Home markets are overvalued in nearly half of the top metros
As of this past August, home prices in 46 percent of the top 50 U.S. metros, and 34
of the top 100 cities, were deemed overvalued, according to CoreLogic. Many of
these communities were the usual suspects located along the coasts — such as the
fast-growing Seattle area and numerous cities in California. Homes also were deemed
overpriced in pockets of the interior U.S., in places like Grand Junction, Colorado; and
Rising debt plagues flood-insurance program
The devastation wrought by hurricanes Irma and Harvey has presented a major
insurance challenge for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
At issue is the thorny problem of how to pay the claims rolling in from thousands
of storm victims. The storms, which slammed Southeast Texas and the Gulf Coast
region over a two-week period in late August and early September, were expected to spur about $17 billion in flood-insurance claims for the deeply indebted National Flood Insurance Program, according to FEMA, which administers the program.
Irma and Harvey damage is expected to result in $6 billion and $11 billion in flood
Fannie rolls out novel mobile-home financing program
Across most of the United States, the buyers of manufactured homes can’t get a conventional fixed-rate mortgage unless they are purchasing land along with the mobile
home. But in one small pocket of the country — New Hampshire — that has changed.
For the first time on any scale, Fannie Mae began purchasing loans this past fall from
residents of approved resident-owned communities (known as ROCs) in the Granite
State. ROCs, which were pioneered in New Hampshire in the early 1980s, are resident-controlled collectives, or cooperatives, that own the land for a mobile-home community, similar to a condo structure. Fannie officials said the program could become a model
for other states.
HELOC volume remains modest despite equity gains
U.S. homeowners have never had so much equity to tap, but that is not showing up
in significant increases in home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). HELOC origination
volumes have advanced only modestly over the past two years during a period of huge
equity gains. New HELOCs with a total available balance of $63.8 billion were extended to borrowers this past second quarter, down 1 percent from the second-quarter
2016 level of $64.5 billion, according to Attom Data Solutions.
Home starts fall in the wake of major storms
Overall U.S. home starts fell this past September, which was the first month that data
was available following the string of major storms in the South and Gulf regions.
Housing starts for the month notched an annual pace of 1.13 million, down 4. 7 percent
from the August estimate, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. Housing starts as of this
past September were still running 6.1 percent above the annualized pace posted a
year earlier, however, Census data show. n
By Victor Whitman
The annualized pace of existing-home sales
this past September, down 1.5 percent
year over year
Source: National Association of Realtors
The annualized pace of new-home sales
this past August, down 3. 4 percent from
the July level
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
The estimated number of home-flip sales
nationwide this past second quarter
Source: Attom Data Solutions