Housing Market Heads into the Buying Season with Strong Numbers

Spring is often when homeowners put their homes on the market. It’s considered the best time for sellers, as buyers are out in full force now that the weather is nice.

This year is shaping up to be a great one for sellers, with the housing market looking healthy and […]

Perception vs. Price: When Sellers Over- or Undervalue Their Homes

For anyone who ever loved to track down baseball cards, comic books, or other collectibles, there was nothing like looking up the value of your most prized possession. For kids, it was often a harsh discovery that the outfielder you spent several dollars on was worth just a fraction […]

What an Election Year Means for House Prices

This year will bring a whirlwind of new political excitement, but also uneasiness. Presidential election years have many effects on our society. One effect that has been historically popping up during election years is the real estate market’s response. However, since the headlines are saturated with the latest poll […]

A Tight Housing Supply Keeps Rental Prices High

The housing market had a strong year last year, as buyers returned in large numbers to push prices up. Low inventory did slow the market a bit, but overall, the real estate industry appeared to have recovered from the economic downturn that hit the country in December 2007. However, […]

Which Cities Are the Best Places for Foodies to Live?

Ever since I was a little girl, some of my fondest memories include food, restaurant experiences, and cooking. Before I was tall enough to see the top of the kitchen counter, I was standing in a chair alongside my great grandmother pouring buttermilk into the morning’s batch of homemade […]

How Have Appraisal Management Companies Affected the Loan Origination Process?

Anyone who has worked in the real estate or mortgage loan origination industries can confirm that there has been a lot of controversy in recent years about appraisal management companies (AMCs). AMCs manage a network of third-party appraisers who work independently or by contract. Ideally, AMCs serve as an […]

Median Home Prices Across the Country Hovering Around $200K

The housing market has been having a good year, outside of a few dips here and there. Prices in most markets have continued to rise as sellers find themselves in an atmosphere where the demand for homes outpaces the supply. In what has become almost expected by analysts, sales […]

Homes Sales Slow in August as Inventory Tightens

It was a good run, but the string of 3 consecutive months of increasing existing home sales ended in August. Existing home sales dropped last month, putting a crimp in the market’s continued recovery.

Sales of existing homes were down 4.8% from July, from 5.58 million down to 5.31 million homes. Year-over-year […]

Economic Census Offers New Look at the Great Recession

The last housing bubble burst in late 2007, sending the United States into a recession from which it would take years to recover. The housing market collapse caused ripples in a wide range of industries and jobs. Realtors, developers, and builders all felt the effects of the seemingly sudden […]

Buyers Know What They Want in a Home

What are we looking for that will make a house our perfect home? It’s one of the first questions buyers ask themselves when they decide to buy a home. [Actually, even renters ask the same question (what makes a house a home). Our Director of Economic Research, Dr. Clifford […]

Market Effects When Appraisers and Homeowners Perceive Different Home Values

With the housing market on the rebound after a rough few years, homeowners are now starting to think more and more about putting their home up for sale. After the economic downturn and the housing bubble collapse, home prices plummeted. Foreclosures skyrocketed and sent the price of comparable homes […]

Demand Often Exceeds Supply as Housing Market Continues to Improve

There’s a different feeling in the air this summer for those in the housing market. The sun might feel a little brighter, the birds chirping a little louder.

It was just a few years ago that homes would sit for sale, even in the busy summer season, for months or […]

Weekly News Roundup for May 8, 2015

Here are a few of the stories we have been following this week.

Trophy properties had a great year last year. More properties valued over $100 million were listed in 2014 than in any previous year. You can learn more about trophy properties by reading our previous posts on the topic.

A Pennsylvania […]

Spring 2015 Housing Indicators Show Modest Improvement

While the housing recovery has not been as robust as one might hope, we are seeing key indicators of the housing market continue to move in the right direction. After a strong finish to 2014, the housing market has continued a positive run, despite a few bumps in the […]

Pending Home Sales Show a Strong Start to the 2015 Housing Market

If the first month is any indication, 2015 could be a big year for the housing market and its continuing recovery. Strong job growth and other positive economic indicators suggest that the existing home market will grow in 2015. Pending home sales were at an 18-month high in January, […]

Home Sales Slowing, but 2014 Looking to Finish on a High Note

According to the National Association of Realtors, the first month of the final quarter of 2014 saw home sales continue to stay ahead of last year, even as pending sales dropped. As the year draws to a close, there are signs the U.S. economy is continuing to improve, which […]

Valuing Energy-Efficient Homes

According to a study released last year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), energy efficiency is one of the features homebuyers are most interested in. Four of the top 10 most wanted features involved saving energy: 94% of respondents wanted Energy-Star rated appliances, 91% wanted an Energy-Star […]

Number of Homes Underwater Continues to Decline

We are seeing more signs that the housing market is on the upswing. After the economic downturn, it was hard to find a news story on the real estate industry that didn’t mention homes underwater. Now, those stories are becoming less frequent with the news that just more than […]

We Won!

We are excited to have won the International Association of Assessing Officers’ (IAAO) Bernard L. Barnard Outstanding Technical Essay Award. I couldn’t have been prouder to accept the award on our behalf at the awards luncheon at the 80th Annual IAAO Conference on August 25. I was lucky to […]

Zillow Acquires Trulia to Be a Bigger Player in Online Real Estate Information

The big news in the real estate industry recently is Zillow’s July 28 announcement of its agreement to acquire Trulia, creating a giant repository of online real estate information. The acquisition comes with a $3.5 billion price tag (a 25% premium on Trulia’s July 25 closing price) to be […]

Greenfield Advisors Nominated for Outstanding Essay Award

Three of Greenfield Advisors’ staff are proud to be nominees for the International Association of Assessing Officers’ (IAAO) Bernard L. Barnard Outstanding Technical Essay Award.

This award, named in honor of Dr. Barnard, past Director of Research for the IAAO, is presented to the best article or essay on technical […]

Mortgage Rates Remain Low

Mortgage rates hovered near their lowest levels, according to information released this week. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) announced that average rates for a 30-year fixed loan are 4.15%, up slightly from 4.12% the previous week.
Freddie Mac calculates the average mortgage rate by surveying lenders across the United […]

Mortgage Rates Fall Just in Time for Spring Home Sales

The weather is warming up across the country as spring gives way to summer and the normally busy home-buying season begins. This year the home sales have been slow, but the weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey by Freddie Mac may be bringing good news for buyers looking for a deal and […]

Fracking Can Damage Property Values

Last month a jury awarded a Texas family nearly $3 million, including $275,000 for the loss in market value of their property, in a lawsuit against a gas company that was using fracking techniques near their home. It was the first case involving fracking to go to trial, but it’s […]

Two Dr. Lipscombs Study the Effects of Oil and Gas Exploration on the Housing Market

HousingWire Magazine recently published an article entitled “Energizing Real Estate: Oil and Gas Exploration Could Shock Housing Markets” in their November 2013 issue. The article discusses the work of Dr. Clifford Lipscomb, Director – Economic Research at Greenfield Advisors, and his cousin, Dr. Joseph Lipscomb, a professor of finance […]

Unsustainable Growth in Home Prices

There’s been a lot of talk about the unsustainability of home prices in recent months. Back in July, Business Insider published an article in response to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. Svenja Gudell, a senior economist at Zillow, was quoted saying “Three straight months of national home value appreciation above 10 percent is not […]

Do Survey Results Systematically Differ From Hedonic Regression Results? Evidence From a Residential Property Meta-Analysis

In this paper, we evaluate the effect of environmental contamination situations on residential property values. Using the meta-analysis technique, conclusions are drawn about the effect of location, type of study conducted, empirical technique used, and economic conditions on various outcomes. Using observations extracted from 40 peer-reviewed articles, meta-regression analysis […]

August Housing Market Index Update

On August 15, 2013, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced that the Housing Market Index (HMI) of U.S. home builder confidence rose again for the fourth consecutive month. Now at 59, the overall index is at its highest level in almost 8 years.[1] Many builders see customers feeling less uncertain […]

HUD auctioning distressed loans

Throughout this summer, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will auction off approximately 20,000 distressed loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), with more to follow later in 2013. Investors purchase these loans at market rate, generally below the outstanding principal balance, and agree to […]

In Other News: U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls to Lowest in 18 Years

On April 30, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the percentage of Americans who own their homes was 65% in the first quarter of 2013, down from 65.4% a year earlier and the lowest level since 1995. According to a Bloomberg Businessweek article, the homeownership rate, which peaked at 69.2% in […]

April Housing Market Index Update

On Monday, April 15, 2013, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced that the U.S. builder confidence index extended its decline into the month of April by dropping two points, to 42. The majority of builders who participate in the survey-based index expressed frustration over their inability to respond to […]

When Selling Your House on Your Own Doesn’t Make Cents

Properties that are listed for sale without using a licensed real estate agent are known as FSBOs, or For Sale by Owner. For many people, the thought of paying a 6% commission to a licensed professional to sell their home is, well, depressing. After all, how hard can it […]

U.S. Home Builder Confidence

According to National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) data released on Monday, March 18, 2013, U.S. Builder Confidence declined for the second straight month nationwide from 46 to 44. While this is significantly higher than the index’s recent low-water mark of 8 in January 2009, scores below 50 indicate […]

Trends in First-Time Home Purchases: Recent College Graduates & Economics

Recently, The Seattle Times published an article discussing how U.S. home sales were at a 5-year high by the end of 2012.[1] Like any other citizen and particularly because we work in real estate, we were happy to hear this news. One aspect of the article that particularly caught our eye was […]

Foreclosures—An Update

The Seattle Times recently reported on data from RealtyTrac, a firm that specializes in foreclosure real estate listings, suggesting that in 2012 Washington State had the fewest home foreclosures since the onset of the 2008 recession.[1] The rate of foreclosure activity also declined on a national level, despite a continued increase in […]