Category: News

Here’s the main reason Toyota is moving from California to Texas

Toyota Logo“The main driver of Toyota’s move from Torrance, California, was housing costs, according to Albert Niemi Jr., dean of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, who has inside knowledge about the move.”

My wife and I watch “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles” on a regular basis.  This is likely very true.

If you haven’t watched it, you should take a look.  It is very entertaining.   

See the entire article at the Dallas Business Journal.

DBJ: The fastest-growing ZIP codes in North Texas

Dallas is thpage_rac_conferencee third fastest-growing city in the United States, according to Forbes list of America’s 20 Fastest-Growing Cities 2015.

Residents are moving in but they are also moving to the north of the Metroplex. Collin County holds 36 percent of new citizens in the ranking ZIP codes, followed by Denton County with 28 percent of the ZIPs, 20 percent in Tarrant County, 12 percent in Dallas County and only 4 percent of the new denizens reside in Rockwall County.

Using data from geographic information systems provider Esri’s updated estimates, forecasted variables and U.S. Census data for all ZIP codes, I examined the North Texas areas zipping to the front of population growth in the region.

Take a look, to see the growth rates and projections for various ZIPS.

The way we live, city by city.

the way we live

This chart is based on data from the 2014 American Community Survey concerning the characteristics of occupied housing.

It offers a very interesting look at the preferred housing in the largest cities across the United States.

To see more cities and how your area compares, go to the article in the Washington Post.

Texas home sales and prices up about 7%


gallery_03REAL ESTATE CENTER:  Latest Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data show Texas home sales had a 7% year-over-year increase last month while the median price was up 7.4%.
According to August 2015 Texas MLS data, 29,685 homes were sold last month, almost 1,900 more than a year ago but about 1,500 fewer than in July.
The median price was $203,300 compared with $189,300 a year ago and $204,700 in July.

Study Finds: First-time Homebuyers are Not Riskier

First-Time Buyers are Younger, Less Sophisticated, Poorer – but Not Riskier

Mortgage News Daily, July 10, 2015

by:  Jann Swanson

A working paper just released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) attempts to determine the reasons why mortgages given to first-time homebuyers perform more poorly than those given to repeat buyers.  The Marginal Effect of First-Time Homebuyer Status on Mortgage Default and Prepayment was written by Saty Patrabansh of FHFA’s Office of Policy Analysis and Research.

Given that homeownership is generally considered a societal benefit and that many government policies focus on incentivizing first-time buyers the author says it is important to understand whether first-time buyers as a group are likely to default at higher rates than repeat buyers both in order to anticipate that an increase in the rate of first-time homeownership could lead to increased foreclosures and negatively affect communities and because, if they do not default at higher rates it is important they not be treated as more risky buyers.

Read entire article Here.

A Computer Can’t Look at a House and Tell if 35 Cats Lived in it

Valuation Review

Appraiser News, May 18, 2015

Experts from across the mortgage industry got together at the Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo held May 10-16 in Washington D.C. to discuss the state of the appraisal industry and technology’s role in the future of the profession.

The forum touched on a number of issues, including AVMs and smart technology, but clarification on Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter (CU) unsurprisingly was front and center, Realtor Magazine reported.

Fannie Mae’s risk assessment tool has generated a substantial amount of controversy from those who feel it leads to more scope creep from lenders and additional work for the appraiser, but Bob Murphy, Fannie Mae’s director of property valuation and eligibility, contends that CU is merely a guide for lenders, not something that offers the final verdict.

“Collateral Underwriter is not a decision engine,” Murphy said, noting that CU’s risk scores ranging on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the reports that appear most at-risk) aren’t the ultimate determiner of an appraisal’s soundness. “Just because a property gets a 5 doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with it.”

Quicken Loans Vice President of Operations Mike Lyon agreed, stating that CU hasn’t been the wrench in the gears of the mortgage process that many feared it would be.

“Collateral Underwriter has not slowed our process down at all,” Lyons said. He acknowledged that although higher scores sometimes necessitate added oversight, CU has the propensity to help lenders streamline their appraisal processes. “It’s going to allow us to do our reviews in a more efficient manner.”

The panel also addressed the changing nature of AVMs. Tom Hosack, broker of Pennsylvania-based Northwood Realty Services, predicted that AVMs will continue to become more advanced as Big Data gets more comprehensive.

“You will see them get more accurate. They are constantly working toward that,” Hosack said. “The challenge with Zillow is that they can’t monetize accuracy. … Their profit center is not based on accuracy.”

The caveat with AVMs, the panel noted, is that they never will be able to replace the insight offered by appraisers working in the field, which provides an opportunity for appraisers to showcase their worth.

“I haven’t seen an AVM that doesn’t have qualifiers on it,” MLSListings Inc. President and CEO James Harrison said. “Your clients are coming to you and they’ve already done the research. … It’s a good opportunity to sit down and explain to them your value.”

“In almost every market there’re outliers,” Hosack said. “A computer can’t look at a house and tell if 35 cats lived in it.”

The panel articulated the enduring importance of appraisers amid continuing technological advancements, but also advised valuation professionals to embrace technology themselves.

“[Appraisers] absolutely have to have a tablet and a smartphone or you’re at a huge disadvantage,” Harrison said. “As you’re interacting in real time with your clients, you need to have the apps lined up to bring them the information you need.”