Morning Briefing: 35 per cent of metros at record high prices

by Steve Randall03 Dec 2015
35 per cent of metros at record high prices
A new analysis of 94 metros show that home prices in 33 of them (35 per cent) have reached record highs in 2015. RealtyTrac says that those markets include Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Denver, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Portland, San Antonio and Columbus, Ohio. The report also shows that the median sales price of U.S. single family homes and condos in October was $207,500, up 1 per cent from the previous month and up 10 per cent from a year ago — the highest year-over-year percentage increase since February 2014.

“Home price appreciation did not go into hibernation in October even as the housing market entered the typically slower fall season,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Home sellers are sitting pretty in this market, realizing an average profit-since-purchase of 16 per cent — the highest in any month since December 2007, on the cusp of the Great Recession.”
Mortgage applications dip slightly
New mortgage applications were slightly lower last week according to data from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association. The Market Composite Index decreased 0.2 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier and on an unadjusted basis it decreased 32 per cent.

The Refinance Index decreased 6 per cent; the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 8 per cent; the unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 28 per cent compared with the previous week and was 30 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 56.6 per cent of total applications from 58.7 per cent the previous week; ARM decreased to 6.1 percent; FHA share decreased to 13.2 per cent from 13.7 per cent;  VA share increased to 11.3 per cent from 11.0 per cent; USDA share remained unchanged from 0.7 per cent the week prior.
Bank appraisers warn against higher limits
More than 80 percent of bank appraisers think reducing the number of loans requiring an appraisal could increase risk to borrowers, according to a survey by The Appraisal Institute. Ninety per cent of chief appraisers thought that increased limits would increase risk for lenders. “As part of its mission to serve the public interest, the Appraisal Institute continues to oppose any changes to the threshold levels,” said Appraisal Institute President M. Lance Coyle, MAI, SRA. “Appraisals serve a vital role in risk mitigation, and lenders and borrowers benefit from the role appraisals play.” The limit is currently $250,000 for real estate financial transactions.


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