Stacie Hartman

The Mortgage Blog of Stacie Hartman

First-Time Buyers Half Of All Home Sales

From July 2009 to June 2010, first-time buyers accounted for 50 percent of all home sales, up from 47 percent in 2009. The 2010 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows a record number of entry-level buyers, largely due to the success of the home buyer tax credit. The survey also found that the typical seller who purchased a home eight years ago experienced a median equity gain of $33,000, a 24 percent increase. Sellers who were in their homes for 11-to-15 years saw a median gain of 40 percent. Vicki Cox Golder, NAR’s president, said despite turmoil in the housing market, most long-term owners saw an increase in the value of their property. 85 percent of buyers said buying a home is a good investment. More here.


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Pending Home Sales Slip In September

The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index dipped 1.8 percent based on signed contracts in September. The drop follows two month of gains and puts the index 24.9 percent below last year’s levels, when first-time buyers were rushing to take advantage of the tax credit before its initial deadline last November. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the foreclosure moratorium is likely to cause some disruption in sales numbers but he believes there will be a surge of pent-up demand once the banks resolve their issues. More here and here.

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Jobs and The Housing Recovery

Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors’ chief economist, says job creation numbers are headed in the right direction and that, along with low mortgage rates, will be the key to bringing buyers back to the housing market.

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Survey Says Housing Market On The Mend

After a slow summer for home sales, the housing market is attempting to return to traditional seasonal trends, according to RE/MAX’s National Housing Report for September. The spring rush to qualify for the homebuyer tax credit caused a summer sales slump but, despite the lull in activity, the month of September saw an increase in signed contracts, stabilizing prices, and a drop in inventory. Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, said slow summer sales were anticipated and increases in signed contracts should translate into sales gains in the months ahead. Also in the report, home prices were up 0.9 percent from 2009 and 33 of the 54 metro areas surveyed showed year-over-year price increases. Inventory of homes on the market fell 2.8 percent in September. More here.

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Builder Confidence Up For 1st Time In 5 Months

Builder confidence rose for the first time in five months, a sign that builders are starting to see interest from potential buyers. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for October shows builder confidence rose three points to 16. The index gauges builders’ perception of the market for newly built, single-family homes. A number below 50 indicates negative sentiment about market conditions. David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist, said the new-homes market is finally moving past the lull that occurred after the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. More here and here.

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The Tax Credit and Price Stabilization

Jim Gillespie, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, says without the homebuyer tax credit home prices would not have stabilized and there would’ve been far more foreclosures this year.

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Purchase Demand Up, Rates Down

According to The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, purchase demand reached its highest level since the expiration of the tax credit last week. The Purchase Index gained 9.3 percent due to a 17.2 percent increase in FHA applications and a 3.6 percent jump in conventional purchase applications. Jay Brinkmann, MBA’s chief economist, said the spike in FHA applications may have been driven by borrowers hoping to get applications in before new FHA requirements took effect October 4th. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.25 percent from 4.38 percent a week earlier. More here and here.

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Housing Market Outlook Begins To Brighten

Recent economic forecasts from industry insiders and expert analysts call for modest improvements in the housing market and overall economy in the next year and beyond. Respondents to the September 2010 MacroMarkets Home Price Expectations Survey expect home prices to fall by just 0.8 percent in 2010 and to gain 0.8 percent next year. It was the first time since the survey began in May that didn’t show increasing pessimism among the responding analysts. In a survey of bank executives done for Bank Director magazine, 60 percent said the economy will remain the same over the next six months and 49 percent of bank CEOs and CFOs said they don’t believe there will be a double-dip recession. Casey B. Mulligan, an economics professor at the University of Chicago, argues that the homebuyer tax credit wasn’t propping up prices as much as reported. Mulligan believes the market will proceed at the same pace as it did when the credit was in place and expects little, if any, reduction in home prices.

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Residential Construction Rises To 4-Month High

Housing starts rose 10.5 percent in August, reaching their highest level since April. The unexpected jump is a sign that the housing market is beginning to stabilize after the summer slump that followed the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. According to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, building permits and housing completions were also up in August. Stuart Miller, Lennar’s chief executive, said there’s been an increase in activity after a tough summer for the housing industry. More here, here, and here.

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Inventory Up For Eighth Straight Month

The number of homes for sale rose for the eighth straight month in August. According to real-estate brokerage firm, ZipRealty, inventory was up 0.4 percent from July and 10.6 percent above the year before in the 26 major metropolitan markets tracked. And though inventory typically rises in August, the modest increase remains troubling considering, at the current sales pace, it would take 12.5 months to clear the backlog of unsold homes, which are at their highest level since November 2008 according to data from research firm, Zelman & Associates. Patrick Lashinsky, president and CEO of ZipRealty, feels housing inventory will continue to rise through the remainder of the year. More here, here and here.

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About Me:

Stacie Hartman is a wholesale mortgage Account Executive working with loan officers in Oregon and SW Washington. She has 18 years in the mortgage industry, an extensive knowledge of financing options, and a commitment to open communication and client service that make her stand out in her field. Her goals begin with uncompromising service and end with excellent results and repeat business.


Stacie Hartman
360 Mortgage Group
Account Executive
Oregon and SW Washington
Phone: 503.757.9565

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