Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Call for Nominations for Builder, Associate, and Remodeler of the Year

Your Home Builders Association asks that you recommend a member for our annual BB&T Builder of the Year Award, Richard A. Ashmore, Sr., Associate of the Year Award, and Remodeler of the Year Award. The awards are given to a members who freely gives of his or her time, efforts and participation in order to make the HBA of Greenville a stronger organization for all of its members. These members serve the industry through participation on HBA Committees and with special projects of the Home Builders Association. Each represents the highest level of integrity and honesty in the home building industry. Below is a list of recent recipients:

Builder of the Year:

  • Wayne Moore, 2012
  • Thomas Dillard, 2011
  • Brad Thompson, 2010
  • Todd Usher, 2009
  • Rick Quinn, 2008
  • Ted Smith, 2007
  • Coleman Shouse, 2006
  • Ted Smith/Ron Taylor, 2005
  • Keith Smith, 2004
  • Jim Gregorie, 2003
  • Dan Rawls, 2002
  • Clyde Rector, 2001
  • Bill Fuller, 2000
Richard A. Ashmore, Sr., Associate of the Year:
The Board of Directors has renamed the Associate of the Year Award the Richard A. Ashmore, Sr., Associate of the Year Award. Richard Ashmore was President of Ashmore Brothers Inc. He was a member of the HBA of Greenville until his death in 2011, and was inducted in to the S.C. Housing Hall of Fame.
  • Jon Statom, 2012
  • Jason Freeman, 2011
  • Scott Presley, 2010
  • Eric Hedrick, 2009
  • Chuck Childress, 2008
  • Tom Ward, 2007
  • Scott Presley, 2006
  • Lou Hutchings, 2005
  • Richard Powers, 2004
  • Sandy Wiygul-Bell, 2003
  • Robert Murphy, 2002
  • Gary Gilliam, 2001
  • Richard Powers, 2000
Remodler of the Year:
The Board of Directors also voted to bring back the Remodeler of the Year Award, which has not been awarded in more than 10 years.  The recipient should derive his or her primary business from residential or commercial remodeling activities.


  • Clyde Rector, 1998
  • Miller Crittendon, 1999
  • Robert Markel, CGR, 2012
In addition, these awards also may be given to members of the association:

  • Community Service Award
  • Membership Award
  • Spirit of the HBA Award
  • Committee Chairman of the Year Award
  • Rookie of the Year Award
These awards may be given to a political or community leader:
  • Distinguished Service Award
  • HBASC Champion of Housing Award
If you know of a member or other person who should receive one of these awards, please send your nomination to Michael Dey at mdey@hbaofgreenville.com.  Your nomination will be confidential.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Flood Insurance Seminar is January 13

Your Home Builders Association has partnered with the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors to offer a seminar on the recent changes to the National Flood Insurance Program.  
  • When: Monday, January 13, 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.
  • Where: GGAR Conference Center, 50 Airpark Court, Greenville
  • Cost: No charge to HBA of Greenville members
The purpose of the seminar is to update HBA and GGAR members on the changes resulting from the legislation that renewed the National Flood Insurance Program for another five years.  Those changes have resulted in dramatic increases in flood insurance premiums for some homeowners and in some cases have threatened potential real estate transactions.  It is important for Home Builders to understand how the new rules will impact owners of homes built in flood-prone areas.  In addition, Remodelers who are familiar with the new rules may be able to leverage that knowledge to secure new business.

This is not just a Coastal Issue. Property owners and transactions are being impacted all over the Upstate.

Speakers include:
  • Lisa S. Jones, CFM, ANFI, CPM, Principla, Carolina Flood Solutions
  • Robert Hall, PE, CFM, Flood Plain Administrator, Greenville County
  • Jacqueline Chelbezan, PE, PH, CFM, Assistant City Engineer-Environmental, City of Greenville
The agenda will include a comprehensive briefing of the changes in the law regarding flood insurance by Lisa Jones, and briefings from Robert Hall and Jacqueline Chelbezan on local flood management ordinances and resources for evaluating the flooding risk of property in the Greenville area.

The seminar is free to HBA of Greenville members. To register at HBAofGreenville.com, click here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Kimberly Kelly to host the First annual Southern Home and Garden Bridge Awards.

kimberly kelly Productions, LLC - Greenville, SCGreenville native and TV personality Kimberly Kelly scheduled to emcee the 2013 Southern Home and Garden Bridge Awards sponsored by GBS Building Supply.
The Bridge Awards Gala will be held Thursday, January 30, 2013 at the TD Convention Center.

Don't delay enter your sales and marketing team, new home project, or remodeling project TODAY! Click here for more information and to get you entry application.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Martha Childress renovations coming along- STILL raising funds to cover costs.

The renovations undertaken by the Martha Childress Task Force to Martha's parent's homes are coming along and should be ready for Martha in time for her return from a rehabilitation facility just before Christmas.

Martha Childress was paralyzed from the waist down in October after a stray bullet hit her in the Columbia area while waiting for a cab. Work on the homes has been ongoing since November and HBA of Greenville members have pitched in to make such a difficult time easier for her and her family.

Marha's family is very close to the Home Building industry.  Her father, Chuck Childress, is a construction lender for BB&T and serves as the association's Treasurer. Her mother, Pam Childress, is a broker with Prudential C. Dan Joyner.  And her step parents also work in the industry.

Some of the renovations include widening doors, expansion of rooms, and laying new flooring to accommodate her wheel chair. One of the largest parts of the project is the installation of an elevator in one of the homes.

Many of the businesses and individuals involved have donated materials or labor or in some cases both, however this has not come without additional expenses.  Your HBA of Greenville has set a goal of $25,000 in order to purchase the elevator and pay for other expenses of this large project done with mostly donated time and materials. We continue to ask for your help.  To the extent that we raise funds that are not spent on this project, any additional funds will be donated to the trust fund set up for Martha's continued healthcare cost.

Thank you to all of the those companies and individuals who have donated their time, services, and money to this project:
  • Dillard-Jones Builders
  • Hollison Homes
  • Gateway Plumbing
  • Ferguson
  • Progress Lighting
  • Greenville Carpet One
  • Clayton Tile
  • CertaPro Painters
  • Advanced Central Products
  • Simply A/V
  • Keith Smith Builders
  • Dias Renovations
  • Advanced Renovations
  • Steamatic
  • Silas Lewis
  • Mobile Attic
  • Waste Industries
  • Little John Portable Toilets
  • Jeff Lynch TV & Appliance
  • Gallivan, White, and Boyd
  • Sherwin Williams
  • Arthur Rutenberg Homes
  • Builders First Source
  • GBS Building Supply
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • American Elevator
  • IBI Builders
  • Priceless Construction
  • SupaKleen
  • Carolina Foothills Studio
  • Electrical Contractors Inc.

Contributions also have been made by:
  • Quinn-Satterfield
  • Gabriel Builders
  • Priceless Construction
  • Stoneledge Properties, LLC
  • Galloway Custom Homes, LLC
  • Dunn Custom Builders, LLC
  • Woodmark Homes
  • Michael and Karen Dey
  • ACA/Freewood Contractors
  • Bergeron Custom Homes
  • The Marchant Company
  • Mr. Hunt and Ms. Wade 
Please consider supporting this effort by contributing to the Martha Childress Fund at the Home Builders Association of Greenville.  Make checks payable to the Home Builders Association of Greenville, earmarked Martha Childress Fund.

Mayor Rick Danner discusses housing at Builder Breakfast

Mayor Rick Danner
Greer Mayor Rick Danner spoke to Home Builders and the HBA Board of Directors at the Builder Breakfast on December 12 at Tommy's Country Ham House.  The event was sponsored by Palmetto Exterminators.

Mayor Danner provided a report on the status of the real estate market in Greer.  He reported that year-to-date new residential construction has totalled $15 million, up from 2012.  He stated that permits are slightly behind 2012, but the value of the homes constructed have increased.

Danner reported that 1,264 new single family lots have been approved in 2013, with 65 percent of those lots located in Spartanburg County.

According to Danner, $13.5 million has been invested in commercial real estate in Greer in 2013. In addition, he reported that Greer is ranked fourth in the state in retail sales, with nearly $800 million spent during the year, up more than 10 percent from 2012.  Median household income in Greer is $68,687, 18 percent higher than Greenville County.

Greer Development has published a Residential Market Profile for the Greer area.  Click here to download the Greer Residential Market Profile.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Congratulations: Gabriel Edward McCloud

Please congratulate Stephen McCloud of Fusion Audio Video and his wife, Kara, on the birth of their son, Gabriel Edward McCloud, born December 4.  Gabriel weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and was 20 inches long at birth.

Federal agencies exempt certain high-priced mortgages from appraisal requirements

Six federal financial regulatory agencies today issued a final rule that creates exemptions from certain appraisal requirements for a subset of higher-priced mortgage loans. The exemptions are intended to save borrowers time and money while still ensuring that the loans are financially sound.

The appraisal requirements for higher-priced mortgages were established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). Under the Dodd-Frank Act, closed-end mortgage loans are considered to be higher-priced if they are secured by a consumer’s home and have interest rates above a certain threshold. The Dodd-Frank Act requires creditors to obtain a written appraisal based on a physical visit of the home’s interior before making these loans.

The final rule provides that loans of $25,000 or less and certain “streamlined” refinancings are exempt from the Dodd-Frank Act appraisal requirements, which go into effect on January 18, 2014.

In addition, the final rule contains special provisions for manufactured homes, which can present unique issues in determining the appropriate valuation method. To ensure that access to affordable housing options is not hindered while creditors make the necessary adjustments, the requirements for manufactured home loans will not become effective for 18 months. Starting on July 18, 2015, loans secured by an existing manufactured home and land will be subject to the Dodd-Frank Act’s appraisal requirements. Loans secured by a new manufactured home and land will be exempt only from the requirement that the appraiser visit the home’s interior. For loans secured by manufactured homes without land, creditors will be allowed to use other valuation methods without an appraisal, such as using third-party valuation services or “book values.”

In January 2013, a final rule implementing the new Dodd-Frank Act appraisal requirements was issued by the Federal Reserve Board, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Compliance with the January 2013 final rule will become mandatory on January 18, 2014. These same agencies are jointly issuing today’s final rule to provide additional exemptions in response to public comments.

New Home Sales in Recovery

After dipping during the “pause” in September, new home sales rebounded in October. Some slowdown in housing was expected due to declines in consumer confidence and the uncertainty produced by the partial government shutdown. However, the October data add more evidence that the recovery for housing will continue into the new year.

For the economy as a whole, job creation continues to be positive, although weaker than hoped. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that November payroll employment grew by 203,000, plus an additional 8,000 for prior month revisions. The job openings rate continues to rise, as jobs are posted but not filled. This is particularly true in construction. In October, there were 124,000 unfilled positions in construction firms – the highest level since May 2008.

Gross domestic product growth surprised on the upside for the third quarter, coming in at 3.6%. This was higher than the earlier estimate of 2.8%, but the bump in growth largely came from inventory investment: for 1.7 percentage points or nearly half the 3.6% total. As a result, your Home Builders Association expects growth to slow sharply in the final quarter of the year.

Against this economic backdrop, October new home sales showed strength after a weak September. Rising 25% from the September pace, the annualized rate for October came in at 444,000, reaching a level established earlier in the year. Months' supply totaled 4.9, the lowest inventory measure since the second quarter. In fact, for October the total inventory of completed, ready-to-occupy newly built homes remains low, at only 42,000 nationwide.

With respect to new home financing, Census data show that the cash share of new home sales totaled 7.37% during the third quarter, near the recent high of 7.89% of the third quarter of 2011. FHA-insured mortgages came in at 17% of the market for the third quarter. But interest rates remain low by historic standards. Data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency indicate that the average contract interest rate for October for newly built homes was 4.32%.

Looking at individual markets, the NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index rose slightly to a value of 0.86 in December, up from 0.85 in November. The index measures progress for employment, home prices, and home building based on normal market conditions. So the 0.86 measure indicates that nationwide, housing markets are operating at 86% of normal conditions. In December, 54 metros were at or above a value of one, meaning those markets had returned to or were above their last normal levels of activity. These markets were dominated by energy and agriculture states and smaller markets that did not see rapid declines in production and prices in recent years.



In the Upstate, Greenville's index is .87.  However, building permits are lagging at 55 percent of normal while home prices have soared to 114 percent of normal.

In other positive news for home builders, lending conditions for acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) loans continue to improve, although a considerable lending gap between demand for AD&C and current loans persists. Survey data by the National Association of Home Builders indicate that for the third quarter, only 9% of those surveyed reported that lending conditions deteriorated, with 28% noting improving conditions. And FDIC data show that the stock of outstanding AD&C loans grew nearly 5% during the second and third quarters of the year.

Overall, total private residential construction spending was up 17.8% from a year ago, a useful measure of the progress the housing recovery has made recently. Since market lows in June 2009, single-family construction spending is up almost 87%, multifamily 164%, and remodeling-related improvement spending 17%. Over the course of 2013, single-family spending is up 14%, multifamily 22%, and remodeling 3%.

In analysis news, economists at your Home Builders Association recently examined how comprehensive tax reform could affect business-related advertising and tax accounting, with a focus on construction firms. Additional analysis examined average electric utility bill by state and geographic breakdown of residential trade contractor employment after the Great Recession.

Source: Eye on Housing

Past Presidents get together to welcome a new club member and Pin 2014 HBA President.


On December 9 your Home Builders Association invited past presidents of the association to lunch at the Commerce Club, sponsored by Gallivan, White, and Boyd. There were lots of stories and plenty of advice for 2014 HBA President Mike Freeman of ACA/Freewood Contracting. The group also welcomed current president Rick Quinn of Quinn Satterfield to their club.

Thank you for your service and dedication to our association and the industry, this is an event that we will look forward to next year!

Here is the list of Past Presidents, those in attendance are denoted by *.

1960 and 1961 Donald Baltz
1962 Edgar Teasley
1963 John Taylor, Jr.
1964 M. Graham Proffitt *
1965 Marion Uldrick
1966 Eugene Rackley
1967 Lloyd W. Gilstrap
1968 Edward H. Hembree
1969 W. N. Leslie
1970 Larry Gibson
1971 Levis Gilstrap
1972 John Cothran *
1973 Harold Newton
1974 Ray Dempsey
1975 J. W. Roberts *
1976 James Vaughn
1977 W. Glenn Hawkins
1978 David Balentine
1979 A. James Nelson
1980 A.J. Prince *
1981 Ralph Hendricks
1982 David Douglas
1983 Wm. H. McCauley
1984 Bobby Sexton *
1985 Don Franklin
1986 Dee Smith
1987 Jerry Marsh
1988 James Leary
1989 Ed Burgess
1990 Joe W. Jelks, III
1991 Don Rex
1992 Dennis Waldrop
1993 Lynn Yeargin
1994 Rodney Edwards
1995 Doug Ashmore
1996 William (Billy) Dunn *
1997 Tim Justice
1998 and 1999 Gale Crawford
2000 Wayne Moore *
2001 Richard Merritt *
2002 Jim Gregorie
2003 Keith Smith *
2004 Hal Dillard *
2005 Clyde Rector
2006 Coleman Shouse *
2007 Dan Rawls *
2008 Todd Usher
2009 Bruce Pasquarella *
2010 Thomas Dillard
2011 Wayne Moore *
2012 Robert Markel *
2013 Rick Quinn *

Spartanburg home and garden show

Dear HBA Members:

You may have received a solicitation from Home and Garden Shows, a for-profit producer of consumer trade shows, soliciting participation in the Spartanburg home and garden show.

This show is not endorsed by, nor does it have the support of, the Home Builders Association of Greenville. 

The Home Builders Association of Greenville produces the Southern Home and Garden Show, now in its 53rd year.  The Southern Home and Garden Show is produced twice annually on the first full weekend of March and the last full weekend of September.  The Southern Home and Garden Show features more than 300 exhibitors and typically attracts 10,000 to 15,000 visitors.  Your Home Builders Association of Greenville invests aggressively in the Southern Home and Garden Show, including more than $70,000 in marketing.  The Southern Home and Garden Show also is held in the top trade show facility in the Upstate, the TD Convention Center.

The next edition of the Southern Home and Garden Show is set for March 7-9, and is presented by Jeff Lynch TV and Appliance.  To exhibit, please contact the Southern Home and Garden Show office at 864-254-0135, sales@southernhomeandgardenshow.com, or southernhomeandgardenshow.com.

Michael Dey, Executive Vice President
Leigh Ann DeYoung, Director
Southern Home and Garden Show

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Website picks Greenville as the fourth best place in South Carolina for job seekers

nerdwallet.com picked Greenville County as the fourth best place in South Carolin for job seekers.  Factors nerdwallet considered include:
  1. Is the county growing?
  2. Can you afford to live in the county comfortably?
  3. Are most people employed?
nerdwallet cited Greenville's growth rate of 3.9 percent, a median household income of $48,518, and a 6.8 percent unemployment rate as factors in the county's ranking.

In the top 10 were four counties in the Upstate including Pickens (8th), Oconee (9th), and Anderson (10th).

The top 10 counties in South Carolina for job seekers are:
  1. Lexington County
  2. Beaufort County
  3. Kershaw County
  4. Greenville County
  5. Richland County
  6. York County
  7. Aiken County
  8. Pickens County
  9. Oconee County
  10. Anderson County
A combination of a higher average income, lower monthly housing cost, and lower unemployment rate pushed Lexington County into the top spot.

Read the complete report at nerdwallet.com by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Housing Markets Continue Slow Climb Back to Normal


Markets in 54 out of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), released today. The index’s nationwide score of .86 indicates that, based on current permits, prices and employment data, the nationwide market is running at 86 percent of normal economic and housing activity.

In the Upstate, Greenville ranks 150 among the nation's housing markets.  It's overall score is .87, or 87 percent of normal and better than the national average.  Holding our market back is permits, which are 55 percent recovered.  However, prices are 114 percent of normal, an indication that demand is now exceeding supply.  Employment is at 92 percent of normal.

Spartanburg is ranked 181 with a score of .84.  Permits also are 55 percent recovered, and housing prices have just exceeded normal.  Employment is at 93 percent of normal.

Anderson is not ranked because housing price data is not currently available.  However, permits in Anderson are at 42 percent of normal and employment is at 91 percent of normal.

Click here to view data on all 350 housing markets.

The LMI figures for November showed that 55 housing markets were operating at or above their last normal levels and the nationwide market was operating at 85 percent of normal growth.

LMI data for the two months were released simultaneously because of the delay in collecting data during the partial government shutdown in October.

“This index shows that most housing markets across the nation are continuing a slow, gradual climb back to normal levels,” said Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Policymakers must guard against actions that could impede or even reverse the modest gains of the past year.”

Noting that smaller metros accounted for most of the 54 markets on the current LMI that are at or above normal levels, Chief Economist David Crowe said that “smaller markets are leading the way, particularly where energy is the primary economic driver. Nearly half of the markets in the top 54 are in the energy states of Texas, Louisiana, North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.”

“The fact that more than 125 markets on this month’s LMI are showing activity levels of at least 90 percent of previous norms bodes well for a continuing housing recovery in 2014,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Co., which co-sponsors the LMI report.

Baton Rouge, La., tops the list of major metros on the LMI, with a score of 1.42 – or 42 percent better than its last normal market level. Other major metros at the top of the list include Honolulu, Oklahoma City, Austin and Houston, Texas, as well as Pittsburgh – all of whose LMI scores indicate that their market activity now exceeds previous norms.

Looking at smaller metros, both Odessa and Midland, Texas, boast LMI scores of 2.0 or better, meaning that their markets are now at double their strength prior to the recession. Also at the top of the list of smaller metros are Casper, Wyo.; Bismarck, N.D.; and Grand Forks, N.D., respectively.

The LMI shifts the focus from identifying markets that have recently begun to recover, which was the aim of a previous gauge known as the Improving Markets Index, to identifying those areas that are now approaching and exceeding their previous normal levels of economic and housing activity. More than 350 metro areas are scored by taking their average permit, price and employment levels for the past 12 months and dividing each by their annual average over the last period of normal growth. For single-family permits and home prices, 2000-2003 is used as the last normal period, and for employment, 2007 is the base comparison. The three components are then averaged to provide an overall score for each market; a national score is calculated based on national measures of the three metrics. An index value above one indicates that a market has advanced beyond its previous normal level of economic activity.

Editor’s Note: In calculating the LMI, employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation data from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permits from the U.S. Census Bureau were used. The LMI is published on the fourth working day of each month, unless that day falls on a Friday -- in which case, it is released on the following Monday.

For historical information and charts, please go to nahb.org/lmi.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Your HBA opposes proposed tax accounting rule

Your Home Builders Association has taken a position in opposition to a proposed tax accounting rule change, proposed in the U.S. Senate, that would negatively impact home builders whose contracts extend across two tax years.  Read the full report and description of the rule, present and proposed, at Eye on Housing by clicking here.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Help! Your HBA needs you.


We need your help in reaching our goal to finish renovations on Martha’s home. Martha is making great strides in recovering from a gunshot wound that left her paralyzed from the waist down and will be returning home from a rehabilitation facility in time for Christmas. Please consider a cash contribution to the Martha Childress Housing Fund as the extent of the remodels is quite expensive, including the need for an elevator. Many have already donated their time and resources to work on the home, here are several pictures of work already completed.









 








All proceeds not spent on her housing needs will be donated to a fund for her ongoing health needs. Checks can be made payable to HBA of Greenville Attn: Martha Childress Fund, 5 Creekside Park Court Ste. A, Greenville, SC 29615.
If you have any questions, please contact the HBA office at cyanes@hbaofgreenville.com or 
(864) 254-0133.

Home Building not dominated by large builders

Did you know that the top 10 public builders have just a 25 percent share of home building, and falling?  According to the National Association of Home Builders, the top 10 public builder market share over the last three years was:
  • 2010: 26.3 percent
  • 2011: 24.6 percent
  • 2012: 24.1 percent
Read a detailed report of the structure of the home building industry at Housing Economics by clicking here.

New Member Reception- TONIGHT!!

Join us for a New Member Orientation sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas. Learn about the HBA of Greenville and meet other members as well as Board members. 
The New Member Orientation will be held at the HBA office (5 Creekside Park Court, Suite A, Greenville, SC). Please RSVP by Wednesday, December 3 by emailing info@hbaofgreenville.com or by calling the HBA office at (864) 254-0133.
We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Decrease in October

National data show interest rates on mortgages interrupted their upward trend. Contract mortgage interest rates decreased 0.04 percent from September to October, according to an index of new mortgage contracts.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 4.32 percent for loans closed in late October. The index is calculated using FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey. The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans was 4.32 percent, down 4 basis points from 4.36 in September.

Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed. Consequently, October data reflect market rates from mid-to-late September. The effective interest rate was 4.49 percent, down 2 basis points from 4.51 percent in September. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

FHFA’s interest rate survey shows the average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.58 in October, a decrease of 5 basis points. The average loan amount for all loans was $269,000 in October down $1,100 from $270,100 in August.

U.S. House Prices Rose 2.0 Percent in Third Quarter 2013

Upward momentum in U.S. house prices remained strong in the third quarter, as prices rose 2.0 percent from the previous quarter, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). This is the ninth consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index and it marks the first time since 2009 that the national house price level is higher than it was five years ago.

“Overall, the housing market experienced another strong quarter, but price appreciation in the latter part of the quarter was relatively subdued,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. “Price increases in August and September of 0.4 and 0.3 percent, respectively, were notably below appreciation rates observed earlier this year and in late 2012.”

The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Compared with last year, house prices rose 8.4 percent from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was up 0.3 percent from August.

FHFA’s expanded-data house price index, a metric introduced in August 2011 that adds transaction information from county recorder offices and the Federal Housing Administration to the HPI data sample, rose 2.2 percent over the latest quarter. Over the last four quarters, that index is up 8.8 percent. For individual states, price changes reflected in the expanded-data measure and the traditional purchase-only HPI are compared on pages 21-23 of this report.

The seasonally adjusted, purchase-only HPI rose 8.4 percent from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013 while prices of other goods and services rose only 1.2 percent. The inflation-adjusted price of homes rose approximately 7.2 percent over the latest year.

Significant Findings:
  • The seasonally adjusted, purchase-only HPI rose in 48 states and in the District of Columbia during the third quarter. Top 5 in annual appreciation: 1) Nevada 2) California 3) Arizona 4) Florida and 5) Washington.
  • Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division experienced the strongest increase in the latest quarter, posting a 4.2 percent increase and a 19.2 percent increase since last year. House prices were weakest in the East South Central division, where prices increased 0.8 percent from the prior quarter.
  • As measured with purchase-only indexes for the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., third quarter price increases were greatest in the Stockton-Lodi, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) where prices increased by 8.3 percent. Prices were weakest in the Virginia-Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA, where they fell 2.2 percent.
  • Over the past year, only 1 MSA —Winston-Salem, NC — had a negative appreciation rate and 11 of the 20 MSAs with the highest appreciation rates were in California.
  • The monthly seasonally adjusted purchase-only index for the U.S. has increased for the last 20 consecutive months.
Click here to read the complete report at FHFA.gov.

FHFA Announces Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Conforming Loan Limits for 2014

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced that the 2014 maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will remain at $417,000 for one-unit properties in most areas of the country.

The conforming loan limit in all markets in South Carolina is $417,000.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) establishes the maximum conforming loan limit that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are permitted to set for mortgage acquisitions. HERA also requires annual adjustments to these limits to reflect changes in the national average home price.

A description of the methodology used in determining the loan limits can be found in the attached addendum. Questions concerning the conforming loan limits can be addressed to LoanLimitQuestions@FHFA.gov.

Further information on potential future changes in the maximum size of loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee will be forthcoming.

Link to maximum conforming loan limits for 2014.