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> Economic/Housin g Data Strong

Issue 17 / April 2013

First-Time Homebuyer Activity Increasing

Home sales to first-time homebuyers are trending upward heading into the buying season, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. First-time homebuyers accounted for 34.5% of home purchases in February vs. 32.9% in December, based on the three-month moving average. First-time homebuyer traffic is also strong and increasing, with the First-Time Homebuyer Traffic Diffusion Index (which tracks home shopping traffic by measuring agent sentiment) hitting a new survey high in February. First-time buyers tend to focus on short sales and move-in ready REO properties. According to industry analysts, they are more sensitive to interest-rate trends than other homebuyers, and the recent increase in interest rates appears to have prompted more activity from this segment.

New Homes Pricing Higher Than Similar Existing Homes

New homes are priced significantly higher than existing homes of similar size, condition and location, according to agents responding to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. The qualitative survey results show that a shortage of inventory of existing homes in good condition is a major factor in pushing new home prices higher. Real estate agents report that new homes have sold for 50% more than comparable resale homes in some areas, though a more common premium appears to be about 15% higher. Agents report a wide divergence of pricing between new homes and existing homes, even in the same subdivision, but those in the industry note that high appraisals for new homes may not last as subdivisions are completed.

My New Home Workshops Educate Homebuyers

An informed homebuyer can make the best client. To help homebuyers become better prepared, Chase offers My New HomeSM workshops in select branches to provide expert guidance, real-life examples and in-depth explanations. These workshops provide everything your clients need to know, from how much they can afford to understanding how a real estate agent can help them through the homebuying process. To find out if workshops are offered in your area and how we can potentially partner together, contact me by using the information below.

Economic and Housing Data is Strong

According to J.P. Morgan Fixed Income research, the February jobs report beat expectations, partly due to a surge in construction employment. This suggests not only that hiring remains steady in spite of new fiscal pressures on consumers, but also that the housing recovery is beginning to make its impact on the labor market. Construction employment rose by 48,000 in February, and has grown by a total of 151,000 since September. The positive trends in housing should continue to translate to strong job growth in construction and other industries.

NELSON DASILVA Mortgage Banker 2169 SUMMER Street STAMFORD, CT 06905


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