News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Tony Polito / Metrostudy / August 16, 2013
News reports, homebuilder stock prices and economists in general have shown concern over the spike in interest rates from early May to today. While this should not have been a surprise based on comments from Fed Chairman Bernanke last year that all good things come to an end (Fed stimulus), the sky is falling comments from some in the media is concerning. Let’s look at the facts: the Market Composite Index is running near the 23 year average; the Refinance Index is still running above the 23 year average; however, the Purchase Composite Index is running only about 75% of average. Low interestRead More
Paul Emrath / NAHB / August 7, 2013
As of 2012, FHA/VA insured loans still account for well over 20 percent of the market for new single-family homes, according to data from the Survey of Construction (SOC).
The SOC is conducted by the Census Bureau, partly funded by HUD, and the source of the familiar monthly series on housing starts. Among other things, the SOC collects information on the type of financing that has been or will be arranged for new homes. Builders have the option of checking a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a mortgage insured by the Veteran’s Administration (VA), conventionalRead More
Michael Neal / NAHB / August 5, 2013
According to Freddie Mac, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose by 8 basis points over the week to 4.39%. Since the beginning of the year, mortgage rates have risen by about 1 percentage point and are now at a level last seen in August 2011.
The rapid rise in mortgage interest rates could affect housing affordability through higher monthly mortgage payments. However, monthly mortgage payments are not the only path by which rising interest rates can affect affordability. Homebuyers can instead decide to raise their downpayment amount in order to maintain an otherwiseRead More
Frank Anton / BUILDER / July 24, 2013
Some analysts are all aflutter about rising mortgage rates and a decline in existing home sales. Builders and buyers, not so much.
Yes, rates are up, and higher rates make housing less affordable. Couple that with housing price increases in many markets, and affordability is taking the old one, two.
Nonetheless, just last week the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index jumped 6 points to 57, the highest reading since January 2006. On top of that, the component of the Index that gauges builders’ sales expectations for the next 6 months gained 7 points to 67, the strongest reading since…2005!Read More
Lauren Schuker Bulm / The Wall Street Journal / July 18, 2013
A new generation is skipping the ‘starter home’ and betting heavily on high-end real estate.
Two years ago, when he was 26, Matt Winter paid a little over $1 million for a four-bedroom, Mediterranean-style house in Culver City, an artsy, formerly industrial section of Los Angeles. This month, the now 28-year-old Mr. Winter, who runs his own interior design firm, paid about $1.7 million for his second home, a three-bedroom, Spanish-revival in Westwood, a neighborhood near UCLA.
“I have always felt that having your money in property is the safest and best thing to do if youRead More