House prices higher on tight supply
Low availability of homes in many parts of America mean prices are continuing to rise. The latest data from CoreLogic shows that prices in May were 6.3 per cent than the same period last year and 33 states are at or within 10 per cent of their peaks. Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont all hit new highs in May along with DC.
Healthier outlook for home purchase says Fannie Mae
More Americans believe that now is a good time to buy a home and the sentiment has pushed a key indicator to a record high. Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey for June 2015 sees the index move higher than 50 for the first time as optimism increased 3 percentage points. The 52 per cent score for the index reflects better housing supply together with more favorable data on employment and the economy as a whole. Fannie’s survey of rent expectations has also hit a new high of 59 per cent expecting rents to rise in the next 12 months.
Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae noted: “Together, these results point to a healthier home purchase market, with more renters likely to find owning to be more cost-effective than renting and more sellers likely to put their homes on the market.”
Expectation of home price increases fell to 47 per cent with those expecting lower prices rising to 7 per cent. Half of respondents believe that mortgage rates will increase over the next 12 months, a slightly higher percentage than in May.
Lending standards tighter in June
The Mortgage Bankers’ Association says that mortgage lending standards were tighter in June, as shown by its Mortgage Credit Availability Index. The index decreased by 0.5 per cent to 122.0 with conventional loan availability falling 1 per cent, jumbo down 0.6 per cent, conforming down 0.3 per cent and government down 0.2 per cent. "This month mortgage credit availability reverted to its April level taking back the gains observed in May. Despite recent signs of improvement in housing markets, mortgage credit availability stalled in June," said Lynn Fisher, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics. "Increases driven by higher availability of cash out refinance loans were more than offset by reduced availability of other types of loans this month, resulting in a decline in the index from May."