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SEM News, thinkMortgage™

June 2017 Cal-Culator

SEM News, thinkMortgage™: July 13th, 2017

Growing Optimism in the Housing Industry Sparks Record High Residential Real Estate Index

After an outstanding month in the housing industry, The Cal-Culator, Southeast Mortgage’s residential real estate index, jumped a record 0.3 to a record-high of 8.7. Fannie Mae’s Housing Sentiment Index tied its record high while underwater mortgages revealed its best numbers in over a decade and construction employment peaked at a nine-year high.

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index

The HPSI rose 2.1 percent in June to tie its peak measurement back in in February of this year. Additionally, the net share of Americans who believe it’s a good time to buy was 30 percent in June, up three percent, while 39 percent of people said it was a good time to sell, up seven percent – a record high.

“Consumers are also growing more optimistic about their ability to get a mortgage, and lenders expect credit standards to ease further going forward,” said Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. “While consumer optimism on this metric is as high as we’ve seen in the survey’s seven-year history, it’s worth noting that this record is relative to the fairly tight standards in place post-crisis when we started collecting National Housing Survey data. Nevertheless, in the face of very tight housing supply, easing credit standards may fail to have the desired effect and could have the unintended consequence of fueling further house price increases.”

Construction Employment

Compared to other U.S. cities, Atlanta ranked third in construction employment gains behind Riverside, CA and Tampa, FL. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, Atlanta added nearly 8,000 jobs – a seven percent increase over the previous year. The association’s chief economist noted that number would have been even higher if more qualified talent was available.

Underwater Borrower Level

For the first time in 11 years, the number of underwater mortgages is below the two million mark. During 2017’s first quarter, the number of underwater borrowers fell by 16 percent as 350,000 borrowers regained their equity, bringing the total underwater population to 1.8 million. Since 2016, the underwater population has decreased by nearly 1 million borrowers – a 35 percent year-over-year reduction.

Atlanta Home Prices

“It’s becoming a familiar story: Atlanta home prices are up, but the number of homes for sale is down,” said the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Michael Kanell

For those that are on the fence about putting their home on the market, the evidence still proves it’s a great time to sell your home to make some money, while you help loosen the inventory shortage. The median home price increased 4.9 percent from May 2016, according to the Atlanta Realtors Market Brief.

”The housing market shows ongoing strength, with prices steadily improving and inventory generally maintaining about three months supply. New buyers and sellers continue to enter the market in increasing numbers, although homes under $400,000 in highly desirable school districts are currently in short supply,” said Atlanta Realtors President Bill Rawlings.

Again, inventory is limiting Atlanta’s market, though the market hasn’t looked this robust in a long time.


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