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Essex County Housing Reports: September 2017 vs September 2018

Essex County Housing Reports: September 2017 vs September 2018; July - September 2017 vs July - September 2018

Inventory Down, Number of Sales Down and Sales Prices up Except Condos - breakdown by property type:

Single Family: September: Inventory Down 9% and Sale Prices Up 6.3%:  3 Months Inventory Down 4.6% and Sale Prices Up 4.9%

Condo: September Inventory Down 5.7% and Sale Prices Down 6.5%:  3 Months Inventory Down 3.9% and Sale Prices Up 3.4% 

Muilti-Family: September Inventory Down 12.4% and Sale Prices Up 13.5%: 3 Months Inventory Down 4.5% and Sale Prices Up 13.2% 

To view data for every Essex County town, go to: 

To dowload the full Housing Report go to:

Buying Cheaper Than Renting in MA and 37 Other States

September Jobs Report, 3.7% Unemployment Rate, Lowest Since 1969

3.7% Unemployment Rate, Lowest Since 1969 - Positive For Housing
The September Jobs Report in 9 Charts


The share of the population that is in the labor force—defined as those working or actively searching for work—has hovered a bit below 63% this year. The rate has seen little sustained improvement or deterioration for the past five years. The share of the population that works was little changed last month, but has trended upward in recent years.
Participation rates are much higher for workers ages 25 to 54, where people are less likely to be out of the labor force due to retirement or education. The labor-force participation rate and employment-population ratio have both declined slightly in recent months.
The median spell of unemployment now lasts about nine weeks. This is much improved from the years right after the recession, but is still a few weeks longer than was typical during the strong labor markets of the late 1990s. Although job loss is now relatively rare, when it happens it can linger a bit longer than usual.
Even as the economy has improved, workers with different education levels face much different rates of unemployment. Those without a high-school degree have 5.5% unemployment while college graduates have an unemployment rate of just 2%.
Unemployment rates have trended down for workers of all races and genders in recent years. The unemployment rates for white women, black men and Hispanic women are all at the lowest in at least several decades.
With nine months down, 2018 is shaping up to be one of the stronger years of job growth since the recession.
Related Article: 

U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since 1969

Mortgage Rates Surge To 7 Year High - Time To Lock In a Mortgage

Mortgage Rates Surge Well Into New 7-Year Highs


Mortgage rates skyrocketed today, in relative terms.  It was the single worst day in nearly 2 years, and among only a few days where effective rates moved more than 0.10%.  Typically, mortgage rates are offered in 0.125% increments.  We're able to track "effective rates" by examining the upfront costs associated with any given rate.  For instance, a quoted rate might not change from day today despite major changes in upfront costs/credits.  At a certain point, the upfront cost change is big enough that it makes more sense to jump up by the aforementioned 0.125% increment.

In other words, if you have a loan in process, an effective rate increase of 0.10% means there's a very good chance that you're looking at a 0.125% increase in rate today.  And if you're not, you'd instead be seeing this move in the form of higher upfront costs or lower lender credit.  Either way, it was a big, bad move.

So why did rates spike so much?  The simple answer is that this morning's economic data drove home some of the harsh realities that have been plaguing rates in general for the past few years--and especially over the past 2 months.  Simply put, when the economy is firing on all cylinders and when traders have reason to defend against the possibility of even faster growth and inflation (something today's data may well suggest), rates are forced to move higher.

The complicated part of the answer has to do with the extra momentum that can creep into underlying market movements on days like today.  To an undetermined extent, traders are definitely positioning for more unfriendly rate news with Friday morning's big jobs report.  That's our first major opportunity for reprieve, but reprieve should not be taken for granted.  Rates could go even higher if Friday's data strikes a similar chord to today's.

Loan Originator Perspective

Bond markets tanked today on robust economic and employment data.  We're looking at treasury yields that haven't been seen since 2011, with no end to the losses in sight.  I have been locking early for months, and today's a great illustration of why.  Since rate sheets don't yet reflect today's market losses, locking now (instead of waiting for tomorrow) is the move here. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

Today's Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 4.875-5.0%
  • FHA/VA - 4.5%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 4.375-4.5%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  4.25%-4.75% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Rates continue coping with several big-picture headwinds, including: the Fed's rate hike outlook (and general policy tightening), the increased amount of Treasury issuance to pay for the tax bill (higher bond issuance = higher rates), and the possibility that fiscal stimulus results in higher growth/inflation (which certainly seems to be the case so far in 2018).

  • While rates were able to recover and stay sideways in the summer months, September and October have seen a surge up to the highest levels in more than 7 years. 

  • Upward pressure can continue as long as economic growth and inflation continue running near long-term highs.  Stay defensive (i.e. generally more lock-biased).  It will take a big change in economic fundamentals or geopolitical risk for the big picture to change.  Such things tend to not happen as quickly as we'd like.
  • Rates discussed refer to the most frequently-quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers among average to well-priced lenders.  The rates generally assume little-to-no origination or discount except as noted when applicable.  Rates appearing on this page are "effective rates" that take day-to-day changes in upfront costs into consideration.

Essex County Housing Reports: August 2017 vs August 2018

Essex County Housing Reports: August 2017 vs August 2018; June - August 2017 vs June - August 2018

Inventory down and sales prices up. - breakdown by property type:

Single Family: August: Inventory Down 8.6% and Sale Prices Up 4.4%:  3 Months Inventory Down 4.6% and Sale Prices Up 4.2%

Condo: August Inventory Down 10.2% and Sale Prices Up 3.5%:  3 Months Inventory Down 5.7% and Sale Prices Up 7.7% 

Muilti-Family: August Inventory Down 11% and Sale Prices Up 8.2%: 3 Months Inventory Down 6% and Sale Prices Up 11.2% 

To view data for every Essex County town, go to: 

To dowload the full Housing Report go to:


Consumers Can Now Request Credit Freezes for Free

Consumers Can Now Request Credit Freezes for Free

It’s common advice to freeze your credit information when cybersecurity breaches potentially put your personal financial data into the hands of criminals who seek to exploit it. However, the three major credit-reporting agencies have routinely charged a fee to put that credit freeze in place—except in the handful of states that forbid such payments. Now all of that has changed.

A federal law signed in May by President Donald Trump requires credit bureaus, starting Friday, to allow anyone in the United States to restrict access to their credit reports at no cost. Your clients also won’t have to pay a fee to unfreeze their credit so a mortgage provider, credit card issuer, or other entity can access their information in order to evaluate their creditworthiness. Reinstating the freeze after a credit inquiry will be free, too. Keep in mind that consumers need to individually approach ExperianEquifax, and TransUnion to freeze or unfreeze credit.

The new law, known as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, also allows you to freeze credit files belonging to children under 16 at no charge. In addition, the law requires credit bureaus to offer fraud alerts to victims of cybersecurity threats for a year rather than just 90 days. These alerts let businesses that examine your credit know that they should check with you before opening an account in your name.

—Sam Silverstein, REALTOR® Magazine

Essex County Housing Reports: July 2017 vs July 2018

Essex County Housing Reports: July 2017 vs July 2018; May - Juily 2017 vs May - July 2018

Inventory down and sales prices up. - breakdown by property type:

Single Family: July: Inventory Down 9.2% and Sale Prices Up 4.6%:  3 Months Inventory Down 4% and Sale Prices Up 4.5%

Condo: July Inventory Down 11.4% and Sale Prices Up 10.7%:  3 Months Inventory Down 7.6% and Sale Prices Up 7% 

Muilti-Family: July Inventory Down 13.6% and Sale Prices Up 12.5%: 3 Months Inventory Down 3.9% and Sale Prices Up 12.6% 

To view data for every Essex County town, go to: 

To dowload the full Housing Report go to:



July Essex County Housing Report

Essex County Housing Reports: June 2017 vs June 2018; April - June 2017 vs April - June 2018

Inventory down and sales prices up. - breakdown by property type:

Single Family: June: Inventory Down 9.9% and Sale Prices Up 3.3%:  3 Months Inventory Down 2.2% and Sale Prices Up 5.5%

Condo: June Inventory Down 14.2% and Sale Prices Up 10.1%:  3 Months Inventory Down 8.9% and Sale Prices Up  6.7% 

Muilti-Family: June Inventory Down 6.8% and Sale Prices Up 6.9%: 3 Months Inventory Down 0.8% and Sale Prices Up  7.5% 

To view data for every Essex County town, go to: 

To dowload the full Housing Report go to:



Rising Demand Pushes Prices Higher - MA Average Home Equity Gain from Last Year + $24,000

Wow! MA average gian in home Equity from last year to this year is + $24,000.

With home prices rising across the country because of low inventory, homeowners gained over a trillion dollars in equity over the last 12 months, with the average homeowner gaining over $16,000!

Across the United States, there is a severe mismatch between the low number of houses for sale and the high demand for those houses! First-time homebuyers are out in force and are being met with a highly competitive summer real estate market.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the inventory of homes for sale “has fallen year-over-year for 36 consecutive months,” and now stands at a 4.1-month supply. A 6-month supply of inventory is necessary for a balanced market and has not been seen since August of 2012.

Is There Any Relief Coming? 

According to the CoreLogic’s 2018 Consumer Housing Sentiment Study, four times as many renters are considering buying homes in the next 12 months than homeowners who are planning to sell, “which is the crux of the available housing-supply imbalance.”

The map below shows the breakdown by state:

June Essex County Housing Reports: Inventory Down and Sales Prices Up

Essex County Housing Reports: May 2017 vs 2018 and March - May 2017 vs March - May 2018

Inventory down and sales prices up. - breakdown by property type:

Single Family: May: Inventory Down 15.5% and Sale Prices Up 8.2%:  3 Months Inventory Down 8.7% and Sale Prices Up 7.2%

Condo: May Inventory Down 17.4% and Sale Prices Up 3.6%:  3 Months Inventory Down 8.5% and Sale Prices Unchanged  0% 

Muilti-Family: May Inventory Down 14.6% and Sale Prices Up 11.1%: 3 Months Inventory Down 2.6% and Sale Prices Up  9.9% 

To view data for every Essex County town, go to: 

To dowload the full Housing Report go to: