Spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner! Many couples and families will be traveling the highways and byways for vacations as well as searching for locations to call home. This is your chance to develop partnerships with CVBs, Development Authorities, and Planned Communities to show off your destination! The AARC has all those partnerships and more in place for you to see and prepare to capture the mature traveler and retiree.
Thank you to Benjamin Rudolph for the informative webinar last week. Digital marketing is so important to our industry and important to know and be able to track your return on your investment.
We are continuing to make plans for the 2018 Annual Conference so stay tuned for location and registration information. Whether you’re a private developer, a chamber or tourism professional, or a government official, AARC is your information source!
Rachel Baker Chair, The AARC
Home prices are still on fire, Case-Shiller data show
Andrea Riquier, MarketWatch.com | March 27, 2018
The numbers: The S&P/Case-Shiller national index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in the three-month period ending in January, and was up 6.2% compared to a year before. The 20-city index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8% for the month, and 6.4% for the year.
What happened: Prices are still on fire. And the West is still the best: Seattle, Las Vegas and San Francisco all notched double-digit yearly price gains. Only one city, Washington, D.C., had a negative monthly reading.
As David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, noted in a release, the price gains are all about demand and lack of supply.
“The current months-supply — how many months at the current sales rate would be needed to absorb homes currently for sale — is 3.4; the average since 2000 is 6.0 months, and the high in July 2010 was 11.9,” Blitzer wrote. “Currently, the homeowner vacancy rate is 1.6% compared to an average of 2.1% since 2000; it peaked in 2010 at 2.7%. Despite limited supplies, rising prices and higher mortgage rates, affordability is not a concern.”
Relatively affordable housing is cold comfort to many would-be home buyers who simply can’t find anything to buy.
Big picture: Economists had forecast a 0.7% monthly increase, and a 6.2% 12-month increase, for the 20-city index. As MarketWatch has reported, most housing analysts have argued that the ongoing price gains in housing can’t last — and yet they have so far.
- Interest rates rose again last week – but that didn’t stop mortgage application volume from rising.
- Total mortgage application volume jumped 4.8 percent from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
- An increase in refinance and purchase applications drove the rise.
After decreasing for the first time this year, interest rates rose again last week – but that didn’t stop mortgage application volume from rising.
Applications for mortgages jumped 4.8 percent last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted report. Volume remained unchanged from one year ago.
An increase in refinance and purchase applications drove the weekly rise.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) increased to 4.69 percent from 4.68 percent for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.
“Rates slightly rose last week based on fears of trade conflicts with China and other countries but were offset by what we saw as a positive economic outlook from the Fed,” said MBA economist Joel Kan. “Refinance applications increased over 7 percent last week, despite the increase in rates, but this was off a very low level.”
Purchase volume rose 3.1 percent from the previous week, increasing for the third consecutive week. Purchase applications are up 8.2 percent from a year ago.
According to Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson, homebuyers are not as concerned with interest rates as they are with other factors in the housing market.
“The bigger impact on the market has been the extreme shortage of homes for sales, particularly in desirable metro areas. February saw an 11.4 percent decline in the overall number of homes for sale, marking the 29th consecutive month of year-over-year supply declines,” Richardson said. “Because of the lack of inventory, home prices are growing at the fastest rate we’ve seen in four years. It’s low inventory, not slightly higher mortgage rates, that is affecting buyers the most in 2018.”
A Redfin survey last month found that even if interest rates rose above 5 percent, only 6 percent of prospective homebuyers would walk away from their plans to buy a home.
“Mortgage rates are still really cheap compared to the historical average. Over the last 50 years or so mortgage rates have averaged around 8 percent on the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, and have been much higher, topping 18 percent in the 1980s. Rates now are still below 5 percent,” Richardson said.
And purchase applications had the strongest year-over-year growth rate since February as the spring season gets underway.
“We remain cautiously optimistic that purchase activity will continue to pick up as we enter the spring homebuying season,” MBA’s Kan said.