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Spring “Shoots” Recorded by NAHB

June 16th, 2014 by Bill Collins Leave a reply »

Recent Real Estate Reports

Yesterday, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for June was up by 4% from the previous month to 49%, one percentage point below what they consider to be good building conditions. This index seeks to measure builder confidence in the market for new, single-family dwellings through a survey of current market activity, expectations for the next six months and traffic of prospective purchasers. 

One week ago, RealtyTrac reported that foreclosure filings in May had dropped 5% from the previous month and 26% from May of 2013, reaching their lowest level since December of 2006.  While the overall trend was positive, RealtyTrac noted that 21 states reported an increase in filings from the previous month and 11 states were up from one year ago. States reporting large increases last month from May of 2013 included Massachusetts (up 58%), New Jersey (+37%) New York (+18%) and Indiana (+12%).

Amongst the nation’s 20 MSAs (metropolitan statistical areas), the largest increase in foreclosure filings from the same month one year ago were Boston-Cambridge-Quincy (+44%), New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (+23%), Washington-Arlington-Alexandria (+8%) and Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (+5%).

RealtyTrac reported that bank repossessions (REOs) were down 6% in May from the previous month and 27% from May of 2013.  RealtyTrac noted that bank repossessions had now reached their lowest level since July of 2007.  Notwithstanding this national trend, 25 states reported an increase in REOs from the previous month with 14 states showing an increase from the same month last year.

Notable increases were seen from May of 2013 to May 2014 in New York (+117%), New Jersey (+96%), Connecticut (+85%), Maryland (+40%), Oregon (+29%), California (+26%) and Illinois (+20%).

RealtyTrac reported that foreclosure auctions had reached their lowest point since December 2006 and foreclosure starts were at their lowest mark since December 2005.  Despite this, foreclosure auctions were up year to year in 16 states (notably in Utah, Oregon, New Jersey and Massachusetts) and foreclosure starts were up year to year in 12 states (most notably in Massachusetts, Indiana, Delaware, New Jersey and New York).

The states reporting the highest foreclosure rates were Florida, Maryland, Nevada, Illinois and Ohio.  The eight highest foreclosure rates in MSAs with populations greater than 200,000 were all found in Florida.

A link to the entire RealtyTrac report is found here: U.S. May 2014 Foreclosure Market Report

Last Thursday, CoreLogic reported that in March cash sales were down to 38.7% of all sales from 40.2% last month and 41% the previous year. This is down from the peak of 46.2% of sales in January of 2011 but still substantially higher than the years prior to the market crash when cash sales amounted to approximately ¼ of all sales.

The states reporting the highest percentage of cash sales in March were Florida (57.4%), New York (56.5%), Alabama (53.4%), Kansas (48.8%) and West Virginia (47%).  Out of the country’s 100 largest MSAs, the highest percentage of cash sales were in the MSA including Detroit after which Florida had the next four.

One week earlier, the CoreLogic Equity Report was released for the first quarter of this year.  CoreLogic reported that negative equity fell nationally from 13.4% in the last quarter of 2013 to 12.7% in the first quarter of 2014 with the number of borrowers “underwater” dropping from 6.6 million to 6.3 million.  40 states showed improvement from one quarter to the next which CoreLogic attributed to rising home prices.

Links to the CoreLogic reports are found here:
Cash Sales Made Up 39 Percent of Total Home Sales In March

Dollar Volume of Negative Equity Falls $17 Billion in Q1 2014

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Appraiser Help has Released its 2014 Directory of AMC’s and National Appraisal Companies. Click the link above to learn more and to download your copy today!

Rates & Dates

Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Brokers Association (MBA) and HSH Market Trends reported rising mortgage interest rates in their most recent surveys. 

On June 12th, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.20% from 4.14% the previous week. They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was at 3.98%.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported on June 11th (for the week ending June 6th) that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) rose to 4.34% from 4.26%.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) increased by 5 basis points to 4.27%.  Rates for FHA backed mortgages also moved upward, from 3.99% to 4.06%. 

Mortgage applications jumped by 10.3% from the previous week with the share of refinance applications as a percentage of all applications increasing to 54% from 53% the previous week.  Refinance and purchase-money applications rose by 11.0% and 9.3% respectively.

On June 13th, HSH Market Trends reported that 30-year mortgage rates rose to 4.26% from 4.21%. Rates for FHA-backed mortgages also increased, from 3.93% to 3.94%.

Additional information from Freddie Mac can be found by going to: Primary Mortgage Market Survey PMMS – Freddie Mac

Additional information from the Mortgage Bankers Association can be found by going to their site at: Research and Forecasts – Mortgage Bankers Association

Additional information from HSH can be found by going to: HSH.Com

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Ask Angie

We would first like to congratulate our most recent winner: New York appraiser Tim Faso.  Tim is a repeat winner of Angie’s Contest.  He was the first to answer correctly that Ernest Hemingway (in A Moveable Feast) wrote "When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself"; Leo Tolstoy wrote "There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness and truth”; and Groucho Marx quipped "From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it”.

Today’s Questions:

1. Who wrote: "It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.”

a) Jerry Seinfeld
b) Rupert Murdoch
c)  Mortimer Zuckerman
d) Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
e) None of the above

2. Who said: "Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.”

a) Robert Frost
b) Jerry Seinfeld
c)  Jack Kerouac
d) Johnny Cash
e) None of the above

3. Who said: “To me, if life boils down to one thing, it’s movement. To live is to keep moving.”

a) Carl Paoli
b) Jack LaLanne
c)  Jerry Seinfeld
d) Leslie Sansone
e) None of the above

The first person to respond with the correct answers wins a choice of one of the following:

One Free Regular Listing on

A Free Copy of the 2014 Directory of Appraisal Management Companies (Available to Members of and FREE!)

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Tell us what you think!

We invite your responses to any of the issues raised in this newsletter. Please e-mail us at: with your thoughts!

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We really hope you find our newsletter to be informative!  If you have any input on future topics for discussion, please email me your questions and I will do my best to address them in the next issue.  If you want to look back at past issues you can see our archive at


Bill Collins, Appraiser Help Inc.

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