The renewed strength of the labor market, including accelerating wage gains, should be good news for the housing market heading into 2016,” said Muoio. “We continue to look for higher home prices to coax more sellers into the market. Along with wages, this could be an important new ingredient to the 2016 housing story.”

Existing home prices now stand at a new cyclical high and continue to close in on the pre-bust all-time high of a seasonally adjusted $229,875 posted in July 2011. NAR recently reported a 5.8 percent year-over-year increase in median existing home prices in October to $219,600 – within the range of $214,269 – $236,824 that Auction.compredicted last month. Findings from the Auction.com Real Estate Nowcast suggest that sales prices for existing homes will fall between $214,057 and $236,589 in the month of November, with a targeted price of $225,323. This represents an 8.7 percent year-over-year increase.

October Home Sales Slow

Auction.com, LLC, an online real estate marketplace, has released its latest Auction.com Real Estate Nowcast which projects that existing home sales for the month of October will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.26 and 5.61 million annual sales, with a targeted number of 5.44 million – down 2 percent from September, but still in line with early summer sales.

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“Challenges on both the supply and demand side appear to be slowing down existing home sales,” said Auction.com Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “Inventory levels remain stubbornly low, especially for entry-level buyers, despite rising home prices, and credit is still very tight for the average borrower. The good news is that, considering the weaker than expected jobs numbers, and the usual seasonal dip in purchase activity, it doesn’t appear that sales will fall off significantly for the balance of the year.”

Earlier this month, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) released its existing home sales data for September, reporting a 4.7 percent increase in home sales to 5.55 million units following August’s sudden drop off and confirming Auction.com’s expectation that August’s apparent decline was an aberration. This increase in the national sales pace resulted from gains in all regions of the country.

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“The recent drop in housing followed by what appears to be a return to modest growth reminds all of us of a key economics lesson: to not overreact to a single month of data,” said Auction.com Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “While last month’s housing data caused a bit of a stir among economists, industry professionals and the media, the fact is the housing market remains strong. The recent weakening of job growth is something that we are watching closely for any impact on home demand, but consumer confidence continues to rise and households are noticeably benefitting from lower energy prices.”

Home prices also remain healthy according to Auction.com’s findings. NAR reported a 6.1 percent year-over-year increase in median existing home prices September to $221,900 – close to the median price of $227,760 that Auction.com predicted last month. Findings from the Auction.com Real Estate Nowcast suggest that sales prices for existing homes will fall between $214,269 and $236,824 in the month of October, with a targeted price of $225,546. This represents an 8.7 percent year-over-year increase.

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Lender Supports Our Troops

Last night, the Five Star Institute facilitated the presentation of mortgage free homes to military veterans through Operation Homefront. The presentation of these homes was part of the Military Heroes Keys for Life Event, which took place during the 12th annual Five Star Conference & Expo – the largest event in mortgage servicing.

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“This home presentation to veterans program is part of our ongoing mission to raise awareness of the needs of our veterans to obtain housing,” said Five Star Institute President and CEO Ed Delgado. “The mortgage industry came out in full support of this mission as gauged by the attendance at the Military Heroes Keys for Live Event, and the ongoing contribution of many of our Five Star supporters.”

Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. In support of this initiative, Auction.com, host sponsor of Military Heroes Keys for Life, presented a donation check in the amount of $50,000 to Operation Homefront. This brings Auction.com’s donation to $100,000, following a donation at the Five Star Government Forum in March.

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“We welcomed the opportunity to sponsor this home donation program for the members of our military along with the Five Star Institute and in conjunction with Operation Homefront,” said Auction.com CEO Tim Morse. “Events like the Five Star Conference and the Military Heroes Keys for Life are crucial not only to our industry, but in facilitating the American dream of homeownership. There is no one more deserving of help than our military heroes and their families.”

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Home Sales To Inch Up Slightly

Auction.com projects that existing home sales for the month of August will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.46 and 5.86 million annual sales, with a targeted number of 5.64 million – up 1 percent from July and 12.9 percent from a year ago, the strongest year-over-year gain in nearly two years.

“We may be looking at the beginning of a shift in existing home sales activity,” said Auction.com Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “The volume of sales, while continuing to increase, appears to be slowing down. And home prices, which have consistently appreciated over the past few years, may finally be leveling off.”

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Earlier this month, the National Association of Realtors released its existing home sales data for July, reporting that home sales were at 5.59 million units, up 10.3 percent year-over-year and in line with Auction.com’s nowcast point estimate of 5.57 million units – a prediction that beat the consensus estimate calling for a 1.6 percent decline to 5.40 million units. “Limited inventory of homes for sale – especially entry level homes for first-time home buyers – will make it hard for the market to reach higher numbers in 2015,” Sharga noted. “This is true for both existing home sales and new home sales, where inventory is improving, but still near a 40-year low.”

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NAR also reported a 5.6 percent year-over-year increase in median existing home prices July to $234,000, just 5.1 percent off of the peak level and up nearly 36 percent from the trough. This number was well within the range of $227,170 and $251,082 that Auction.com predicted last month. Findings from the Auction.com Real Estate Nowcast suggest that sales prices for existing homes will fall between $219,132 and $242,199 in the month of August, with a targeted price of $230,666. This represents a 1.4 percent month-over-month decrease, but a 5.6 percent year-over-year increase for the month.

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Ranking Top Markets

We usually talk about residential real estate, but I want to talk about commercial real estate today. Auction.com released its rankings of the office sector’s top buy and sell markets based on current and expected fundamentals. San Jose, Calif., San Francisco, Seattle, Orange County, Calif., and New York topped Auction.com’s list of buy markets, each boasting strong demographics, one or more booming business sectors and improving payroll growth. Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, Texas, Houston, Memphis, Tenn., and Cincinnati were identified as the most recommended sell markets based on factors specific to each, including dependence on the energy sector, weak employment growth or lethargic demographics.

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“As nationwide office fundamentals continue to recover in 2015 and the tech industry paces the nation’s best-performing markets, investors still must take note of the sharp contrasts between the have and have-not markets,” said Auction.com Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “Investors will find sustained rent growth and strong occupancy on the West Coast and in tech-driven markets that we predict will enjoy continued success. Other markets, meanwhile, face an abundance in supply that is overwhelming demand and weighing on rent, and this could persist.”

Auction.com’s report notes sharp differences between individual markets and regions despite very little change in fundamentals for the office sector at the national level. The most strength is seen in markets abetted by the technology surge: the West Coast, New York City and Boston. Washington D.C., having navigated through its recent supply and demand mismatch, now offers improved prospects, as do Denver, Atlanta and Phoenix.

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“The health of an office market depends on more than what’s happening in a particular segment of the economy, although markets with high-tech companies are certainly faring better today than markets that depend on energy companies,” noted Auction.com Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “But the economic health of a region — its ability to create good-paying, full-time jobs — is what really drives the underlying fundamentals, and determines whether a market should be in buy or sell territory.”

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Good News For Housing This Month

Auction.com has released its July Auction.com Real Estate Nowcast which projects that existing home sales for the month of July will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.49 and 5.84 million annual sales, with a targeted number of 5.67 million – up 3.2 percent from June and 11.7 percent from a year ago.

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“May and June existing home sales have both been very encouraging for anyone looking for proof that the housing market is in recovery, and our July nowcast indicates that this positive momentum will continue into July,” said Auction.com Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “One potential area of concern is the steeper-than expected increase in home prices. While this is driven by limited inventory, and a declining number of distressed home sales, affordability may start to become an issue if home price increases continue to outpace wage growth. And if the Fed does move to raise interest rates as expected this fall, we could see home sales volume begin to weaken.”

Earlier today, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) released its existing home sales data for June, reporting that home sales were at 5.49 million units – a 3.2 percent increase from May’s sales and the highest level in eight years. The sharp increase was in line with Auction.com’s June nowcast point estimate of 5.55 million (revised downward from 5.57 million) – a prediction that beat the consensus estimate, whose high end range of 5.45 million was below the actual level of sales. The NAR also revised downward its May report to 5.32 million from its original estimate of 5.35, nearly matching Auction.com’s nowcast estimate of 5.31 for that month.

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NAR also reported a June increase in existing home prices to $236,400 – a 6.5 percent leap from one year ago and besting the previous all-time high of $230,400 set in July 2006, meaning that from a price perspective, the housing recovery has shifted to an expansion. This number was well within the range of $217,482 and $240,375 that Auction.com predicted last month.

Findings from the Auction.com Real Estate Nowcast suggest that sales prices for existing homes will fall between $227,170 and $251,082 in the month of July, with a targeted price of $239,126. This represents a 4.6 month-over-month and a 7.7 percent year-over-year increase for the month, and would set another record for median home prices.

While the first time homebuyer percentage slipped slightly to 30 percent from 32 percent in June according to the NAR data, it remains higher than earlier in the recovery. “First time homebuyers will continue to be challenged in an environment with limited entry level inventory, tight credit and rapidly-rising prices,” Sharga noted. Additionally, all-cash sales, the best indicator of true investor purchases, continued to drop, falling to 22 percent in June, from 24 percent in the previous month and 32 percent the year before.

“This is not surprising given the big increases in prices that are making return hurdles harder and harder to meet,” said Auction.com Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “This is the lowest level of all-cash sales since December 2009. Similarly, distressed sales accounted for just 8 percent in June, matching an August 2014 low. Taken together these indicators signify a housing recovery on more solid ground, with fickle investors playing a smaller role, the vast majority of sales non-distressed, prices back to pre-bust levels and sales increasing sharply.”

June Home Sales May Fall

Auction.com, LLC, the nation’s leading online real estate marketplace, has released its June Auction.com Real Estate Nowcast which projects that existing home sales for the month of June will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.4 and 5.74 million annual sales, with a targeted number of 5.57 million – up 4.1 percent from May and 11.2 percent from a year ago.

“Improvements in the labor market and to wage growth should continue to increase owner occupier demand and start to make up for the recent retreat of investors from the market,” said Auction.com Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “Inventory has also increased, aiding sales flow as more first-time buyers enter the market just in time for the summer buying season.”

Earlier today, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) released its existing home sales data for May, reporting that home sales were at 5.35 million units – a 5.1 percent increase from April’s sales and up 9.2 percent from a year ago. These sharp increases were in line with Auction.com’s May nowcast point estimate of 5.31 million (revised upward from 5.18 million) – a prediction that beat the consensus estimate of 5.25 million. The NAR also revised upward the unusually weak initial April report to 5.09 million from its original estimate of 5.01, indicating that Auction.com’s nowcast for April was closer to target than it originally appeared.

Today NAR also reported a May increase in existing home prices to $228,700 – their highest level since April 2007. This was well within the range of $209,759 and $231,839 that Auction.com predicted last month and indicates a 4.2 percent increase compared to a year ago. Findings from the Auction.com Real Estate Nowcast suggest that sales prices for existing homes will fall between $217,482 and $240,375 during the month of June, with a targeted price of $228,929. This represents a 3.1 percent year-over-year increase for the month.

“It certainly appears that the housing market is now on firmer ground, and Google search data and Auction.com data are both signaling further strengthening this month,” said Auction.com Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “Housing turnover is increasing, prices are strengthening and additional sellers are tip-toeing into the market.  As long as the labor market continues to gain steam and confidence is not derailed, housing sales and prices could settle into a virtuous, self-reinforcing cycle.”