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    America’s luxury home market is facing an inventory shortage but it’s not as deep or severe as the one in the wider housing market. Redfin says that inventory of homes priced $1 million or more was down 20.4% in the first quarter of 2018 compared to a year earlier, pushing prices in the luxury sector up 7.9% to an average $1.8 million. There’s a similar percentage drop in supply of homes priced at $5 million and above (19.2% down year-over-year). The firm’s latest report says that the drop in inventory for the luxury market is relatively new having started in 2015.

    And while the decline in available homes is less pronounced for the high-end market, it is leading to escalating competition among buyers. Homes sold in an average 82 days in Q1 2018, down 9 days from a year earlier; and 1.5% of homes sold for above asking, up from 1.3% a year earlier. “For the first time since changes to the tax code went into effect, luxury buyers could no longer deduct more than $10,000 in state and local property taxes or interest for loans over $750,000,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “In a world of balanced supply and demand these changes would have dampened price growth. Instead, this quarter saw the strongest luxury price appreciation in four years, demonstrating that the current inventory crunch is extremely broad-based and affects buyers at every price range.” Source: Mortgage Professional America

    The housing stock is aging in the U.S., and now nearly 65% of homes are more than 25 years old, according to a new report from Land Gorilla. Many of these older homes are in need of updates, renovations or repairs, according to the report. Combined with the recent slew of natural disasters in 2017, which displaced thousands, this has left conditions ripe for lenders who focus on construction to permanent and renovation loans. And according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies, these trends are expected to continue over the next decade.

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    Baby Boomers are expected to continue driving gains in new construction and renovations over the next decade. And while Baby Boomers are leading the charge, Gen Xers are also beginning to enter their prime remodeling years. “The complexities of residential construction lending present quite a challenge for many lenders as they lack expertise to launch competitive solutions, while others face challenges with internal constituents left with a bad taste in their mouth from the housing crisis,” Land Gorilla stated.

    However, third party vendors and technologies have emerged to help lenders avoid many of the most common pitfalls including deficient budgets, under or over disbursements, project funding delays and builder performance. What’s more, construction loans are expected to see a boost in 2018 as new home sales are expected to be the primary driver of the housing market this year. Source: HousingWire

    The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that residential delinquencies continued their downward trend to pre-housing crisis lows in the first quarter, although the foreclosure rate rose slightly. The MBA 1st Quarter National Delinquency Report indicated that the delinquency rate for residential loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties fell to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.63 percent of all loans outstanding at the end of the first quarter, down by 54 basis points from the fourth quarter and eight basis points lower than a year ago.

    MBA reported the percentage of loans on which foreclosure actions started during the first quarter rose slightly to 0.28 percent, up three basis points from the fourth quarter but down two basis points from one year ago. MBA Vice President of Industry Analysis Marina Walsh said delinquencies decreased from the previous quarter across all loan types–conventional, VA and in particular, FHA–as the effects of last year’s hurricanes dissipated.

    The percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at the end of the first quarter fell to 1.16 percent, down 3 basis points from the fourth quarter and 23 basis points lower than a year ago. This was the lowest foreclosure inventory rate since third quarter 2006. Walsh said in addition to the strong economy and increasing home equity levels, extended storm-related foreclosure moratoria continue to play a factor in keeping foreclosure inventory at historic lows.

     

    Source: Mortgage Bankers Association

    Bill Lyons

    Bill Lyons is the Founder, CEO & President of Griffin Funding. Founded in 2013, Griffin Funding is a national boutique mortgage lender focusing on delivering 5-star service to its clients. Mr. Lyons has 22 years of experience in the mortgage business. Lyons is seen as an industry leader and expert in real estate finance. Lyons has been featured in Forbes, Inc., Wall Street Journal, HousingWire, and more. As a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association, Lyons is able to keep up with important changes in the industry to deliver the most value to Griffin's clients. Under Lyons' leadership, Griffin Funding has made the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies list five times in its 10 years in business.