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Adjusting To The Reality Of Business Today

A report from the Union Leader in New Hampshire. “The state’s red-hot housing market may be cooling a bit, according to the head of the New Hampshire Housing Authority. ‘The current market, I think, is showing a little bit of slowing in sales activity, but I think that’s related in part to inventory,’ said Executive Director Dean Christon.”

“Rick Herrick, a loan officer at PrimeLending in Bedford and past president of the Mortgage Bankers and Brokers Association of New Hampshire, called it ‘a slowdown.’ Properties that would attract five to 10 offers last year now are receiving two or three, he said. ‘It’s gone from a ‘completely sellers market into what I call a healthy real estate market,’ Herrick said”

“Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia, said home sales nationally are ‘starting to flatten or go down nationally.’ Young said a survey of millennials indicated 86 percent said they planned to buy a home in the next two homes, but that generation also is juggling student loans. ‘They are really saddled with a lot of debt,’ she said.”

The Buffalo News in New York. “Financial services have been the backbone of the Buffalo Niagara economy for the past four years – at least when it comes to banking and insurance. But that growth was the slowest in three years, partly because of a puzzling decline in activity in the local real estate market. The federal data showed that local real estate, which includes housing and commercial space, dropped by 6.4 percent last year – even though local housing prices are rising at their fastest pace in more than a decade and hitting record highs.”

“Gary Keith, the regional economist at M&T Bank in Buffalo, expects the real estate figure to be revised upward when updated data is released next year, but until then he’s perplexed by the reported decline. ‘I’m beating my head about it,’ he said.”

“The construction data is even more puzzling. The federal data says that construction activity fell to its lowest level since at least 2001. That’s even lower than during the Great Recession and 20 percent less than the region’s construction activity during 2002. Keith finds it hard to believe that building activity here is at its lowest level in at least 16 years.”

“‘It just doesn’t feel right,’ he said.”

From WRIC in Virginia. “Movement Mortgage, a mortgage company that employees thousands of people nationwide, some based in Virginia, announced on Thursday it will eliminate 180 positions. Created in 2008, Movement Mortgage provides people interested in buying a home an online platform to apply for a loan and connect with a loan officer at the company.”

“Movement Mortgage’s CEO Casey Crawford released a statement on the decision: ‘This was a very difficult decision because it affected teammates we love. We are incredibly grateful for their contributions. We believe we’re taking the necessary steps to continue to provide outstanding service for our customers, loan officers and communities long-term by adjusting to the reality of the mortgage business today.'”

“According to its website, the company has over 4,000 employees working in more than 650 locations across 47 states. The company also cited a drop in the volume of loans this year compared to previous years, The number of loans also failed to meet the expectations that were predicted, according to Movement Mortgage.”

“‘Mortgage origination forecasts for 2019 have recently been revised lower in light of higher interest rates, low housing inventory, rising prices and softening demand among other things,’ the release sent to 8News stated.”

The Charlotte Observer in North Carolina. “Movement Mortgage said Thursday it is laying off about 180 employees nationwide, including more than 70 in the Charlotte region, the latest instance of the lender trimming staff while citing slowing business. The decision was based on a nationwide downturn in the housing market, Movement said.”

“Besides Indian Land, employees affected by Thursday’s announcement work in Norfolk, Va.; Tempe, Ariz.; and Richmond, Va., Movement said. Affected positions involve multiple operations and support functions, the company said. It’s at least the third round of layoffs at the company this year.”

“In May, Movement said it was laying off 100 employees nationwide, including 18 in the Charlotte area. And in February, it quietly laid off employees at its headquarters and other offices across the U.S., a decision Movement said affected about 75 people in operations roles.”

This Post Has 34 Comments
  1. ‘Properties that would attract five to 10 offers last year now are receiving two or three, he said. ‘It’s gone from a ‘completely sellers market into what I call a healthy real estate market’

    Yeah, it’s not insane for there to be 10 offers on a shack in New Hampshire.

    1. Two or three offers is insane as well. We need to go back to the days where you price your house relatively fairly, and are lucky to get one offer 10% or more below asking price within a month or two, and you see if you can work out a compromise.

      I follow the Denver market daily. October numbers are going to be worse (better from our perspective) than September’s. I am tracking about 20 properties in my price range and my preferred neighborhoods. Only 2 have gone under contract in the last two weeks. These are all neighborhoods where all fairly priced homes had bidding wars until around July of this year. I am also seeing $25,000 cuts or more on homes between $600,000 and $900,000 fairly commonly. Sometimes multiple cuts. Nothing is moving unless they are undercutting the market. A realtor friend of mine has me set up to get texts as soon as their is a price drop on any home in Denver in that price range. I am getting at least 5 dings a day. It used to be every few days. It provides joy.

      1. …all fairly priced homes… $600,000 and $900,000…

        Reality is between 60% and 90% below that. If you’re salivating over a 3% discount you need to step away from the mania.

        1. I am not a buyer but a watcher at this point. We have seen prices go up over 10% per year since 2011. First ray of sunshine in 7 years. I take what I can get. I think we are 40% overvalued. When I see prices fall by 5% I am not excited to buy, but at the prospect that this will force speculators out of the market resulting in much bigger future drops within the year.

          1. “I think we are 40% overvalued.”

            Considering the long-term historic trend for used house pricing is right around 30 to $40 a square foot, we’re far more than 40% over value.

        2. Also 600-900k is not what I think the median home price should be. It’s around 500k now, and I think it shouldn’t be above 300k. That’s just my comfortable price range. Of course I expect quality and character in a great neighborhood, not the cr*p boxes currently offered.

          1. it shouldn’t be above 300k…

            Even if it’s decent, it didn’t cost $100K to build and the price of materials has dropped a lot.

            Denver isn’t so special.

    2. It won’t be a healthy real estate market until all the toxic waste mortgages and speculative excesses have been flushed out of the system and median home prices are back in synch with median incomes.

      The coming RE bloodbath should get us closer.

  2. ‘Mortgage origination forecasts for 2019 have recently been revised lower in light of higher interest rates, low housing inventory, rising prices and softening demand among other things’

    Again with the low inventory. Even when they are drowning they keep the booster-ism up.

  3. “Movement Mortgage, a mortgage company that employees thousands of people nationwide, some based in Virginia, announced on Thursday it will eliminate 180 positions.”

    Oh dear. Another leading indicator of a bursting housing bubble. I hope those employees have made alternative arrangements to pay their mortgages.

    1. I stated a few days ago I was hearing about layoffs in the mortgage business….this is only the beginning, the refinance market is finished

  4. “The construction data is even more puzzling. The federal data says that construction activity fell to its lowest level since at least 2001. That’s even lower than during the Great Recession and 20 percent less than the region’s construction activity during 2002. Keith finds it hard to believe that building activity here is at its lowest level in at least 16 years.”

    The impacts of lower construction are already in the economy yet we still seem to be growing at around 4%. Obama asked whether Trump had a magic wand. He has something just as good, sound economic non-globalist policies. We are not only creating jobs at a faster clip than the 109,000 average under Obama, they are good jobs in areas such as manufacturing instead of retail jobs. Now, some will make excuses and say Obama inherited an economy that was in a recession, true but that should have made it easier to have a great average since V shaped recoveries are the norm in the United States. The jobs lost under Bush should have come back quickly in a cyclical recovery. It is harder to create jobs when you have far fewer people available to work. The present unemployed are far more likely to lack skills or have issues such as substance abuse. Thus, the reason there are more jobs available than job seekers. However, it is not a reason to import more people since it is the globalist policies that help lead to the substance abuse problems and people not getting skills since they saw that corporations preferred to hire cheaper non-American labor.

  5. “Properties that would attract five to 10 offers last year now are receiving two or three, he said. ‘It’s gone from a ‘completely sellers market into what I call a healthy real estate market,’ Herrick said”

    Gosh, Ben. I fear that in such an environment, the FOMO sad sacks who, guided by Suzanne’s research, rushed to get up on that property ladder, might’ve way overpaid.

    That would be a tragedy of epic proportions.

  6. jdog, I saw your comment in the previous thread regarding in-season bookings being down 90% in the Sarasota area for a seasonal landlord. I realize it is just anecdotal, but if true for others as well, that’s grim. I would expect similar figures for the east coast of Florida as well, now that the red tide has affected the lower half of the east coast, up to Melbourne.

      1. Well average winter temperatures in the 70s doesn’t hurt demand here.

        I walked the entire length of Siesta Key beach yesterday and no discernible red tide. Have heard about beach closings on the east coast so it may the currents, gulf stream or winds pushing it your way. No dead fish or choking oder. Was pretty nice. However reputation damage had been done. The double edge of social media, Web etc. Guessing it will get back to normal but the beach crowd was extremely light even in lack of any red tide at moment. May impact sales as well. Times are a changin

        1. “Well average winter temperatures in the 70s doesn’t hurt demand here.”

          +1 When someone from Boston visits Florida during the winter for the first time it is like a dream come true. Those 70’s temps revives the “time-share” scams, year after year.

  7. the New Hampshire Housing Authority

    how many “housing” agencies an apparatchiks are taxpayers supporting

  8. After months of worrying, my buddy who works in mortgage processing in Hawaii finally got his layoff notice from the company indicating they are closing all branches in the state.

    This comes just two years after they flew everyone from HI to Las Vegas to a lavish weekend and party at the Wynn.

    Last day is today. Ooof.

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