Posts Tagged ‘first-time buyers’

U.S. Existing Homes Sales Rise in December, MH Industry Response

January 25th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Housely.

Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that home sales continued their growth in December, as more buyers reached the market before the end of the year. The delayed closings resulting from the rollout of the “Know Before You Owe” initiative pushed a portion of November’s would-be transactions into the December figures.

Sales of existing homes rose 14.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in December from 4.76 million in November. After last month’s turnaround, which was the largest monthly increase ever recorded, sales are now up 7.7 percent above a year ago. The Daily Business News covered the record increase in a story linked here.

The increase caps off the best year of existing home saies since 2006.

While the carryover of November’s delayed transactions into December contributed greatly to the sharp increase, the overall pace taken together indicates sales these last two months maintained the healthy level of activity seen in most of 2015,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

Additionally, the prospect of higher mortgage rates in coming months and warm November and December weather allowed more homes to close before the end of the year.


Lawrence Yun. Credit: The Business Journals.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in December was $224,100, an increase of 7.6 percent from December 2014. The price increase marks the 46th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory dropped 12.3 percent to 1.79 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 3.8 percent lower than a year ago.

Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 5.1 months in November and the lowest since January 2005.

Although some growth is expected, the housing market will struggle in 2017 to replicate last year’s 7 percent increase in sales,” said Yun.

In addition to insufficient supply levels, the overall pace of sales this year will be constricted by tepid economic expansion, rising mortgage rates and decreasing demand for buying in oil-producing metro areas.

The percentage of first-time buyers was at 32 percent, matching an August high, up from 30 percent in November and 29 percent a year ago. First-time buyers in all of 2015 represented an average of 30 percent, up from 29 percent in both 2014 and 2013.

First-time buyers were for the most part held back once again in 2015 by rising rents and home prices, competition from vacation and investment buyers and supply shortages,” said Yun.

While these headwinds show little signs of abating, the cumulative effect of strong job growth in recent years and young renters’ overwhelming interest to own a home should lead to a modest uptick in first-time buyer activity in 2016.


Credit: MHLivingNews.

A recent MHLivingNews article covered a National Association of Realtors study, showing the millennial generation’s desire for quality affordable housing. That article is linked here.


A view from the MH Industry 

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) tells MHProNews that the industry is poised to experience its seventh consecutive year of growth.

While the final shipment numbers for 2016 are not yet available, MHI estimates place them close to the 80,000 mark, up from somewhere between 78,500 and 80,500.

If estimates are accurate, 2016 would be a double-digit growth year between 10-14 percent ahead of 2015.

MHI is working on obtaining more formal statistics from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine the final impact of FEMA units.

Credit: MHI.

Conservative estimates for 2017 from MHI show that shipments will be in the 85,000-87,000 range, a 5 to 8 percent increase from 2016. If regulatory constraints are quickly lifted, then that number could rise.

There are many unknowns as the US economy moves forward under a Trump Administration,” MHI shared.

However, the new president’s ‘pro-business, less-regulation’ approach would seem to be in the favor of the manufactured housing industry.” ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

New Home Sales in 2015 Expected to Increase and Focus on First-Time Homebuyers

January 23rd, 2015 Comments off

lennar-home-houston-2Observing trends and results in the sale of stick-and brick-homes can frequently give some clues as to what to expect in the coming year for all home sales including factory-built homes. The Wall Street Journal shares with MHProNews some observations and predictions they have made from analysis of fourth-quarter results from some of the nation’s largest home-builders. There is much emphasis placed on entry-level or first-time homebuyers.

  1. New home sales will make big strides in 2015.

Lennar, based in Miami, posted a heady gain of 22% for sales contracts signed in its fourth quarter ended Nov. 30, over the same period a year earlier. In addition, KB Homes posted a 10% increase in sales contracts for its fourth quarter.

According to the WSJ article, “This, along with results from other builders, has led economists to hope that sales of new homes will make big strides in 2015. Some have made bullish predictions for home construction. Part of that is based on the assumption that entry-level buyers will make a comeback.”

  1. Home prices are not escalating at a rapid rate.

WSJ cites that “Lennar’s average price on finalized deals increased by 7.2% to $329,000 in its fourth quarter compared with a year earlier. That’s a marked slowdown from the previous year when its average closing price increased by 17.6%.”

The article predicts that “A slowdown in new-home prices is welcome news for buyers, and price appreciation will slow as builders shift to constructing a larger number of less-expensive homes to cater to the entry-level market.” It is noted that many entry-level buyers have been sidelined in recent years by sluggish job growth, high home prices, student debt and stringent mortgage-qualification standards. “Now job growth has picked up and credit conditions are starting to ease. Lennar said Thursday it anticipates building more entry-level communities this year,” according to WSJ.

  1. Incentives Lure First-Time Buyers

Another factor that may influence first-time buyers is that Lennar and other builders are rolling out more promotions such as free upgrades and financial assistance with closing costs to spur sales.  WSJ observes that “such enticements, called incentives, tend to dent builders’ profitability, but they’re a boon for home buyers.”

Lennar’s incentives in its latest quarter marked a rare increase from a year earlier, amounting to $23,100 per home, or 6.6% of the builder’s home sales revenue. A year earlier, they were $20,600 per home, or 6.3%. Other builders, namely D.R. Horton, Inc., and KB Homes, also recently reported boosting their use of incentives.

Nationally, builders have been more likely to increase their use of incentives since mid- 2013 than earlier in the recovery, according to a monthly survey of 150 home-builder sales representatives conducted by Wells Fargo Securities. That eased a bit in the fourth quarter.

  1. Home sales still booming in Houston, the strongest U.S. market.

Economists, builders and investors have kept a close watch in recent months on home sales in Houston specifically, and Texas in general, concerned that the steep decline in oil prices will sap the strongest U.S. housing market.

However, builders such as KB Homes and Taylor Morrison Home Corporation say they haven’t seen a falloff in Houston yet.  However, Lennar said Thursday it has seen a slight impact in Houston, and that factored into its projections indicate that its gross margin will recede a bit this year.

We haven’t seen a significant change in that market condition,” said Lennar president Rick Beckwitt. “We’ve seen a little, at the higher end, of a pullback. We’ve anticipated…that there will be further reconciliation in that marketplace.”  ##

(Photo Credit: Lennar Homes)

Article Submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News- MHProNews.


NAR releases 2013 Profile of Home Buyers, Sellers

November 20th, 2013 Comments off

Highlights-NAR-HBS-2013lawrence_yun,_nar_chief_economist=realtor-mag-realtor-org-The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released its 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Selelrs. Saint Louis Today tells MHProNews the American Dream of home ownership is alive and well. Sixty-six percent of buyers surveyed are married couples, the highest percentage since 2001. The percentage of single home buyers dropped to 25 percent, which is a drop of 7 percent in the last two years. “Single homebuyers have been suppressed the last three years by restrictive mortgage lending standards, which favor dual-income households that are more likely to have higher credit scores,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, about the survey results. “Affordability conditions remain favorable in much of the country, but consumers need access to safe and sound financing, particularly the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and with low down payment options for first-time buyers.”

You can download an abridged version of the NAR 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers here. ##

(Photo credit: RealtorMag)

Factory-built Housing Rises North

July 30th, 2013 Comments off

Sales of factory-built housing are increasing in Manitoba, Canada as first-time buyers and those reaching retirement seek affordable housing. The Modular Housing Association reports annual sales of modulars nearly doubled from 260 units in 2007 to 492 homes in 2012 for the entire province. Sales of manufactured housing through the southern Manitoba area Multiple Listing Service (MLS) reveal they are up four percent, including a jump of 93 percent in May alone. Two Winnipeg real estate developers who build modular communities say the city turns down offers to build modular communities even though there is a growing need for affordable housing. According to what winnipegfreepress tells MHProNews, a city spokesperson says the developers wanted to build a modular community in an industrial area.

(Image credit: arabianbusiness)

New Home Sales Stabilized in August

September 28th, 2012 Comments off

The National Association of Home Builders reports the pace of new home sales held steady in August at the seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 337,000 units, virtually unchanged from July, according to data from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe says, “This latest report indicates that new-home sales continue to run at a steady pace that’s well ahead of what we were seeing this time last year, and at this rate, the third quarter of 2012 is going to be well ahead of the second quarter.” He also notes homes in the higher price range, $400,000 and above, sold well in August, while first-time buyers continue to have a difficult time obtaining credit. Regionally, the sale of homes in the Northeast rose 20 percent, 1.8 percent in the Midwest, and 0.9 percent in the West. As MHProNews has learned, the South posted a decline of 4.9 percent in sales.

(Photo credit: Fotosearch)

Sale of Previously Occupied Homes Rise

May 23rd, 2012 Comments off

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says reports from across the country show existing home sales edged up 3.4 percent April over March, 2012 for every region of the country. While the increase is a positive sign, the seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 4.62 million home sales, just below January’s pace of 4.63 million, remains short of a healthy economy’s six million. TheOlympian tells first-time buyers accounted for 35 percent of sales, up three percent from March. Foreclosure sales numbered 37 percent of home sales in April 2011, down to 28 percent in April 2012, which helped boost the median sales price year-over-year 10.1 percent to $177,400. Existing homes account for 80 percent of all homes sold. Many would-be home buyers continue to be stymied by high down payments and tight credit, although some are reluctant to buy for fear the prices will fall more.

(Photo credit: NewsCourier/Rebecca Croomes)

Modulars Arrive for Habitat for Humanity

January 17th, 2012 Comments off

GreenValleyNews tells MHProNews 15 new modular homes courtesy of Habitat for Humanity have begun arriving in the greater Tuscon, Arizona, area, many still looking for owners. Applicants must be first-time buyers, and are chosen based on ability to pay, need, and willingness to invest 200 hours of sweat equity in their new home. The buyers must have a small deposit to put down on the three bedroom homes, and they receive an interest free 15-25 year loan. Their payments return to a revolving fund to build more homes. Habitat’s board of directors and staff supervise the Homeowner Selection Committee, comprised of community volunteers, one of whom lives with his two sons in a Habitat home. The homes are 50 percent completed by students at Sahuarita High School, just south of Tuscon, and then trucked to the site for installation. Buyers must complete home ownership and budget planning courses as part of the program.

(Photo credit: Ann Jones/Habitat for Humanity)

Modular Homes to Stabilize Neighborhood

November 2nd, 2011 Comments off

UticaObserverDispatch in New York reports the site of the former Lincoln School in West Utica will be home to seven modular homes for first time buyers with low-to-moderate incomes. The Monday groundbreaking for the $1.5 million project by Rebuild Mohawk Valley will result in a more stable neighborhood, increased property values for nearby residents, and add to the tax rolls, according to Taras Herbowy, executive director of the Utica Municipal Housing Authority. Home buyers will have to undergo pre-and post-purchase counseling for the single-family homes being built by Sterling Modular Homes of Depew, NY. Noting residents will benefit from having a better way of life, Herbowy says, “We’re demonstrating individuals do not necessarily need to rely upon subsidized housing forever.” The Utica City School District sold the property to the housing authority in 2009.

(Graphic credit: Sterling Modular Homes)