US Household Debt at Highest Levels Since 2008

BY  ON FEBRUARY 21, 2017

The NY Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data is reporting that total household debt increased by 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016, rising $226 billion to reach $12.58 trillion, only $99 billion short of its peak in Q3 of 2008.  The CMD’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit provides unique data and insight into the credit conditions and activity of U.S. consumers. Based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data, the report provides a quarterly snapshot of household trends in borrowing and indebtedness, including data about mortgages, student loans, credit cards, auto loans and delinquencies.

Some takeaways:

  • Aggregate household debt balances grew in the fourth quarter of 2016. As of December 31, 2016, total household indebtedness was $12.58 trillion, a $226 billion (1.8%) increase from the third quarter of 2016. Overall household debt is now 0.8% below its 2008 Q3 peak of $12.68 trillion, and is 12.8% above the 2013 Q2 trough.
  • Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) were roughly flat, rising $1 billion to $473 billion.
  • Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, which stood at $8.48 trillion as of December 31, saw a $130 billion uptick from Q3  2016.
  • Non-housing debt balances rose in the fourth quarter; with increases of $22 billion in auto loans, 32 billion in credit cards, and 31 billion in student loans.

Click here to read the full report.

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Report Predicts Unprecedented Demand for SFR’s in 2017

BY  ON FEBRUARY 15, 2017

Real estate investment management firm HomeUnion recently released their 2017 National Single-Family Rental Research (SFR) Report which says that 2017 will be a good year with an “unprecedented demand” for single-family rentals.  Their comprehensive study ranks 31 metro areas based on market conditions, rental demand, prices, and other criteria.  Most interesting, they’ve identified metros by an Opportunity Ranking that provides a strong balance of supply& demand fundamentals while offering favorable entry prices and limited threats.

“The outlook remains positive for 2017…supply and demand for rental properties nationwide will result in another solid year for investors. The economic recovery will continue to generate hundreds of thousands of new households this year, creating an unprecedented demand for single-family rentals, especially as single-family construction levels remain tempered compared to boom periods.” Said Steve Hovland, director of research for HomeUnion and the lead author of the 2017 NSFR.

Click here to read the full report on

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Home Ownership Among Millennials


In some cities across the country, Millennials are actually buying instead of renting homes.  Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, recently ranked 200 of America’s largest cities according to their under-35 homeownership rate (among other variables) and it changed between 2006 and 2015.  Putting all this into some perspective, consider that homeownership rates for millennials dropped from 40% in 2006 to 32% in 2015.


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Buying More Affordable than Renting in 66% of Housing Markets

This month ATTOM Data Solutions, “curator of the nation’s largest fused property database,” released their 2017 Rental Affordability Report which says that buying a home is more affordable than renting in 66% of U.S. housing markets.  The report used data from HUD, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and RealtyTrac on 540 counties with at least 900 homes in 2016.

“While buying continues to be more affordable than renting in the majority of U.S. markets, that equation could change quickly if mortgage rates keep rising in 2017,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions, the new parent company of RealtyTrac.

Boy or Rent in 2017?

Click here to read ATTOM Data Solutions’ 2017 Rental Affordability Report.

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Hottest Housing Markets for 2017

Early this month, Zillow recently released their list of what they believe will be the ten hottest real estate markets of 2017.  Topping that list is Nashville, Tennessee, which Zillow predicts will see homes appreciating by 4.3% (Nationally, Zillow expects home values to appreciate 3% over 2017).  For their analysis, Zillow looked at cities with quickly rising home values, low unemployment rates and strong income growth.

Zillow’s top 10 hottest housing markets for 2017 are:

  1. Nashville, Tenn.
  2. Seattle
  3. Provo, Utah
  4. Orlando, Fla.
  5. Salt Lake City, Utah
  6. Portland, Ore.
  7. Knoxville, Tenn.
  8. Ogden, Utah
  9. Denver
  10. Sacramento, Calif.

“The growth and demand for housing will drive up home prices in 2017, and these hot markets are experiencing change as more people discover them.” Said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell.

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7 Essential First-Time Home Buying Facts

BY  ON JANUARY 6, 2017

Who are first-time homebuyers, exactly, and what are they composed of?  Using data from the NAR’s annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers the folks over at MGIC put together some interesting facts & insights about first-time homebuyers.  Interestingly, 74% rented before buying and 67% said their primary reason for buying a home was out of a “desire to own our own home.” 

7 Essntial first-time homebuyer facts

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Women Homebuying Facts


What is the purchasing power of women when it comes to buying a home?  Mortgage insurer MGIC recently pulled together the following data to illustrate the purchasing power of women when it comes to homebuying.  After all, the 2nd largest group of homebuyers, after married couples, are single women.  Happy Friday!

women homebuying

Click here to read the full story on MGIC.

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Five Real Estate Trends That Will Shape 2017?

BY  ON NOVEMBER 30, 2016

calendar clock with 2017The folks over at recently came up with a list of five trends that they believe will shape the world of real estate in 2017.  As in years past, their economic team analyzed economic indicators and market data to come up with their predictions for the coming year.  Be sure to read the full article to get the gist of their predictions.  Remember….everyone has a crystal ball.

“With more than 95% of first-time home buyers dependent on financing their home purchase, and a majority of first-time buyers reporting one or more financial challenges, the uptick we’ve already seen may price some first-timers out of the market,” says Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke, who worked on the 2017 housing forecast.

The five trends are:

1. Millennials and boomers will move markets

2. Millennials will look to the Midwest

3. Price appreciation will slow down

4. Fewer homes, fast-moving markets

5. The West will lead the way

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New Peak Marks Shift In Housing Market

This week S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller released their National Home Price Index which showed that home prices rose 5.5% in September, year over year (up 0.4% from August).  Their 10-City Composite posted a 4.3% annual increase and their 20-City Composite reported a year-over-year gain of 5.1%.  Seattle, Portland, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities over each of the last eight months. 12 cities reported greater price increases in the year ending September 2016 versus the year ending August 2016.

“The new peak set by the S&P Case-Shiller CoreLogic National Index will be seen as marking a shift from the housing recovery to the hoped-for start of a new advance” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.


Click here to read the full report.

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55+ Housing Market Shows Signs of Strength


The National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing recently reported that the 55+ housing market strengthened in 3Q 2016, according to their Housing Market Index.  The third quarter results show single-family 55+ housing at 59 points, up 2 points from the previous quarter.  This marks the 10th consecutive quarter that the number has remained above 50 on the single-family HMI.  The NAHB produces two separate 55+ HMI’s, one for the single-family market, and another tracking the condominium market. The condo HMI was up 1 point at 48.

Click here to read the full report at the NAHB’s Eye on Housing.

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