Category: Residential

Nearly 1.5 Million Vacant U.S. Homes in Q3 2018 Represent 1.52 Percent of All Single Family Homes and Condos

IRVINE, Calif. – Oct. 30, 2018 — ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database, today released its 2018 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report, which shows that nearly 1.5 million (1,447,906) U.S. single family homes and condos were vacant at the end of Q3 2018, representing 1.52 percent of all homes nationwide — down from 1.58 percent in 2017.

The report also found that there were 10,291 vacant “zombie” foreclosures homes nationwide at the end of Q3 2018, representing 3.38 percent of all homes actively in the foreclosure process. The number of zombie foreclosure homes was down from 14,312 a year ago, and the zombie foreclosure rate was down from 4.18 percent a year ago.

“The number of vacant foreclosures is now less than one-fourth of the more than 44,000 in 2013 when we first began tracking these zombie homes,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Policy solutions such as land banks designed to mitigate the ripple effects of vacant properties on neighborhoods and cities have had a substantial impact, and a booming housing market in many areas of the country is lifting all boats. There are still high concentrations of zombie homes and other vacant homes in some local markets and submarkets, but those high concentrations are becoming fewer and farther between.”

Markets with highest vacant home rates

States with the highest share of vacant homes were Tennessee (2.65 percent), Kansas (2.50 percent), Oklahoma (2.49 percent), Mississippi (2.47 percent), and Indiana (2.45 percent).

Among 153 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report, those with the highest share of vacant homes were Flint, Michigan (6.99 percent); Youngstown, Ohio (3.80 percent); Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (3.71 percent); Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (3.70 percent); and Mobile, Alabama (3.69 percent).

Among 405 U.S. counties analyzed in the report, those with the highest share of vacant homes were Baltimore City, Maryland (7.83 percent); Genesee County (Flint), Michigan (6.99 percent); Saint Louis City, Missouri (5.93 percent); Bibb County (Macon), Georgia (5.73 percent); and Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan (5.60 percent).

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Single Family Rental Platform Puts Pedal to the Metal with Marketing Lists

Online single family rental marketplace OwnAmerica identifies and engages SFR operators with the help of targeted marketing lists generated by ATTOM Data Solutions from its nationwide database of more than 155 million U.S. properties.

The Power of Property Marketing Lists

The property-level marketing lists include not just ownership information for non-owner occupied properties, but also property characteristics and home value data, allowing OwnAmerica to also provide portfolio valuation services to the rapidly growing SFR market.

“OwnAmerica is operating on the assumption that the market is very strong and will continue to be,” said Greg Rand, CEO. Rand even posted a challenge on LinkedIn offering to place a $10,000 bet that there will not be a recession in 2020. “Predictions of a coming recession might be wishful thinking from some people. I will leave you to speculate on why anyone would root for a recession.”

Rand argued that the investor niche his company operates in — single family rentals (SFR) — will benefit even if home prices do take a hit.

“Remember that SFR is different than housing overall. When the market is strong, investors and consumers are confident and prices rise. Investors win on appreciation,” he explained. “When the market is weak, homeownership declines and renter demand increases. Investors win on yield. SFR is a two-sided coin because every house has two uses: owner-occupied or tenant-occupied/investor owned. No other commercial asset class gives owners two demand drivers and two exit strategies.

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Pretium Is Said to Explore Up to $5 Billion of Rental-Home Sales

(Bloomberg)—Pretium Partners LLC, the third-largest owner of U.S. single-family rentals, is working with Morgan Stanley and Ardea Partners to explore options that could include a sale of most of the company’s homes, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Pretium, founded by former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner Donald Mullen, is considering ways to provide liquidity to early investors, said some of the people, who asked not be identified because the discussions are private. Pretium could sell as many as 20,000 homes valued at as much as $5 billion, and is open to transactions in which it either does or doesn’t maintain management rights, one of the people said.

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U.S. Foreclosure Activity Increases 9 Percent in August 2018 From Previous Month, Still Down 7 Percent From Year Ago

Bank Repossessions Up 14 Percent From Previous Month, Down  1 Percent From Year Ago
Foreclosure Starts Up 9 Percent From Previous Month, Down 6 Percent From Year Ago

There were 70,166 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in August 2018, up 9 percent from July but still down 7 percent from a year ago, according to the latest ATTOM Data Solutions Foreclosure Activity Report. Nationally one in every 1,910 U.S. properties had a foreclosure filing in August 2018, according to the report.

States with the highest foreclosure rates in August were New Jersey (one in every 690 housing units); Maryland (one in every 918 housing units); Nevada (one in every 984 housing units); Delaware (one in every 1,012 housing units); and Florida (one in every 1,229 housing units).

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Fannie-Freddie Overseer Scraps Program for Rental-Home Investors

(Bloomberg)—The U.S. regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is shutting down a controversial program that subsidizes loans for firms investing in single-family rental homes, saying the market can function well without the support.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency said Tuesday that the two mortgage giants will dial back their participation after a two-year “test and learn” pilot program designed to gather information on the market and best practices. The agency said in a statement that it also sought industry feedback on market challenges and opportunities, and conducted its own impact analysis during the pilot period.

“What we learned as a result of the pilots is that the larger single-family rental investor market continues to perform successfully without the liquidity provided by the enterprises,” FHFA Director Mel Watt said in a statement.

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Starter-Home Affordability Hits a Decade Low

(Bloomberg)—Here’s why the U.S. housing market is cooling: Prices are just too high.

Starter homes are now more costly to purchase than at any time since 2008, when the last boom came to a crashing halt. In the second quarter, first-time buyers needed almost 23 percent of their income to afford a typical entry-level home, up from 21 percent a year earlier, according to an analysis by the National Association of Realtors.

The property market, after years of price gains that outpaced income growth, is showing signs of slowing as sales decline. The affordability crunch is especially severe at the low end of the market and in hot areas where supplies are tightest and values have risen most. A jump in mortgage rates this year only made it worse.

“When prices go up at the entry level, that’s where the affordability issue is most acute,” Charles Dougherty, a Wells Fargo & Co. economist, said in a phone interview. “People are hesitant to stretch the amount they’re willing to pay.”

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Three Ways to Invest in Single-Family Rentals Without Cutting Corners

If you are a landlord or aspired investor, you know the market is strong. According to U.S. Census data, the rental market has increased by 37 percent since 2006 and continues to grow. Renting is steadily outpacing ownership; more than 30 percent of Americans rent and the market shows no signs of slowing down as millennials become the highest drivers of demand for single-family rental homes (SFRs).

With increasing demand, investors have also given the SFR market more attention. Competition is intense, especially as Wall Street’s presence becomes more pronounced. The independent investor must create efficiencies and drive steady earnings to keep an edge. With a focus on strategy, diligence and standardization, local independent investors can compete. Here are three tips on how.

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Foreclosure Starts Increase in 44 Percent of U.S. Markets in July 2018

IRVINE, Calif. – Aug. 21, 2018 — ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database, today released its July 2018 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows that foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 96 of the 219 metropolitan statistical areas (44 percent) analyzed in the report.

A total of 30,187 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in July, up 1 percent from the previous month and up less than 1 percent from a year ago — the first year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts nationwide following 36 consecutive months of year-over-year decreases.

Twenty-one states posted a year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts in July, including Florida (up 35 percent); California (up 3 percent); Texas (up 7 percent); Illinois (up 7 percent); and Ohio (up 2 percent).

Metro areas posting year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in July included Los Angeles, California (up 20 percent); Houston, Texas (up 76 percent); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (up 10 percent); Miami, Florida (up 29 percent); and San Francisco, California (up 10 percent).

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Roofstock Disrupting Single Family Rentals

This is the second in a series of articles chronicling notable real estate disrupters fueled by property and neighborhood data from ATTOM Data Solutions

Top real estate disrupter Roofstock was formed when hedge-fund thinking collided with the often-inefficient single family real estate market in the wake of the Great Recession.

In 2009 firms like Blackstone, Starwood Capital Group, Colony Financial and American Homes for Rent each began purchasing tens of thousands of single family homes to hold as rentals — lured by discounted foreclosure properties and plummeting homeownership rates that foreshadowed a strong rental market in the years ahead.

Inefficiencies in the real estate marketplace grated against the data-driven culture of many involved in this massive shift in residential real estate ownership, including Roofstock’s Beasley, who at the time was CEO of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust, a firm that at one point managed more than 15,000 U.S. single-family rental properties.

“(Roofstock) was really born out of frustration of trying to sell homes we had a Waypoint,” said Beasley, who co-founded the company along with Gregor Watson in mid-2015. “We found it was very difficult to sell homes with tenants in them because the traditional MLS was really set up to sell vacant homes … It seemed kind of crazy that you had to wait for the tenants to move out … it was costing 10 to 12 percent on average to sell these homes.”

Rapid adoption of the Roofstock platform over the past two years is proof that real estate disrupters were needed in the single-family rental (SFR) marketplace, according to Beasley, who said the platform went from $40 million in transactions in 2016 to nearly $1 billion 2017 — a 25-x increase. Roofstock charges sellers 2.5 percent and buyers pay 50 basis points on transactions to use the platforms big-data analytic tools.

Roofstock raised $35 million in Series C funding in 2017, according to an RE:Tech report, which listed that as one of the top 20 notable real estate startup fundraising deals for the year.

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U.S. Home Prices at Least Affordable Level Since Q3 2008

ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database, today released its Q2 2018 U.S. Home Affordability Report, which shows that the U.S. home prices in the second quarter were at the least affordable level since Q3 2008.

The report calculates an affordability index based on percentage of income needed to buy a median-priced home relative to historic averages, with an index above 100 indicating median home prices are more affordable than the historic average, and an index below 100 indicating median home prices are less affordable than the historic average. (See full methodology below.)

Nationwide, the Q2 2018 home affordability index of 95 was down from an index of 102 in the previous quarter and an index of 103 in Q2 2017 to the lowest level since Q3 2008, when the index was 86.

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