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Black Knight – Home Price Index report: May 2017 transactions

The Data and Analytics division of Black Knight​ Financial Services, Inc. its latest Home Price Index (HPI) report, based on May 2017 residential real estate transactions. The Black Knight HPI utilizes repeat sales data from the nation’s largest public records data set, as well as its market-leading, loan-level mortgage performance data, to produce one of the most complete and accurate measures of home prices available for both disclosure and non-disclosure states. Non-disclosure states do not include property sales price information as part of their publicly available county recorder data. Black Knight is able to obtain the sales price information for these states by combining and matching records across its unique data assets.

–  Another Strong Month as US Home Prices Rise 1.1% in May, Gaining 6.1% Year-Over-Year

–  The national-level home price index (HPI) hit another new peak in May, marking a 4.6% gain in home prices so far in 2017

–  At 6.1% vs. April’s 6.0%, year-over-year price appreciation continued to accelerate in May

–  Rhode Island led all states in monthly gains at 1.7%; Utah, Idaho, Montana and Washington all followed at 1.6%

–  Spokane, Wash., and Carson City, Nev., led all metropolitan areas with 1.9% monthly appreciation

–  Seattle, Wash., home prices continue to lead the nation, seeing a 10.3% gain in 2017 alone; San Jose, Calif., followed with 9.0% growth year-to-date

–  Home prices in every state and the 40 largest (by population) metros increased in May, while 11 of the 20 most-populous states and 20 of the 40 largest metros hit new peaks

Oil near two-month high as producers set to meet again

Oil was flat near two-month highs on Monday, putting July on track to become the strongest month so far this year, as news of a producers’ meeting next week added to bullish sentiment driven by the threat of US sanctions against OPEC-member Venezuela. Investors also eyed a tightening US market after heavy inventory falls and slower new oil rig additions last week. “Sentiment in the oil market became very bullish after OPEC said it will meet with partners in Abu Dhabi next week to discuss compliance,” said Frank Schallenberger, head of commodity research at LBBW. Some OPEC and non-OPEC members will meet on Aug. 7-8 in Abu Dhabi to assess how the group can increase compliance with production cuts that began on Jan. 1. Benchmark Brent crude traded at $52.47 a barrel at 1332 GMT, down 5 cents from Friday’s close. Brent earlier hit $52.92 a barrel, its highest since May 25. US light crude oil traded briefly above $50 per barrel for the first time in two months before easing back to around $49.53 a barrel. Hedge funds and money managers have raised bullish bets on US crude oil to their highest in three months, US data showed.The United States is considering imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector in response to Sunday’s election of a constitutional super-body, which Washington has denounced as a “sham” vote.

NAR – pending home sales recover in June, grow 1.5%

After declining for three straight months, pending home sales reversed course in June as all major regions, except for the Midwest, saw an increase in contract activity, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).The Pending Home Sales Index*,, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.5% to 110.2 in June from an upwardly revised 108.6 in May. At 0.5%, the index last month increased annually for the first time since March. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the bounce back in pending sales in most of the country in June is a welcoming sign. “The first half of 2017 ended with a nearly identical number of contract signings as one year ago, even as the economy added 2.2 million net new jobs,” he said. “Market conditions in many areas continue to be fast paced, with few properties to choose from, which is forcing buyers to act almost immediately on an available home that fits their criteria.” Added Yun, “Low supply is an ongoing issue holding back activity. Housing inventory declined last month and is a staggering 7.1% lower than a year ago.”

Yun does note that there could potentially be a sliver of increased hope in the months ahead for prospective first-time buyers, who continue to struggle reaching the market1. Sales to investors last month were the lowest of the year (13%), which helped push all cash transactions to 18% – the smallest share since June 2009 (13%). “It appears the ongoing run-up in price growth in many areas and less homes for sale at bargain prices are forcing some investors to step away from the market,” said Yun. “Fewer investors paying in cash is good news as it could mean a little less competition for the homes first-time buyers can afford. However, the home search will still likely be a strenuous undertaking in coming months because supply shortages in most areas are most severe at the lower end of the market.” Heading into the second half of the year, Yun expects existing-home sales to finish around 5.56 million, which is an increase of 2.6% from 2016 (5.45 million). The national median existing-home price this year is expected to increase around 5%. In 2016, existing sales increased 3.8% and prices rose 5.1%. The PHSI in the Northeast inched forward 0.7% to 98.0 in June, and is now 2.9% above a year ago. In the Midwest the index decreased 0.5% to 104.0 in June, and is now 3.4% lower than June 2016.Pending home sales in the South rose 2.1% to an index of 126.0 in June and are now 2.6% above last June. The index in the West grew 2.9% in June to 101.5, but is still 1.1% below a year ago.

Charter stock jumps 7% on SoftBank reportedly planning a direct bid

–  Charter’s stock is up 7% in trading Monday.

–  SoftBank is planning to make offer to buy Charter this week, Bloomberg reports.

–  Chairman Masayoshi Son originally tried to combine Charter with SoftBank-owned Sprint.

Shares of Charter Communications shot up 7% in trading Monday on talk the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group will make a direct bid for the US cable operator despite Charter’s rejection of a merger proposal by Sprint. SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son is planning to make a bid to directly purchase Charter later this week, Bloomberg reported. Charter has a market value of $95.5 billion, according to FactSet. Son originally sought to merge Sprint, the wireless company controlled by SoftBank, with Charter to create a media and communications behemoth, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the situation. But Charter rebuffed the Sprint proposal, according to The Wall Street Journal in a following report. Son is Sprint’s chairman. The new acquisition plan from Son may revive deal talks that seemed to have ended after Charter said it did not want to purchase Sprint. Bloomberg reported that Son’s original deal would have created a new public corporation to combine Sprint and Charter.The combination would enable Charter, the second-largest US cable company, and Sprint, the fourth-largest wireless carrier, to bundle deals for customers with cellular phone service, cable TV, telephone and broadband internet service. Charter and Comcast had both reportedly been talking with Sprint about various deals, with an exclusivity window closing last week. However, Son appears to be insisting on a splashy mega deal with Charter, the unidentified sources told the Journal. Meantime, Sprint had also reportedly been discussing a possible merger with its rival T-Mobile. These talks could gain legs again, along with the Sprint-Charter dialogue, the Journal reported. Notably, Sprint is set to report first-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

Posted by: pharbuck on July 31, 2017
Posted in: Uncategorized