All the Real Estate News That’s Fit to RE-Print™

Welcome to our weekly edition of Real Estate Investing News This Week. Here’s the best of this week’s real estate news:

  • Zillow: National home values rose 6.4% in 2013
  • Signs of softness in housing
  • Foreclosure activity increases 8% in January
  • Mortgage delinquency rate drops below 4%

We hope these real estate news items help you stay up-to-date with your real estate investing strategies and inspire some profitable real estate deals for you.

Cost of Owning a Home Is Spiking in 2014

By Diana Olick, CNBC Real Estate Reporter
“The sharp rise in home prices in 2013 caused two conflicting results: The return of positive home equity for hundreds of thousands of borrowers and considerably weaker affordability for an equally large pool of potential homebuyers.
While positive equity allows more borrowers to move, weaker affordability keeps them in place. So which will be the greater driver of housing this spring?
‘There’s going to be a reality check in the spring in terms of realizing that what we saw in 2013 is not a real market,” said Daren Blomquist of RealtyTrac, a real estate sales and data website. “It’s a nice bounce-back market, but ultimately you need the biggest pool of potential homebuyers out there to be able to afford those homes.'”

Zillow: National Home Values Rose 6.4% in 2013

Overall, we are seeing a widening slow-down in home value appreciation with some markets showing more of a slow-down than other markets. Of all metros, 83% reported lower monthly appreciation in December than in November (seasonally adjusted), and of the top 35 metros, seven showed monthly home value depreciation.
This slowdown was expected and shouldn’t come as a surprise, as home values have been growing at an unsustainable pace in 2013, especially in many markets in California and the Southwest.
According to the Zillow Home Value Forecast, we expect national home values to increase 4.8% over the next year (December 2013 to December 2014).

zillow outlook
Read the complete Zillow Home Value Forecast here >>>

Signs of Softness in Housing

Huge Drop in Home Builder Sentiment

By David Blitzer, Chairman of Index Commitee, S&P Dow Jones Indices

construction site

Huge drop in home builder sentiment.

The National Association of Home Builders sentiment index for February, dropped sharply to 46 from 56 in January — the largest drop in the history of the survey, which started in 1985.
A reading above 50 means more builders view the market as favorable than as unfavorable.
Housing permits and starts for January were also disappointing. Permits were down 5.4% from December overall and down 1.3% for single family homes. Total permits are up compared to January 2013 but single family units are flat.
Housing starts were weaker than permits with total starts down 16% from the previous month and off 2% from a year earlier. For single family units, the monthly drop was 15.9% and the year earlier decline was 6.7%.

Foreclosure Activity Increases 8 Percent in January

But Bank Repossessions Decrease 4 Percent to Lowest Level Since July 2007

RealtyTrac recently released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for January 2014, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions — were reported on 124,419 U.S. properties in January, an 8 percent increase from December but still down 18 percent from January 2013.
“The monthly increase in January foreclosure activity was somewhat expected after a holiday lull, but the sharp annual increases in some states shows that many states are not completely out of the woods when it comes to cleaning up the wreckage of the housing bust,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
High-level findings from the report:

  • A total of 57,259 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in January, up 10 percent from the previous month but still down 12 percent from January 2013 — the 18th consecutive month where foreclosure starts have decreased annually.
  • Counter to the national trend, January foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 22 states, including Maryland (up 126 percent), Connecticut (up 82 percent), New Jersey (up 79 percent), California (up 57 percent), and Pennsylvania (up 39 percent).
  • Scheduled foreclosure auctions increased 13 percent in January compared to the previous month but were still down 8 percent from a year ago — the 38th consecutive month where U.S. scheduled foreclosure auctions have decreased annually.
  • Counter to the national trend, scheduled foreclosure auctions increased from a year ago in 27 states, including Oregon (up 326 percent), Connecticut (up 223 percent), Maryland (up 113 percent), New York (up 73 percent), and Nevada (up 73 percent).
  • There were a total of 30,226 U.S. bank repossessions (REO) in January, down 4 percent from the previous month and down 40 percent from January 2013 to the lowest level since July 2007 — a 78-month low.


Mortgage Delinquency Rate Drops Below 4%

By Colin Robins

Mortgage Delinquency Rate Drops Below 4%

Eight Consecutive Quarters of Decline

TransUnion recently announced that last quarter’s mortgage delinquency rate dropped below 4 percent for the first time since 2008. The rate represents borrowers who are 60 days or more delinquent on their mortgage.
The Q4 2013 rate of 3.85 percent is a 24.2 percent year-over-year change from the Q4 2012 rate of 5.08 percent.
Mortgage delinquency rates have been steadily drifting downward; Q4 2013 is the eighth consecutive quarter of decline.”