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Blog Entries By Sam Khater

What are the Most Active New Sales Markets?

Hint: Think Country Music

Sam Khater    |    Housing Trends

New home sales have totaled 441,000 over the last 12 months ending in January, up 3 percent from a year ago1. While still below the 660,000 annual average of the last 50 years, the national and regional data available from the Census Bureau mask local pockets of strength. In this post, we use public record deeds as the source of new home sales to examine patterns in the 50 metropolitan areas with the highest number of new sales. We evaluate markets by ranking them on two...

February 2015 Economic Outlook

Sam Khater    |    Economic Trends

  • Employers have added over 1 million people to their payrolls in the last 3 months; the largest increase in 18 years
  • Oil price drop has done more to increase consumer confidence than five years of economic growth
  • Soaring consumer confidence bodes well for new home sales and residential construction
  • Key oil market home price overvaluation much smaller than 1980s or 2000s and negative impact of oil price drop will be more...

Ability-to-Leverage Drives Foreclosure Risk

Despite A Static Homeownership Rate Last Five Decades, Default Risk Exponentially Higher

Sam Khater    |    Economic Trends, Housing Trends

Leverage is known to play an important role in loan default, but while theoretical research on leverage exists; to our knowledge there has been virtually no long-term data driven empirical analysis on the impact of leverage on residential foreclosure. We assembled data from various sources to fill that void and examine the role leverage plays in mortgage foreclosures over the last five decades1. This is an especially timely topic given that policy makers have recently attempted...

The 2015 Housing Outlook

Economic Fundamentals Finally Back in the Driver’s Seat

Sam Khater    |    Housing Trends

  • The U.S. economy is picking up steam, as strong employment growth is exhibited within the first-time homebuyer age group.
  • Home sales will increase by 9 percent in 2015, housing starts are expected to grow 14 percent and home price growth is expected to moderate.
  • Markets with the highest home price appreciation reflect fundamental strengths of their economies, particularly technology and energy. However, the drop in oil prices may alter the...

A Ripple, Not a Wave

Predicting the Impact from Future HELOC Loan Resets

Sam Khater    |    Housing Trends

The surge in mortgage debt during the mid-2000s was partly fueled by an increase in home equity lines of credit (HELOC) loans as borrowers took advantage of the rapid run-up in home prices to extract equity. Borrowers tapped home equity to supplement their incomes to provide an additional source of liquidity. Part of the reason for the soaring popularity of HELOCs was that unlike the first-lien mortgage market, which is composed primarily of fully amortizing loans, HELOC loans were...

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