The Zelman Buzz

Exclusive insights and analyses from our industry-leading research team

Student Loan Debt Looming as Affordability Constraints Stretch Further

July 13, 2023 by Alan Ratner

Given a combination of the recent increase in mortgage rates and a reacceleration in home prices over the last three months, the current P&I payment on an average new home stands at roughly $3,000 per month – up nearly 70% from two years ago and 25% above trend line...
Number of Real Estate Agents Drifting Lower, Following Expected Path

May 25, 2023 by Ryan McKeveny

While economy-wide employment trends have remained resilient, headcount for one of the largest professions in real estate – real estate agents – has been drifting lower, as approximated by the membership count of the National Association of Realtors. We estimate that agent count has now decreased on...
As Housing Employment Adjusts, Retail and Mortgage Origination Quickest to Re-Align

April 25, 2023 by Kevin Kaczmarek

Housing-related employment growth has now lagged overall employment for 22 consecutive months on a year over year basis but, despite the dramatic increase in interest rates over the past year or so, has remained positive at 1.7% as of February, the latest data available...
Are Home Prices Being Viewed With Rose Colored Glasses?

November 02, 2022 by Ryan McKeveny

Earlier this week, CoreLogic released its preliminary national home price index related to September home closings, showing a 50 basis point sequential decline on top of July and August’s decreases of 60 and 100 basis points, respectively. Given the natural lag between pending and closed transactions, the trends imply that underlying price pressure...
Slowing Demand Driving For-Sale Inventory Higher Despite Decline in New Listings

October 12, 2022 by Kevin Kaczmarek

CoreLogic recently released detailed home price appreciation data for the month of August that showed prices declined on a sequential basis for the second straight month. The 1.2% decline over the two-month period is the first nationwide home price reversal since the Great Financial Crisis. As a reminder...
FHA Borrowers Cry "Uncle" for Downpayment Help

August 25, 2022 by Kevin Kaczmarek

Entry-level credits are facing a unique set of macro circumstances that have made it increasingly challenging to navigate the home purchase market. Prospective homebuyers are now having to factor in higher monthly mortgage payments, leaving less room for other expenses, while at the same time higher inflation eats away at how much...
U.N. Population Reduction Likely First of Many to Come

July 14, 2022 by Dennis McGill

Earlier this week, the United Nations published updated global population estimates, the first release since 2019 and the onset of the pandemic. Not surprisingly given our concerns around decelerating demographic growth detailed in our Cradle to Grave report, the U.N. cut its United States outlook for the current decade by 14%.
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How Quickly Could “No Inventory” Narrative Change?

May 26, 2022 by Ryan McKeveny

Including a 10% year-over-year decline in April’s existing home inventory to 1.03 million – a record low for the month – the NAR has reported year-over-year inventory decreases for 35 consecutive months. While narratives around “no inventory” have been pervasive, data from Redfin and implied by the NAR both suggest that the number of new listings – or the flow into inventory – was highest in at least a decade in 2021.
With Cash-Outs Now Dominating Refinances, Which Lenders Are Best Positioned?

May 19, 2022 by Kevin Kaczmarek

In 2021, elevated home price appreciation alongside low rates resulted in a mortgage origination market ideal for cash-out refinances, which saw unit volumes increase 39%, building on 50% growth in 2020. Many lenders saw the opportunity to create a bigger presence in this market...
Fighting Over a Melting Ice Cube?

April 29, 2022 by Dennis McGill

In our Cradle to Grave thematic report published last August, we raised the concern that population growth was on a “troubling trajectory”, but it has been dismissed by many as not a problem in “their” markets. Is this true?