Housing report reveals that the industry is picking up
The level of new housing starts in April jumped to their highest level in more than 7 years according to the US Department of Commerce. The latest data on the housing market revealed that new starts soared by 20.2 per cent to a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.14 million units. That was the biggest percentage rise since 1991. Permits were up by 10.8 per cent. Multi-family units saw the strongest rise in starts (up 27.2 per cent) and permits (up 20.5 per cent) while single-family homes saw starts rise 16.7 per cent and permits up by 3.7 per cent in April.
Freddie Mac predicts mortgage rate volatility ahead of Fed
Low mortgage rates have boosted affordability in the first quarter of this year but are likely to be volatile in the coming months. Freddie Mac’s economy and housing report forecasts that mortgage lenders will be trying to anticipate interest rate rises by the Federal Reserve. House prices are expected to continue rising due to low inventory levels and have been revised up from 4.0 per cent to 4.5 per cent for the year.
Realtors association urges change to speed up mortgage applications
The National Association of Realtors has added its voice to those calling for the Rural Housing Service to be given authority to approve mortgages through endorsed lenders. It noted that both the Veterans Affairs loan guaranty and Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance program utilize private lenders for direct endorsement. It said that with RHS staffing levels having been cut it causes significant delays for mortgage approvals which must be approved by RHS staff. The NAR says that if Congress allow the direct endorsement authority it would ease burdens on the RHS and accelerate loan processing for borrowers.
Vegas housing market in transition; more renters
There are now more renters in Las Vegas with new homeowners declining according to a new report. The Las Vegas Perspective released Tuesday shows that new home sales fell in 2014 while prices increased. It also says that millennials are buying at a slower rate and that those who were hit hard by the recession are finding it hard to get a mortgage. Jeremy Aguero of Applied Analysis, one of the organisations that contributed to the report, told 8 News that he expects the level of renters to increase in the next 12 to 18 months but for the market to then balance out.