8 Benefits of Using a Realtor

8 Benefits of using a REALTOR When Buying or Selling a Home

1. REALTORS® are experts in their local real estate market.
REALTORS® understand the area that they work in including market knowledge, utilities, zoning, school information, and the neighborhood background.

2. Real estate is a full-time job.
When selling, your REALTOR® will spend their time pre-qualifying potential Buyers, answering phone calls with questions, marketing your home, and scheduling and attending home showings. When buying, they will find homes that meet your criteria, spend time previewing homes to make sure they are a good fit for you, schedule and accompany you on showings, and write and submit offers. Hiring a REALTOR® is a smart choice for this reason alone. 

3. REALTORS® are professional negotiators.
There are many factors up for discussion in a real estate transaction and negotiating directly with the Buyer or Seller on the other side can be
difficult. A REALTOR® will both fight for your interests and keep the deal from falling part.

4. REALTORS® understand all the complex processes during a real estate transaction.
Buying and selling a home comes with a lot of paperwork. Your REALTOR® will draft contracts and addenda on your behalf and explain these documents to you. They are trained to know all of the important documents needed throughout the buying and selling process.

5. REALTORS® always have your back.
Your REALTOR® has your back whether you’re a Buyer or a Seller. A REALTOR® has a fiduciary responsibility to their clients and are legally obligated to act in their client’s best interest.

6. REALTORS® have access to a vast network of experienced industry professionals.
Through your REALTOR® you will have access to a vast network of experienced industry professionals including inspectors, home repair companies, and title companies like Republic Title. Instead of going it alone, they can connect you with their trusted network.

7. REALTORS® know what to look for when pricing homes to sell and viewing properties to buy.
REALTORS® know what to look for when viewing properties for sale. They are trained to notice things that the average person might not see like foundation issues or floor plans that don’t flow. When selling, your REALTOR® does research to learn about your home and the neighborhood to price it to sell all while getting you the most money possible.

8. When buying a home, a REALTOR® is FREE.
When you hire a REALTOR® to help you purchase a home, it doesn’t cost you anything. The Seller will be paying for all of the commission fees while you get a quality representative to help you during the process. 

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Important-After-Closing-Reminders-for-Sellers

Important After Closing Reminders for Sellers

1. Cancel your homeowners insurance with your insurance agent
once the transaction has closed, funded and your personal items have been removed from the home. There may be a prorated refund of your homeowner’s policy, based on the latest renewal date, owed to you. If you are remaining at the property after closing, you should notify your insurance agent of this change.

2. Cancel your automated deduction
for your house payment with your current lender if applicable.

3. Your lender will refund all monies left in your escrow account
approximately 15 to 30 business days after receipt of the payoff funds. The lender will mail a package containing your original Promissory Note marked “PAID” and other loan documents. Retain these for future reference. When you receive this confirmation, you may also receive a “Release of Lien” document from your lender. If the release has not already been recorded with the County Clerk’s office, please forward it to your closer at the title company and we will send it to the county to be filed, thereby releasing the lien of record.

4. Refer to your closing statement
Depending on what time of the year you sold your property, the Taxing Appraisal District may not have updated the account to show a change in ownership. If you receive a Tax Bill for the property that you sold, refer to your closing statement and send the bill to the new owners.

5. Important to note
You will receive a Substitute Form 1099-S from Republic Title within 30 days of closing. In addition, retain your closing statement, it serves as a Substitute Form 1099-S for tax purposes.

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Stats Video June 2021 Thumbnail

June 2021 DFW Area Real Estate Stats

June 2021 North Texas real estate stats are out and we’ve got the numbers! Our stats infographics include a year over year comparison and area highlights for single family homes and condos broken down by MLS area. We encourage you to share these infographics and video with your sphere.

New listings are almost exactly where they were in June 2020 and down an average of just 3% in all five counties. Interestingly, the number of sales are up in only Collin and Dallas counties and down an average of 8% in Denton, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. The average sales price has risen to an average of over 25% across all counties. As it’s been all summer long, it is a great time to be a seller in the North Texas real estate market, so now is the time to list if you’ve been on the fence.

For more stats information, pdfs and graphics of our stats including detailed information by MLS area and condo stats, visit the Resources section on our website at https://www.republictitle.com/residential-resources/

For the full report from the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center, click here. For NTREIS County reports click here.

Housing-Insight-May-2021

Texas Housing Insight – May 2021 Summary

Total Texas housing sales increased 2 percent in May but continued to normalize from elevated levels the last few months of 2020. Single-family housing permits rose for the third consecutive month, although housing starts stumbled as lumber prices skyrocketed. Overall, sales were persistent despite rising costs and limited supply for homes priced less than $300,000, pushing sales activity toward higher-priced homes. Mortgage rates inched down after rising during the first quarter, but double-digit home-price appreciation chipped away at housing affordability. The unprecedented low level of inventory available for sale is the greatest challenge to Texas’ housing market. The state’s diverse and expanding economy, favorable business policies, and steady population growth, however, supported a favorable outlook.   

Supply*

The Residential Construction Cycle (Coincident) Index, which measures current construction levels, elevated nationally and within Texas due to improved industry wages, employment, and construction values during May. The Texas Residential Construction Leading Index, however, decelerated as building permits (weighted by market value) and residential starts decreased, and the ten-year real Treasury bill increased. Still, the overall upward trend indicated stable future activity. Houston and Austin reflected statewide fluctuations in weighted building permits and residential starts. Houston’s leading index declined, while Austin’s metric remained on an upward trajectory. The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and San Antonio indexes also suggested steady construction in the coming months.

Single-family construction permits maintained steady growth of 4.8 percent in May, trending upward for more than a year. Houston topped the national list with 4,909 nonseasonally adjusted permits despite registering a seasonally adjusted decrease. DFW posted double-digit monthly growth to 4,880 permits. Meanwhile, Austin and San Antonio issued 2,283 and 1,383 permits, respectively. Texas’ multifamily sector registered a steep contraction as issuance shifted from five-or-more units to duplexes, triplexes, and four-unit structures. The metric, however, remained up 6.1 percent year to date (YTD) relative to the same period last year.

Despite strengthening economic conditions and ample housing demand, total Texas housing starts decreased 6.1 percent per capita as lumber prices skyrocketed 60 percent on a monthly basis to a record high. Similarly, single-family private construction values declined 8.7 percent in real terms as the metric trended downward in Texas’ major metros. San Antonio registered a steep plummet in values during May but was still the exception as values extended a yearlong upward trajectory due to strong growth at the beginning of the year.

Texas’ months of inventory (MOI) sank below 1.2 months for the first time in series history as sales activity picked up and the number of homes added to the Multiple Listings Service decreased. A total MOI around six months is considered a balanced housing market. Inventory for homes priced less than $300,000 was even more constrained, dropping below 0.9 months. Even the MOI for luxury homes (homes priced more than $500,000), the price range at which inventory was least constrained, slid to two months.

Inventory in the major metros also declined during May. The supply situation in Austin was most critical with the MOI slipping to just 0.4 months. The metric in North Texas decreased to 0.9 and 1.0 months in Fort Worth and Dallas, respectively, while San Antonio inventory matched the statewide average. Houston’s MOI, although slightly greater than the other metros, ticked down to a record-low 1.4 months. The severe lack of inventory is unsustainable and is the main headwind to the health of Texas’ housing market.

Demand

Total housing sales increased 2 percent in May as mortgage rates inched down, stabilizing at its yearlong average. Most of the slowdown is attributed to declining activity for homes priced less than $300,000 due to dwindling inventories. On the other hand, the number of sales for homes priced more than $400,000 improved for the third straight month.

Housing sales also rose on the metropolitan level but extended a downward trend from peak activity a few months earlier. Similar fluctuations across the price spectrum resulted in total sales growth of 2.3 percent in both Austin and Dallas. In San Antonio and Houston, the metric elevated 1.9 and 1.8 percent, respectively. Fort Worth sales, however, flattened amid a severe drop in activity for homes priced less than $250,000. Moreover, the metric dropped 16 percent YTD compared with the statewide contraction of 7.1 percent.

Texas’ average days on market (DOM) fell to a record-breaking 34 days, confirming that demand for housing is still robust, and the YTD decrease in sales is more due to restricted inventory. Austin’s DOM shed more than five weeks off its year-ago reading, plummeting to 18 days, while the average home in North Texas sold after just 25 days in Fort Worth and 26 days in Dallas. San Antonio’s and Houston’s metrics also registered steep declines but hovered closer to the statewide average, falling to 35 and 36 days, respectively.  

Amid low expectations of additional fiscal and monetary stimulus, economic growth forecasts for the rest of the year cooled as the initial and strongest stage of recovery likely reached its peak, and inflation pressures are believed to be temporary. The ten-year U.S. Treasury bond yield stabilized at pre-pandemic levels of 1.6 percent** for the third consecutive month, while the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation’s 30-year fixed-rate ticked down to 3.0 percent. The median mortgage rate within Texas increased in April*** to 3.0 and 3.2 percent for GSE and non-GSE loans, respectively, but, similar to the national headline metric, remained below year-ago levels. After mortgage rate hikes, Texas home-purchase applications declined for the second consecutive month in May, falling 22.1 percent YTD. Refinance applications improved on a monthly basis but were still down 28.8 percent over the same period. Lenders adding more requisites and the shrinking pool of households able to refinance is likely impacting refinance activity as well. (For more information, see Finding a Representative Interest Rate for the Typical Texas Mortgagee.)

In April, the median loan-to-value ratio (LTV) constituting the “typical” Texas conventional-loan mortgage dropped from 87.6 a year ago to 83.8. The debt-to-income ratio (DTI) declined from 36.9 to 34.4, while the median credit score jumped 18 points in the last year to 757. The LTV and DTI for GSE borrowers also decreased from 86.5 and 35.9 last April to 85.7 and 35.3, respectively. Overall improved credit profiles reflect the fact that only the most qualified housing applicants are able to outbid their competition for their desired homes amid exceptionally tight inventories and robust demand.

Prices

The ongoing shift in the composition of sales toward higher-priced homes due to constrained inventories at the lower end of the market supported home-price appreciation. The Texas median home price rose for the fifth consecutive month, accelerating 21.6 percent YOY to a record-breaking $292,100 in May. The share of luxury homes sold in Austin more than doubled to two-fifths compared with this time last year, contributing to the 42.1 percent YOY surge in the median price ($447,200). The Dallas metric ($361,900) increased 25.8 percent while annual price growth in Fort Worth ($298,300) shot up to 24.0 percent in May from 14.4 percent the previous month. Houston’s ($291,700) and San Antonio’s ($271,900) metrics elevated 20.6 and 16.1 percent, respectively.

The Texas Repeat Sales Home Price Index accounts for compositional price effects and provides a better measure of changes in single-family home values. Texas’ index corroborated substantial and unsustainable home-price appreciation, soaring 14.8 percent YOY. The metric skyrocketed 38.4 percent in Austin, followed by North Texas with 18.2 and 16.2 percent home-price appreciation in Dallas and Fort Worth, respectively. San Antonio posted a 15.4 percent annual hike, while Houston’s index registered double-digit growth for the first time since the series started in 2014, elevating 11.4 percent. Increasing home prices pressure housing affordability, particularly in an environment of low wage growth.

Single-Family Forecast

The Texas Real Estate Research Center projected single-family housing sales using monthly pending listings from the preceding period (Table 1). Only one month in advance was projected due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the availability of reliable and timely data. Texas sales are expected to recover 2.9 percent in June after two consecutive monthly declines. The metric is estimated to rebound 5.3 and 5.2 percent in Austin and San Antonio, respectively, with more moderate increases of 3.0 percent in DFW and 2.2 percent in Houston. Sales through the first half of 2021 should surpass activity during 1H2020, but the rate of growth has decelerated. On the supply side, inventory should improve slightly, possibly reaching a trough, with the forecast predicting a rise in both active and new listings. Constrained inventory has curbed sales during the past few months.

Household Pulse Survey

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, the share of homeowners behind on their mortgage payments flattened at 5 percent nationally and within Texas (Table 2). Houston reflected the statewide average, while the metric in DFW hovered higher at 6 percent. The share of Texas respondents who were not current and expected foreclosure to be either very likely or somewhat likely in the next two months ticked down from 26 percent in April to 19 percent (Table 3). The proportion of delinquent individuals who were at risk of foreclosure also declined in North Texas, falling from 33 to 24 percent but increased five percentage points to 20 percent in Houston. Both the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s foreclosure and REO eviction moratoria for properties owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s federal eviction moratorium were recently extended through July 31, 2021. The latter is not expected to be renewed again. Continued stability in the housing market is essential to Texas’ economic recovery.

________________

* All measurements are calculated using seasonally adjusted data, and percentage changes are calculated month over month, unless stated otherwise.

** Bond and mortgage interest rates are nonseasonally adjusted. Loan-to-value ratios, debt-to-income ratios, and the credit score component are also nonseasonally adjusted.

*** The release of Texas mortgage rate data typically lag the Texas Housing Insight by one month.

To see the previous month’s report, click here. For the report from a year ago, click here

Previous reports available: 

2021: January, February, March, April , May, June

2020: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2019: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Source – James P. Gaines, Luis B. Torres, Wesley Miller, Paige Silva, and Griffin Carter (July 13, 2021)

https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/articles/technical-report/Texas-Housing-Insight

 

How-Does-RON-Work2

How Does RON Work?

Remote Online eClosing (“RON”) is a new, technology-driven notarial process that allows the signer to appear before the notary over a live audio-video feed when executing digital documents.

Step 1 Identity Verification

RON uses the latest identity verification technologies to make notarizations more secure.
A. Signer passes a knowledge-based identity quiz
B. Signer submits ID for review
C. Third-party software performs forensic test on ID

Step 2 Audio-Video Conference

The notary and signer talk to each other over a webcam in real-time and observe the necessary digital documents.

Step 3 “Tamper-Sealed” Documents

The notary adds a “tamper-seal” to date/time-stamp the notarized documents.  The seal will indicate whether any of the documents are altered in the future.  The signer downloads a PDF of the completed, digitally signed and digitally notarized, document.

Step 4 Audit Trail and Notary Records

Like with traditional notarizations, the notary keeps a journal logging the basic details of the notarization.  The journal can be kept in a secure digital format that includes a video of the notarial act, which can be used to prove who actually digitally signed the document.

Click here if you would like more information on our digital settlement services.

Print Version

Evaults-&-Enotes

eVaults and eNotes

What does a vault have to do with an eClosing? Plenty. As eClosings become more common, fundamental elements of the mortgage process will change. For example, instead of a paper promissory note, you may have an eNote and eVault. The note is one of the key lender documents within a loan package that borrowers sign at closing. It’s the borrower’s written promise to repay the loan within the specified term. The note is also very important to investors who buy and sell them on the secondary market. The note plays an important part in a mortgage backed security. Think of an eNote as the electronic version of a paper note. The eNote gets electronically signed instead of wet signed at closing. You must be able to identify the original version of the eNote. Think of the electronic version as a PDF. There could be infinite versions of it floating around. How do investors know the version they are buying is the original?  To solve this, the mortgage industry got smart and did two things:

  1. They created the MERS eRegistry, the legal system of record for identifying the controller and location of the authoritative copy of the eNote.
  2. Created standards for how to store eNotes in something called an eVault.

eVaults are technology platforms that are built to support the handling, status, and storage of eNotes. They always have integrations to the MERS eRegistry and often have integrations to other eVaults and trading partners. The MERS eRegistry is the librarian of the eNote world. It tracks who controls each eNote and in which eVault it is stored. When a lender creates an eNote, they register it with the MERS eRegistry  which notifies the librarian of the controller and location of the eNote. If you are exposed to an eNote, now you know what a vault has to do with it.

For more information on eClosings, visit www.republictitle.com/evolve

Click here to go to our YouTube page to see more of our helpful videos. 

eVaults and eNotes

Backup-Offer-Blog-Header

Backup Offers

If you’re a buyer or a Realtor in this housing market, you surely understand the struggles of “winning” the bidding war that many homes for sale are garnering. But, don’t lose hope if you or your buyer doesn’t get the house on the first offer, there’s always the chance for the first offer to fall through and that’s where the backup offer comes in!

Janet Allen and Scott Rooker discuss some of the benefits for both Buyers and Sellers with submitting a backup offer, some common questions surrounding backup offers and even if you can submit a backup offer to a backup offer! Take a listen to their discussion on the topic and visit our YouTube page for even more helpful real estate videos. Click here for this and other videos.

Here’s a link to the Addendum mentioned in the video: https://www.trec.texas.gov/sites/defa…

For more information or to get in contact with your Business Development Representative at Republic Title visit: https://www.republictitle.com/residen

Closing Process Overview

Closing Process Overview

We are continuing to celebrate National Homeownership Month which is a time to celebrate the benefits that homeownership brings to families and communities. In honor of National Homeownership Month, we have curated a list of our most popular homeownership resources for new homebuyers. Next up is our Closing Process Overview.

When you are preparing to buy a home, there are many steps in the process for the Buyer, REALTOR, mortgage company, and title company. We break down the common steps for each below:

Buyer and Realtor

  • Buyer or buyer’s agent delivers signed contract, option fee and earnest money to title company
  • Buyer or buyer’s agent provides copy of contract to lender to proceed with loan application
  • Order inspections (general and pest, etc.)
  • Buyer selects home warranty and obtains homeowner’s insurance
  • Buyer brings I.D. and “good funds” to closing (wire or cashier’s check)

Mortgage Company

  • Verify assets, liabilities, income/job stability and credit history
  • Order, receive and review appraisal
  • Collect and submit requirements to underwriter
  • Underwriting approval
  • Order flood certificate
  • Prepare and deliver loan documents to title company for closing
  • Review final signed documents sent from title company
    and authorize funding

Title Company

  • Closer receipts contract, option fee and earnest money
  • Order title work and tax certificate
  • Abstractor searches and examines title and issues title commitment
  • Closer reviews title commitment and sends to lender, buyer, buyer’s agent for review and acceptance
  • Title company receives closing disclosure/closing instructions from lender and forwards to all parties
  • Closing
  • Title company sends signed documents to lender for final approval
  • Funding: All money is distributed (which includes seller proceeds, REALTOR® commissions and loan payoffs)
  • Buyer collects keys to property

To download the Closing Process Flowchart resource, click here. To view other Home Buying Resources, visit the Resources page on our website.

Housing-Insight-April-2021

Texas Housing Insight – April 2021 Summary

Total Texas housing sales fell 2.5 percent in April on top of a first-quarter decline, confirming that the rapid-fire activity last year has lost momentum. Residential construction loan values decreased during the first three months of the year, but housing starts and building permits picked up in April, pointing to stable construction during the summer. Due to rising supply costs, however, new homes are unlikely to be priced at the lower end of the price spectrum, where inventory is most constrained. Persistent demand for housing amid limited availability at the bottom price cohorts pushed sales toward higher-priced homes. Double-digit home-price appreciation and rising mortgage interest rates chipped away at housing affordability and may dampen housing demand moving forward. The unprecedented low level of inventory available for sale is the greatest challenge to Texas’ housing market, assuming the pandemic remains contained.

Supply*

The Residential Construction Cycle (Coincident) Index, which measures current construction levels, trended upward nationally and within Texas due to increased industry wages, employment, and construction values during April. Moreover, the Texas Residential Construction Leading Index indicated construction activity is expected to strengthen in the coming months as weighted building permits and residential starts elevated and the ten-year real Treasury bill declined. Houston accounted for much of the statewide rise in permits and starts, reversing the local leading index’s downward trend. The leading indexes in North and Central Texas decelerated but continued to suggest stable future activity.

Net residential loans extended a three-quarter decline, inching down 0.7 percent quarter over quarter (QOQ) during the first three months of 2021 due to decreases in both the one-to-four unit and multifamily sectors. Corroborating the data, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey indicated a moderate share of banks tightened standards on construction and land development loans. A modest portion, however, eased standards on multifamily loans. 

Single-family construction permits increased 4.4 percent in April, extending a year-long upward trend despite falling with residential loan values during the first quarter. Houston topped the national list with 5,254 nonseasonally adjusted permits, registering double-digit growth for the second straight month after adjusting for seasonality. On the other hand, activity in the state’s other major metros slowed, although Dallas-Fort Worth still ranked second in the nation, flattening at 4,515 permits. Meanwhile, Austin and San Antonio issued 2,599 and 1,244 permits, respectively. In Texas’ multifamily sector, permits for five-or-more units rebounded after a two-month decline, shifting attention away from two-to-four units.

After a sluggish start to the year, total Texas housing starts recovered above year-end levels, increasing 4.1 percent on a per capita basis. As single-family starts in the southern region of the U.S. decreased for the third consecutive month, Texas’ single-family private construction values plummeted 24.6 percent in real terms during April. Austin values in particular corrected downward after climbing the past year, falling every month since January. Meanwhile, activity in Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) normalized to average levels during 2019. San Antonio registered a steep monthly decline, but values continued on an upward trajectory due to strong growth at the beginning of the year.

The number of homes added to the Multiple Listings Service flattened at 2016 oil-bust levels in April as homeowners were reluctant to list their house amid ongoing hesitance of in-person home viewing or of being unable to find another home to buy. Moreover, the pace of sales in the last 12 months was still rapid despite a monthly slowdown to start the second quarter of the year, pulling Texas’ months of inventory(MOI) down to 1.3 months. A total MOI around six months is considered a balanced housing market. Inventory for homes priced less than $300,000 was even more constrained, dropping to 0.9 months. Even the MOI for luxury homes (homes priced more than $500,000), the price range at which inventory was at its most expansive, slid to 2.2 months.

The supply situation in the major metros was even more critical than the statewide metric. Although Austin’s MOI ticked up across all price ranges after an influx of new listings the previous month boosted April’s supply of active listings, the metric was still constrained at just 0.5 months. Inventory flattened at one month in both Dallas and Fort Worth and slipped to 1.2 months in San Antonio. Houston’s overall MOI was greater than the state average at 1.5 months, but the metric for homes priced less than $300,000 slipped below 0.8 months. Depleted inventory is a major headwind to the health of Texas’ housing market.

Demand

Despite healthy demand, total housing sales decreased 2.5 percent in April on top of a first-quarter decline. Much of the slowdown may be attributed to limited inventory for homes priced less than $300,000. Rising mortgage rates also pressured affordability, especially for first-time homebuyers. On the other hand, sales for homes priced more than $400,000 increased for the second straight month.

Housing sales also continued to normalize from accelerated activity over the past year at the metropolitan level. Monthly fluctuations across Dallas’ price spectrum mirrored the state’s, falling 10.3 percent year to date (YTD). Meanwhile, sales in San Antonio and Fort Worth dropped 16.1 and 12.4 percent YTD, respectively, despite positive growth in the luxury-home sector. Luxury-home sales increased by a third relative to year-end levels in Austin, but the overall metric still contracted 8.4 percent. Although Houston sales declined across all price cohorts in April, YTD activity decreased only 4.4 percent.

Texas’ average days on market (DOM) registered a steep drop to just 37 days in April, corroborating robust demand amid steady population growth and favorable economic conditions for higher-income potential homebuyers. In Austin and North Texas, the average home sold even faster, staying on the market only 19 days in the former and 28 and 27 days in Dallas and Fort Worth, respectively. San Antonio’s DOM matched the statewide metric, while Houston’s steadied at 41 days.

National economic data fulfilled expectations from earlier in the year, which were priced into first-quarter interest rates. The ten-year U.S. Treasury bond yield stabilized at pre-pandemic levels of 1.6 percent** in April, while the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation’s 30-year fixed-rate flattened at 3.1 percent. Reflecting the national trend during 1Q2021, the median mortgage rate within Texas inched up to 2.89 and 2.76 percent for GSE and non-GSE loans, respectively, in March***. Amid higher mortgage rates, Texas home-purchase applications slid 17.3 percent YTD in April but remained one-third above year-ago activity. On the other hand, refinance applications decreased 34.1 percent YTD, being more sensitive to mortgage rate fluctuations. Lenders adding more requisites and the shrinking pool of households able to refinance is likely impacting refinance activity as well. (For more information, see Finding a Representative Interest Rate for the Typical Texas Mortgagee.)

In March, the median loan-to-value ratio (LTV) constituting the “typical” Texas conventional-loan mortgage decreased from 85.4 to 83.9. The debt-to-income ratio (DTI) flattened at 35.4, but the median credit score jumped from 753 to 757. The median LTV of the GSE borrower inched up from 85.1 to 85.7 but continued to trend downward, while the DTI dipped from 35.9 to 35.6. Overall improved credit profiles may reflect the fact that only the most qualified housing applicants are able to outbid their competition for their desired homes amid exceptionally tight inventories and robust demand.

Prices

A shift in the composition of sales toward higher-priced homes due to constrained inventories at the lower end of the market contributed to home-price appreciation. The Texas median home price rose for the fourth consecutive month, accelerating 17.3 percent YOY to a record-breaking $289,700 in April. The share of luxury-homes sold in Austin more than doubled to two-fifths compared with this time last year, contributing to the 41.7 percent annual surge in the median price ($451,400). The Dallas metric ($355,400) also increased at a higher rate than the state average, skyrocketing 20.4 percent. The median price elevated 17.5 percent YOY in Houston ($291,300) and 15.2 and 15.1 percent in San Antonio ($275,200) and Fort Worth ($290,300), respectively.

The Texas Repeat Sales Home Price Index accounts for compositional price effects and provides a better measure of changes in single-family home values. Texas’ index corroborated substantial and unsustainable home-price appreciation, soaring 13.5 percent YOY. Austin’s index rose 34.5 percent, followed by North Texas with 11.9 and 15.2 percent home-price appreciation in Dallas and Fort Worth, respectively. Meanwhile, the metric climbed 12.0 percent in San Antonio and 9.2 percent in Houston. Increasing home prices pressure housing affordability, particularly in an environment of mortgage rate hikes and low wage growth.

Single-Family Forecast

The Texas Real Estate Research Center projected single-family housing sales using monthly pending listings from the preceding period (Table 1). Only one month in advance was projected due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the availability of reliable and timely data. Texas sales are expected to decrease for the second straight month in May, falling around 5 percent. Activity is likely to decline about 5.5 percent in Houston and San Antonio, and drop 7.3 percent in DFW. Austin’s single-family sales are predicted to slump 4.3 percent, normalizing to a more sustainable pace in a low-inventory environment. Nevertheless, sales through the first five months of 2021 should surpass sales during the same period in 2020.

Household Pulse Survey

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, only 5 percent of Texas homeowners were behind on their mortgage payments in April, matching the national average (Table 2). The metric within DFW ticked up to 7 percent, but the rate fell to just 3 percent in Houston. The share of Texas respondents who were not current and expected foreclosure to be either very likely or somewhat likely in the next two months, however, rose to 26 percent, the highest since December (Table 3). The proportion of delinquent individuals who were at risk of foreclosure was at an all-time high of 33 percent in North Texas (series starting in the Week 13 survey of Phase 2), although the metric stabilized at 15 percent in Houston. Both the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s foreclosure and REO eviction moratoriums for properties owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s federal eviction moratoriums are currently set to expire on June 30, 2021. Continued stability in the housing market is essential to Texas’ economic recovery.

* All measurements are calculated using seasonally adjusted data, and percentage changes are calculated month over month, unless stated otherwise.

** Bond and mortgage interest rates are nonseasonally adjusted. Loan-to-value ratios, debt-to-income ratios, and the credit score component are also nonseasonally adjusted.

*** The release of Texas mortgage rate data typically lag the Texas Housing Insight by one month.

To see the previous month’s report, click here. For the report from a year ago, click here

Previous reports available: 

2021: January, February, March, April , May

2020: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

2019: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Source – James P. Gaines, Luis B. Torres, Wesley Miller, Paige Silva, and Griffin Carter (June 14, 2021)

https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/articles/technical-report/Texas-Housing-Insight

Fair Housing Awareness

Fair Housing Awareness in a Strong Sellers Market

Next up is the third and final video in our series on navigating a strong seller’s market where we discuss those buyer “love letters” that sometimes accompany contracts in a multiple offer situation.
 
Key takeaways:
– They can bring legal trouble to the seller
– Selling agents should let buying agents know that they will not accept them
– There are similar implications that sellers need to be aware of in regards to home surveillance systems in the home that are recording during showings
 
For the first and second videos in this series and other informative real estate and title videos, visit our YouTube page at youtube.com/republictitle
 
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