Morning Briefing: This is the most competitive US housing market

by Steve Randall04 Jan 2017
This is the most competitive US housing market
Competition among homebuyers is the strongest in Seattle with Boston not far behind.

A report from Redfin shows that two neighborhoods in Seattle top the rankings of the most competitive markets in the US – Factoria and University District – with Boston’s Washington Sq., and Prospect Hill in 3rd and 4th place respectively. San Francisco’s Inner Richmond neighborhood completes the top 5.

The list is ranked by median days on market, the average sale-to-list price ratio and home price growth. In Factoria, Seattle for example, homes went under contract in an average 7 days, sold for 5 per cent above asking price and prices were up 26 per cent year-over-year.
Home prices continued higher towards 2016 close
Home prices were up again in November according to the latest data from CoreLogic.

There was a 7.1 per cent rise in prices nationwide, including distressed sales, compared to a year earlier and were up 1.1 per cent from October. The increase was supported by the low cost of borrowing but that is changing which slows the forecast for 2017.

“Last summer’s very low mortgage rates sparked demand, and with for-sale inventories low, the result has been a pickup in home-price growth,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “With mortgage rates higher today and expected to rise even further in 2017, our national Home Price Index is expected to slow to 4.7 per cent year over year by November 2017.”

Home prices in 27 states are now at pre-crisis levels, CoreLogic says.
Mortgage insurer UGC sold by AIG
Leading private mortgage insurer United Guaranty (UGC) has been sold to Bermuda-based Arch Capital Group Ltd by AIG.

The North Carolina insurer had $186.4 billion of first-lien primary mortgage insurance in force as of September 30, 2016 and the sale was announced by AIG in August as part of its plan to become a leaner insurance business.

“We believe UGC and the outstanding professionals who work there have gained a strong partner in Arch to continue to grow and facilitate home ownership for consumers and provide valuable and necessary protection to mortgage lenders,” commented AIG’s president and CEO Peter D. Hancock.


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