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.
Caroline Baum / Bloomberg / August 28, 2013
Hissss! That’s the sound of the air coming out of the housing market. At least that’s what some folks thought they heard when the U.S. Census Bureau reported a 13.4 percent dive in new home sales in July, the biggest decline in more than three years and one that coincided with a sharp increase in mortgage rates.
Don’t start writing housing’s obituary just yet. First, the residential real-estate market just got going. Only in the last two years has residential investment contributed in any significant way to economic growth. It has to make up for lost time.
Second, what might look like a lackRead More
Morgan Brennan / Forbes / August 27, 2013
Home prices continued their upward march in June, if at a slightly slower pace.
U.S single-family home prices in 20 metropolitan areas rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.9% in June from a month earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, after rising 1% in May.
The gain puts home prices 12.1% higher than they were a year ago, as all 20 metro areas welcomed price increases on both a monthly and annual basis, led by Las Vegas (24.9%) and San Francisco (24.5%). S&P/ Case-Shiller’s 20-city composite index also posted a 7.1% increase in the second quarter and a 10.1% increaseRead More
Comments on Existing Home Sales: Too early to see impact of higher mortgage rates, Inventory has Bottomed
Bill McBride / Calculated Risk / August 21, 2013
First, the headline sales number was no surprise (see Lawler: Early Look at Existing Home Sales in July).
Second, the strong sales rate in July is not a sign that higher mortgage rates have had no impact on sales. The NAR reports CLOSED sales, and the usual escrow period is 45 to 60 days. Mortgage rates didn’t start increasing sharply until the 2nd half of May (see Freddie Mac Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey®), so buyers could have locked in rates in May – and pushed to close in July. My guess is sales will be down in August reflecting higher mortgage rates.
The key number inRead More
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
Brad Berton / APARTMENT FINANCE TODAY / August 19, 2013
We all knew the ultra-low mortgage rates seen over the last couple years wouldn’t last forever. Still, the recent rise of a full percentage point over a two-month period left even the steeliest of apartment professionals reaching for their Pepto-Bismol.
From early May to early July, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield, against which lenders quote most fixed-rate loans, shot up more than 100 basis points (bps), from about 1.6 percent to more than 2.7 percent. Meanwhile, lender spreads—the amount a lender adds to the benchmark to produce a final interest rate—have also widened graduallyRead More