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November Home Sales Increased Slightly

Ten-X has released its latest Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast which indicates existing home sales will increase slightly in November. According to the nowcast, November sales will hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) between 5.32 and 5.61 million with a targeted number of 5.50 million, up 0.3 percent from NAR’s reported October sales.

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“Both October and November existing home sales figures have probably been distorted a bit by the hurricanes that impacted real estate transactions in Florida and Texas,” said Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “At least part of the reason November sales appear to be higher is that sales activity has improved significantly across the South, which represents about 40% of home sales, after a temporary dip due to the storms. But it seems unlikely that home sales will carry this momentum into the new year unless inventory levels improve dramatically.”

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Last month, the Ten-X Nowcast projected home sales to hover near their current level amid a shortage of inventory and related affordability constraints. That prediction was confirmed by the recent National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) release, which showed that total existing-home sales rose to a 5.48 million SAAR in October, up 2 percent from a downwardly revised 5.37 million in September, but still 0.9 percent below the year-ago level.

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Last month’s Ten-X Nowcast also predicted another solid annual gain in existing home prices, which was confirmed by the NAR report, as the median existing-home price for all housing types rose 5.5 percent from a year ago to $247,000 in October. This marks the 68th consecutive month of year-over-year gains as tight inventory continues to drive ample price gains. The November Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast predicts that median existing home prices will continue to make annual strides falling between $234,440 and $259,118 with a target price point of $246,779, up 0.1 percent from October and 5.1 percent from last year.

“While the combination of a firm labor market and low mortgage rates has certainly strengthened home buying demand, the housing market continues to face a number of challenges, most notably inventory constraints that are exacerbated by rising homeowner tenure, fewer foreclosures and elevated construction costs,” said Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “Moving into 2018, the looming potential for higher mortgage rates and tax reform, which may include a revision of the mortgage interest deduction and the elimination of private activity bonds, could present further obstacles.”

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The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Home Sales Drop In Phoenix

Single-family home sales in the Phoenix, Arizona housing market fell 4.3 percent in the second quarter from the same time period one year ago, according to a new report by Ten-X, the nation’s leading online real estate transaction marketplace. The company’s Second Quarter 2017 Economic and Single-Family Housing Market Outlook Report for Phoenix found a strong and resilient market diminish slightly as the homeownership rate fell over the past year to 62 percent, below the national average of about 64 percent.

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“The Phoenix housing market remains on a path toward recovery, even though both sales and homeownership rates dipped slightly in the second quarter,”  said Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “Affordability may start to become an issue, since home prices continue to increase at a rate much higher than the U.S. average, and in many cases, it’s now less expensive for Phoenix residents to rent than to own a home.”

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Existing home sales in Phoenix fell in the second quarter to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 116,435, or a 4.3 percent year-over-year decline. Inventory of homes for sale in Phoenix fell again to 20,188 on a seasonally adjusted basis, 11.6 percent lower than one year ago. The average time a home sat on the market rose from 48 days in the first quarter to 56 days in the second quarter – yet 58 days is still 10 percent less time than one year ago, when the average time a home spent on the market was well over two months. On a more positive note, housing starts and completions rose sharply in the second quarter by 23.4 percent and 16.5 percent respectively. However, completions were still down 67.4 percent from their prior peak and housing starts were 66.5 percent lower, so oversupply is not yet a concern.

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Phoenix home prices continued to outpace the U.S. average with an 8.2 percent year-over-year jump. The median home price stood at $239,427, which is still below pre-recessionary levels, suggesting there is more room for prices to grow. Affordability concerns rose during the second quarter as renting became significantly more affordable than buying.
“At the moment, the Phoenix market remains affordable for most buyers thanks to the strong local economy,” Sharga said. “Moving forward, expected increases in new home construction should add to the inventory of homes for sale and help maintain housing affordability in the region.”

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The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

June Home Sales To Decrease

The Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast indicates a slight decrease in June existing home sales. According to the nowcast, June sales will hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) between 5.28 and 5.64 million with a targeted number of 5.49 million, down 2.3 percent from NAR’s reported May sales and down 0.7 percent from a year ago.

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“Pending home sales numbers, mortgage applications and online search activity all suggest that the market for existing home sales may be cooling off slightly as we enter the summer months,” said Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “It’s possible that home purchases in the first half were accelerated by consumers trying to get deals done before interest rates increased. If that’s the case, we may see existing home sales plateau for the balance of 2017.”

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Last month, the Ten-X Nowcast projected home sales to remain near their cycle highs, aligning with the recent the National Association of Realtors (NAR) release, which showed a minor uptick in home sales from the month prior. NAR reported that existing home sales in May rose to 5.62 million units, a 1.1 percent gain from a downwardly revised 5.56 million in April. After the uptick, home sales are now 2.7% higher than a year ago.

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Last month’s Ten-X Nowcast also predicted another solid year-over-year gain in existing home prices, which was confirmed by the NAR report, as the median existing home price for all housing types rose 5.8 percent year-over-year to $252,800 in May. This marks the 63rd consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. The May Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast predicts that median existing home prices will continue to make annual strides falling between $244,194 and $269,899 with a target price point of $257,046, up 1.7 percent from May and a 3.8 percent gain from last year.

“While sales keep edging up, historically low inventory levels continue to restrain the pace of growth. Meanwhile, intensifying competition between owner-occupants and increasingly active investors amid the low inventory situation, are generating substantial price increases,” said Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “This price appreciation is beneficial for existing homeowners, but will continue to affect affordability. As long as the labor market remains strong and wages continue to increase, the housing market will remain on solid footing.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

March Home Sales Rise As Prices Rise

The Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast indicates a slight increase in existing home sales. According to the nowcast, March sales will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.41 – 5.77 million with a targeted number of 5.59 million, up 2.0 percent from NAR’s reported February sales and up 4.6 percent from a year ago.

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“As we enter the important Spring selling season, consumer demand appears to be strong. The big question is whether there will be enough homes for sale to meet that demand,” said Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “The underlying fundamentals of the market remain solid: job and wage growth are strong and interest rates remain low despite a slight uptick after the Fed move. But inventory – especially of entry-level homes – remains stubbornly low.”

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Last month, the Ten-X Nowcast projected home sales to take a step back from their cyclical high and the recent report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) confirmed this. NAR reported that existing home sales in February retreated to a seasonally adjusted rate (SAAR) of 5.48 million units, down 3.7 percent from January although still up 5.4 percent from a year ago.

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Last month’s Ten-X Nowcast also predicted another solid year-over-year gain in existing home prices, which was confirmed by the NAR report, as the median existing-home price for all housing types rose 7.7 percent year-over-year to $228,400 in February. This marks the 60th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. The March Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast predicts that median existing-home sales will continue to make annual strides in March, falling between $220,885 – $244,136 with a target price point of $232,511 up 1.8 percent from February and up 4.4 percent from last year’s NAR figure.

“As inventory supply continues to constrain the housing market, housing demand and home price growth continue to be strong, creating affordability concerns in some markets,” said Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “Looking forward, it’s possible that higher mortgage rates may contribute to more affordability obstacles for would-be homebuyers. In the meantime, the US housing market will continue to forge ahead in a jagged fashion as the solid labor market supports demand.”

About The Author

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

February Existing Home Sales Decline

Ten-X has released its latest Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast, which indicates a slight decline in February existing home sales. According to the nowcast, February sales will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.34 – 5.69 million, with a targeted number of 5.51 million – down 3 percent from NAR’s reported January sales yet up 7 percent from a year ago.

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“At some point, rising prices, higher interest rates, and limited inventory will begin to take their toll on home sales,” said Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “While online search activity remains strong, indicating healthy demand for homes, the relatively weak numbers in both new home sales and pending sales of existing homes suggest that buyers may be having trouble finding properties. But monthly housing numbers are notoriously volatile, so it’s too soon to say whether we’re seeing an inflection point, or the market is just taking a breath before coming back strongly in the spring.”

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The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that existing home sales saw strong growth in January, confirming the uptick the Ten-X Nowcast had previously indicated and even slightly exceeding those expectations. Existing home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted rate (SAAR) of 5.69 million units, up 3.3 percent from December and 3.8 percent from a year ago – its highest level since February 2007.

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The NAR also recently reported a 7.1 percent year-over-year increase in median existing home prices to $228,900 in January. This increase marked the 59th consecutive month of annual gains and also confirmed the nowcast prediction made in January. The February Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast predicts that median existing-home sales will continue to make annual strides in February, falling between $220,056 – $243,220 with a target price point of $231,638 up 1.2 percent from January and up a substantial 9.9 percent from last year’s NAR figure.
“Though inventory constraints have hampered stronger sales growth and fueled a surge in prices, the housing market continues to benefit from healthy underlying demand bolstered by a solid labor market that boasts healthy job gains, low unemployment and wage growth,” said Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “Looking forward, it’s possible that higher mortgage rates may create yet another affordability obstacle for would-be homebuyers. In the meantime, 2017 home sales appear to be advancing at a healthy pace.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

December Home Sales To Dip Slightly

Ten-X has released its latest Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast which indicates a modest month-over-month decrease in December existing home sales. According to the nowcast, December sales will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.33 and 5.69 million, with a targeted number of 5.51 million – down 1.8 percent from November, but up 0.9 percent from the year ago level.

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“It’s possible that we’re seeing the effect of rising mortgage rates slowing down existing home sales,” said Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “It’s also possible that we may see the numbers trend upwards as buyers decide to enter the market before interest rates go even higher.”

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The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that November existing home sales increased to a seasonally adjusted rate (SAAR) of 5.61 million units in November, confirming the strength that the Ten-X Nowcast had previously indicated. This marks a 0.7 percent gain from its downwardly revised 5.57 million October estimate, a 15.4 percent year-over-year increase, and the highest annualized pace seen since February 2007.

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“All things considered, 2016 has been a remarkably good year for both existing and new home sales,” Sharga noted. “We’ve seen year-over-year sales increases despite home prices appreciating more rapidly than wage growth, tight credit and limited supply. Clearly, demand remains fairly strong.”

The NAR also recently reported a 6.8 percent year-over-year increase in median existing home prices to $234,900 in November. This increase marked the 57th consecutive month of annual gains and also confirmed the nowcast prediction made in November. The December Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast predicts that median existing-home prices will fall between $221,679 and $245,013 in December with a target price point of $233,346, down 0.7 percent from November, but up 4.1 percent from a year ago.

“As we round out 2016, the U.S. housing market continues to benefit from a strong labor market, as solid job gains, low unemployment and promising wage growth fuel a high level of underlying demand for homes,” said Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “While there are still headwinds to sales growth in the way of tight inventory, low affordability and the likelihood of mortgage rate increases, solid fundamentals continue pointing to the overall health of the housing market.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

The Impact Of Natural Hazards On Housing

ATTOM Data Solutions has released its 2016 U.S. Natural Hazard Housing Risk Index, which found that home sales in the first six months of 2016 increased 4.2 percent from the same time period a year ago in the bottom fifth of U.S. counties with the lowest level of natural hazard risk — more than twice the 1.9 percent increase in the top fifth of U.S. counties with the highest level of natural hazard risk.

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More than 3,000 U.S. counties were indexed based on risk of six natural hazards: earthquakes, floods, hail, hurricane storm surge, tornadoes and wildfires using data collected by ATTOM’s neighborhood research portal www.homefacts.com. ATTOM also analyzed home sales and price trends in more than 800 counties with at least 100 single family home sales in the first six months of 2016. Those 800 counties — which combined have more than 70 million single family homes and condos — were divided into five equal groups (quintiles) based on the natural hazard risk index and assigned to one of five risk categories: Very High, High, Moderate, Low, and Very Low. (see full methodology below).

“While price and affordability along with access to jobs are the primary drivers in local markets with strong increases in home sales activity in 2016, it’s evident from this data that natural hazard risk does make a difference to homebuyers and investors who are active in this housing market,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Even among the subset of counties where the median price is below the national median as well as among the subset of counties where home prices are still affordable for average wage earners, there is a consistent trend of stronger increases in home sales volume compared to a year ago in the lowest-risk markets for natural hazards compared to the highest-risk markets.”

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Counties with highest natural hazard risk

Among the 804 counties analyzed for home sales and price trends, those with a Natural Hazard Housing Risk Index in the Top 5 highest were Oklahoma County, Oklahoma; Monroe County, Florida (Key West); Cleveland County, Oklahoma (Oklahoma City); Nevada County, California (Truckee); and Lake County, California (Clearlake).

Among 78 larger counties with at least 5,000 home sales in the first six months of 2016, those with the highest risk index were Oklahoma County, Oklahoma; Riverside County, California (Inland Empire of Southern California); Collier County, Florida (Naples); Miami-Dade County, Florida; and Santa Clara County, California (San Jose).

Counties with lowest natural hazard risk

Among the 804 counties analyzed for home sales and price trends, those with a Natural Hazard Housing Risk Index in the Top 5 lowest were Milwaukee County, Wisconsin; Kewaunee County, Wisconsin (Green Bay); Racine County, Wisconsin (Racine); Knox County, Maine; and Kenosha County, Wisconsin (Chicago metro area).

Among larger counties with at least 5,000 home sales in the first six months of 2016, those with the lowest risk index were Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland); Lake County, Illinois (Chicago area); Kent County, Michigan (Grand Rapids); Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix); and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia metro area).

Home values and home prices lower in lowest-risk counties

In the 161 counties in the top quintile for natural hazard risk (Very High Risk), there were a total of 21 million single family homes and condos representing 30 percent of all homes and condos in the 804 counties analyzed. In the 161 counties in the bottom quintile for natural hazard risk (Very Low Risk) there were a total of 10 million single family homes and condos representing 15 percent of all homes in the 804 counties analyzed.

The average estimated market value for homes in the lowest-risk counties was $187,291 — 33 percent below the average estimated market value for homes in the highest-risk counties: $279,570.

The median sales price of single family homes and condos sold between January and June 2016 in the lowest-risk counties was $156,245 on average, 39 percent below the median sales price in the highest-risk counties during the same time period: $255,160.

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Prediction: Home Sales Will Drop

Summit Valuations, LLC, a full service valuation company, announced today the release of its latest Residential Real Estate Market Overview, this time using information collected during April 2016, the most current available industry data. The report includes analysis from Summit’s Chief Valuation Officer, Mark Melikian, author of the report. The findings are very interesting. Here’s the scoop:

“Predicting future residential home values is very difficult, especially given the many differences we see between regions,” Melikian said. “However, the data we’re seeing, when trended over the past few months, indicate that we will likely see a drop in the number of homes sold over the next month or two and a continued decrease in housing affordability in many markets.”

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In May 2016, the month’s supply of housing, the pending home sales index, the federal unemployment rate and mortgage rates all decreased year over year. The median sales price and the seasonally adjusted annual number of homes sold both increased during the month, according to the data. Melikian says that the data suggest a decrease in the number of homes sold over the next 30 to 60 days.

On a regional level, the South had the highest number of existing home sales and the West had the highest median price. The West experienced the largest percentage increase in the number of seasonally adjusted existing home sales while the Midwest had the largest percentage gain in median sales price, month over month. Charts to this effect are included in the report Summit issued this week.

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Melikian pointed out that a decrease in sales volume, housing price affordability challenges in some markets and inventory levels remaining level in the past month could result in a relatively stable, or even slightly lower, median sales price in the next month.

“Long term, home prices in the residential real estate market continue to be driven by tight inventory, investor activity and interest rate,” Melikian said. “An increase in inventory or interest rates, or a reduction in investor activity could lead to an eventual decline in prices. Affordability concerns, which were addressed in the February 2016 report, also impact home prices in areas where it now takes a larger percentage of personal income to afford a house. As a result, these markets could see home prices leveling in the near future.

Summit’s report provides data made public by the U.S. Government, the National Association of Realtors and Freddie Mac. Melikian has been appraising real estate since 1987 and has been active in nationwide valuation services since 2005. He has successfully led teams of analysts, developed valuation services to meet client needs and represented buyers and sellers in secondary market loan tie out meetings. Much of his recent experience has focused on forensic reviews of REO properties for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Mr. Melikian holds a B.S. in Business Administration from San Diego State University.

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Flipping Is On The Rise Again

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Data from RealtyTrac shows that 6.6 percent (43,740) of all single family home and condo sales in the first quarter of 2016 were flips, a 20 percent increase from the previous quarter and up 3 percent from a year ago to the highest rate of home flips since the first quarter of 2014.

TME1616-Chart One

For the report, a home flip is defined as a property that is sold in an arms-length sale for the second time within a 12-month period based on publicly recorded sales deed data collected by RealtyTrac in more than 950 counties accounting for more than 80 percent of the U.S. population (see full methodology below).

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The 6.6 percent share of total home sales that were flips in Q1 2016 was still 26 percent below the 9.0 percent share at the peak of home flipping in Q1 2006, but was 55 percent above the recent trough in home flipping — 4.3 percent of total home sales in Q3 2014.

TME0616-Chart two

“After faltering in late 2014, home flipping has been gaining steam for the last year and a half thanks to falling interest rates and a dearth of housing inventory for flippers to compete against,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. “While responsible home flipping is helpful for a housing market, excessive and irresponsible flipping activity can contribute to a home price pressure cooker that overheats a housing market, and we are starting to see evidence of that pressure cooker environment in a handful of markets.

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Home flipping hits new all-time highs in 7 percent of markets

Counter to the national trend, the share of home flipping reached new all-time highs in Q1 2016 in nine of 126 metropolitan statistical analyzed (7 percent) including Baltimore, Maryland; Buffalo, New York; Huntsville, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; and York-Hanover, Pennsylvania.

TME0616-Chart three

Other markets where the share of home flipping has reached new highs since home prices bottomed out in 2012 include Seattle, Washington; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Bakersfield, California; and San Diego, California.

Flipping share up from a year ago in 60 percent of local markets

Home flipping as a share of total sales increased from a year ago in 75 out of 126 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed for the report (60 percent). Among markets with a population of at least 1 million, those with the biggest increases in the rate of flipping were New Orleans (up 45 percent), San Antonio (up 34 percent), Nashville (up 26 percent), Cleveland (up 26 percent), Columbus, Ohio (up 23 percent), and Dallas (up 22 percent).

Markets with the highest share of flipping in the first quarter were Memphis, Tennessee (13.3 percent); Clarksville, Tennessee (12.5 percent); Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida (11.8 percent); Fresno, California (11.3 percent); and Visalia-Porterville, California (11.1 percent).

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Home Sales To Slow In June

Ten-X has released its latest Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast, which projects existing home sales to remain fairly range-bound in June. According to the Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast, June existing home sales will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.38 and 5.74 million, with a targeted number of 5.56 million – a slight 0.5 percent increase from May and a 1.4 percent year-over-year gain.

“Despite facing broader economic headwinds following a disappointing May jobs report, slowing U.S. GDP growth, and uncertainty in global markets, the U.S. housing market remains on solid footing,” said Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “We continue to hold a positive outlook for housing supported by accelerating wage growth, an accommodative labor market and low interest rates, though persistent issues with declining affordability and low inventory will likely limit stronger gains in sales.”

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The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported a 4.5 percent year-over-year increase in sales to 5.53 million units in May, rising from a downwardly revised 5.43 million rate in April and marking the highest annual sales rate since February 2007. Last month’s Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast also called for an increase in May sales between 5.47 and 5.83 million units, with a target of 5.65.

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The NAR also reported a 4.7 percent year-over-year increase in median existing home prices to $239,700 for May, marking the 51st consecutive month of year-over-year gains and nearly matching the prediction of $238,418 that Ten-X made in last month’s nowcast. Findings from the Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast now suggest that sales prices for existing homes will fall between $231,642 and $256,025 in the month of June with a targeted price of $243,833, representing 1.7 percent month-over-month and 3.1 percent year-over-year gains.

“It will be interesting to see if the recent Brexit vote will have a measurable near-term impact on the U.S. housing market,” said Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “We could see interest rates reach a new low, possibly stimulating buying activity by improving affordability. Or we could see an influx of foreign capital, as investors look towards U.S. real estate in a flight to safety. Either of these could significantly change the current market trajectory.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.