Home Building at 4 Year High!

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By Chris Isidore @CNNMoney November 20, 2012: 9:52 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The pace of home building rose to its highest level in more than four years in October, according to a government reading issued Tuesday.

Housing starts climbed unexpectedly in October, a sign that the recent recovery in housing is continuing.

The Census Bureau report showed builders started construction at an annual pace of 894,000 homes last month, up 3.6% from the pace in September. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a slight slowdown in building.

 The further rise in housing starts in October confirms that the previous month’s very strong gain was not an unsustainable surge,” said Paul Diggle, real estate economist with Capital Economics. “It’s clear that the home building recovery is gathering a real head of steam.”

The stronger-than-expected report came because of a surge in construction of buildings with five or more residences in them. Single-family home starts remained little changed from September. But the September and October readings were the two best months for single-family home starts since 2008 as well.

Applications for building permits slipped 2.7% to an annual pace of 866,000. Despite that decline, the October reading was stronger than any month other than September over the course of the last four years.

Housing starts have soared about 42% from year-earlier levels, while permits are up about 30%. Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist for Deutsche Bank, says the recovery in housing is coming at a critical time for the overall U.S. economy, as the lift it was getting from exports and capital spending by businesses had started to slow.

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ACRE Report: YTD New Home Sales in Alabama Up 4.5%!

By | Ashley, Residential | No Comments
Published: Friday, November 02, 2012, 3:25 PM     Updated: Friday, November 02, 2012, 3:26 PM

Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)

Alabama new home sales in September slipped 3.7 percent from the same period in 2011. Year-to-date (YTD) through September, sales are up 4.5 percent from 2011.

September new home sales in Alabama’s five metro markets, representing approximately seventy percent of all statewide transactions, also experienced a 12.4 percent decrease from the prior month. Real estate sales are seasonal and September represents the annual transitional month when the market anticipates a slower pace in closed transactions, a trend that traditionally continues into the winter quarters.

Sixty percent of metro areas have experienced YTD increase in new home sales compared to 2011 with Montgomery (up 20%) posting the best results followed by Tuscaloosa (13%) and Birmingham (12%). YTD new home sales have declined in Mobile (down 14%) and Huntsville (down 3%).

Demand: In September, Alabama new home sales were outperformed by the US market which reflected an increase of 27.1 percent from September 2012 and 5.7 percent from the prior month, according to the US Census Bureau & HUD. The release also reported that the results from the South region were up 24.3 percent from September 2011 and 16.8 percent down from last month.

Supply: Statewide new construction inventory has declined by approximately 8.5 percent from last September which is consistent with US trend (down 9%). All metro markets have experienced reductions in inventory since September 2011 with the exception of Mobile (up 6%). Birmingham (down 15%) leads the state in inventory followed by Huntsville (-6%), Tuscaloosa (-3%) and Montgomery (-.5).

Alabama’s metro markets in September reflect 4.6 months of new home supply, an decrease from 4.9 months of supply in September 2011 and up from 3.9 months in August 2012. According to the US Census Bureau, the US inventory of new homes for sale increased to 145,000 homes or 4.5 months’ supply, also a big improvement from 6.3 months of supply in September 2011 (down 29%).

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Another Super Read. This is GREAT news for our state economy – Call me when you are ready to buy or list!

Home Prices Rise for Fifth Month in a Row….

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Yet another interesting read…Enjoy!

@CNNMoney October 30, 2012: 10:50 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The housing market picked up more momentum in August, as the average home price for 20 major cities jumped 0.9%, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index

The increase marked the fifth consecutive month of gains for the index with all but one city, Seattle, recording month-over-month price increases.

“The sustained good news in home prices over the past five months makes us optimistic for continued recovery in the housing market,” said David Blitzer, spokesman for S&P.

The Case-Shiller report is one of many gauges of housing market health that has turned upbeat in recent months. New and existing home sales have been stronger, inventory of homes for sale has fallen and developers have stepped up building activity.

Slow improvement in the national economy has also boosted the housing market, as have record low mortgage rates. The rates for a 30-year loan have stayed below 3.7% since May. Combined with home prices that are still about a third less than they were when they hit their peak, these record-low rates have made home buying very affordable.

Related: Obama’s housing scorecard

Of the cities S&P’s index covers, Phoenix has roared back the fastest, with a whopping 18.8% year-over-year gain in August. That marks the fourth month in a row of double-digit price hikes. Detroit prices rose 7.6% over the past 12 months and Miami’s grew 6.7%.

Mike Larson, a financial analyst with Weiss Research, remains cautious about the outsized gains in Phoenix and some Florida markets. Much of the return represents “a resurgence in investor demand,” he said. Investors now represent about 27% of the home purchases in the market, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

Related: Best Places: Where homes are affordable

Most of these buyers are looking to take advantage of beaten down prices so they can rent out the properties at a healthy profit, he said.

“The fly in the ointment is that these buyers lack emotional attachment,” said Larson. So unlike regular homeowners, they will likely not stick with the homes should the market head South again.

Among the three cities to have year-over-year losses, Atlanta recorded the biggest decrease in home values, with prices down 6.1%. New York was down 2.3% and Chicago fell 1.6%.

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New Credit Risk Scoring Promises to Qualify More Borrowers…

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Real Estate Economy Watch – Insight and Intelligence on Residential Real Estate

Written by: editor   Tue, October 30, 2012

Evidence is growing that more borrowers will be approved for a mortgage without increasing risk to lenders through more sophisticated credit risk scoring that uses alternative data, such as unsecured credit and property history in consumer credit report analysis, according to a new report by the CEB TowerGroup.

“Traditional credit data and analytics continue to be relevant, but are not sufficient to satisfy the consumer credit reformation of today,” said the CEB TowerGroup’s senior research director, Craig Focardi. “As a result of the changes in consumer behavior, lenders cannot revert back to their prior mortgage underwriting policies. Too much damage has already been done to the market, consumers, shareholders and investors.”

CEB TowerGroup evaluated data from a joint analysis conducted by CoreLogic and FICO that compares the FICO® Score used by most lenders today with a new score launched in July that evaluates the traditional credit data from national credit data repositories and the unique alternative credit data contained in the recently launched CoreScoreTM credit report. The analysis of 300,000 mortgage applications found that 3,100 more applicants would receive a qualifying credit score of 700 and approximately 70 percent of a sample population saw their credit score improve.

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A Very Interesting Read – Enjoy!

September New Home Sales Take Off!

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Real Estate Economy Watch – Insight and Intelligence on Residential Real Estate

Written by: Steve Cook   Thu, October 25, 2012

New homes, the hottest sector of the real estate market, got even hotter in September as sales hit the fastest pace in two and a half years.

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000 units in September, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the fastest sales pace recorded since April of 2010.

“Combined with consistent, positive reports on housing starts, permits, prices and builder confidence in recent months, today’s data provides further confirmation that a gradual but steady housing recovery is underway across much of the nation,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “Consumers who have been on the sidelines during the past few years are deciding now is the time to go forward with a new-home purchase, assuming they can qualify for a good mortgage under today’s exceedingly stringent guidelines.”

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The South’s 16.8 percent increase is very encouraging news. Please call me for all your Real Estate needs.

Alabama Residential Report: YTD Sales up 6.3%; 72% of local markets show improvement from 2011!

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Published: Friday, October 19, 2012, 4:02 PM Updated: Saturday, October 20, 2012, 5:49 AM

Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)

Real estate sales are seasonal and September represents the annual transitional month where the market anticipates a slower pace in closed transactions, a trend that traditionally continues into the winter quarters. Alabama statewide residential sales during September were 4.2 percent lower than the same period in 2011. Year-to-date (YTD) through September, sales are up 6.3 percent from 2011. Inventory. Alabama’s housing inventory has declined by 16% from month of September peak in 2010. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: The statewide housing inventory in August was 33,510 units, a decrease of 7.3 percent from September 2011 and 16.4 percent below the month of September’s peak in 2010 (40,069 units).

There were 10.5 months of housing supply (6 months considered equilibrium) in September 2012 versus 10.8 months of supply in September 2011, a slower than desired decline of 3.3 percent.

September inventory in Alabama experienced a 1.0 percent decrease when compared to the prior month. This trend is consistent with historical data indicating that September inventory on average (’07-’11) traditionally decreases from the month of August by 1.1 percent.

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