Thursday, December 22, 2011

FHFA: house price index drops slightly; Greenville fairing better than state, nation

U.S. house prices fell 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from September to October of this year according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in October, U.S. prices fell 2.8 percent. The U.S. index is 19.2 percent below its April 2007 peak and roughly the same as the February 2004 index level.

The FHFA monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses backing mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Greenville Area Fairs Better Than State, Nation
For South Carolina, houses prices peaked in the first quarter of 2008 and have fallen 14.8 percent, dropping from 201.64 to 172.03.  For the Greenville-Mauldin-Easley MSA, house prices peaked in the first quarter of 2009 and have fallen 6.8 percent, dropping from 171.41 to 159.8.  Greenville house prices are at roughly the the fourth quarter 2006 level.

Below is the data for all MSAs in South Carolina from the peak in each market until the third quarter of 2011:
  • Anderson: down 14.5 percent
  • Charleston: down 18.6 percent 
  • Columbia: down 7.2 percent 
  • Greenville: down 6.8 percent 
  • Myrtle Beach/Conway: down 28.5 percent 
  • Rock Hill: down 13.1 percent
  • Spartanburg: down 10.2 percent  
  • SC: down 14.8 percent  
  • U.S.: down 19.2 percent

FHFA: mortgage rates rose slightly in November

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) this week reported that the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders, used as an index in some ARM contracts, was 4.22 percent based on loans closed in November. This is an increase of 0.03 percent from the previous month.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans of $417,000 or less increased 4 basis points to 4.40 percent in November. These rates are calculated from the FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey of purchase-money mortgages (see technical note). These results reflect loans closed during the November 23-30 period.

Typically, the interest rate is determined 30 to 45 days before the loan is closed. Thus, the reported rates depict market conditions prevailing in mid- to late-October. The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans (fixed- and adjustable-rate) was 4.20 percent in November, up 3 basis points from 4.17 percent in October. The effective interest rate, which reflects the amortization of initial fees and charges, was 4.31 percent in November, up 2 basis points from 4.29 percent in October.

This report contains no data on adjustable-rate mortgages due to insufficient sample size. Initial fees and charges were 0.78 percent of the loan balance in November, down 0.05 percent from 0.83 in October. Thirty-four percent of the purchase-money mortgage loans originated in November were "no-point" mortgages, up six percent from the share in October. The average term was 28.5 years in November, down 0.2 years from 28.7 years in October. The average loan-to-price ratio in November was 77.1 percent, down 1.3 percent from 78.4 percent in October. The average loan amount was $220,500 in November, up $2,000 from $218,500 in October.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SC jobless rate falls to 9.9%

South Carolina’s jobless rate in November dropped to 9.9% as the number of workers grew by nearly 10,000, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce reported on Monday. Employment gains were led by the trade, transportation and utilities sector with an increase of more 8,800 workers during the month. About 7,100 of those workers were hired in retail trade, the agency said. Read the entire article from the Columbia Regional Business Report.

SC ranks 37th in quarterly growth

The state of South Carolina showed relatively no change in average personal income growth for the third quarter of 2011 and ranked 37th in growth in the United States, according to estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on Monday. However, South Carolina exceeded the national average growth in seven of 24 business sectors that were analyzed. The largest growth was seen in health care and social assistance, where the state realized a 1.6% increase compared with the previous quarter. The national average is 1.4%. The state’s increase represents $158 million above second quarter earnings. Read the entire article from GSA Business.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

HBA of Greenville Office Schedule for the Holidays

Your HBA of Greenville staff and Board of Directors wishes each of our members and customers a happy Hanukkah, a merry Christmas, and a joyful and prosperous new year.

The HBA of Greenville office will be closed for the Christmas holiday:

  • Friday, December 23
  • Monday, December 26
The HBA of Greenville office will be closed for the New Years holiday:
  • Friday, December 30
  • Monday, January 2
If there is an emergency and you need to reach a member of our staff while the office is closed, please dial 864-735-7698.