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Trulia sounds alarm: young adult unemployment could hinder housing

Trulia says housing is solid, but there’s a crack in the foundation in the form of the often unnoticed young adult employment numbers.




Overall, Trulia reports that the monthly jobs numbers and housing are fairly solid, but there is a crack in the foundation that could hinder the long term recovery of housing: unemployment in young American adults.

Monthly, they look at three measures in the monthly jobs report to see whether housing is helping jobs and whether jobs are helping housing:

  1. Residential construction employment, which shows whether housing is helping jobs.
  2. Job growth for young adults (key age group for household formation), and
  3. Job growth in “clobbered metros” (those hit hardest in the housing bust), to show whether jobs are helping housing.

Trulia notes that the April jobs report came back with solid construction-job growth nationally, as well as a continued jobs recovery in “clobbered metros,” but young adult employment is slipping.

Residential construction employment

“Residential construction employment, including residential specialty trade contractors, increased by 13.1 thousand in April versus one month earlier, and by 29.5 thousand versus three months earlier,” notes Dr. Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist.

residential construction

Dr. Kolko added, “That’s steady growth: residential constrution jobs are up 5.0 percent year-over-year, ahead of overall job growth of 1.7 percent. Why is construction employment still growing even though new-home starts fell 6 percent year-over-year in March? Because employment is more closely tied to the number of units under construction, which were up 21 percent year-over-year in March. Single-family homes are typically under construction for several months, and multi-unit buildings are typically under construction for a little over a year.”

Young adult employment

In April, young-adult employment “stumbled,” Dr. Kolko stated. Employment among 25-34 year-olds, the prime age group for housing demand, was at 75.5 percent in April, after three months at 75.9-76.0 percent. “But it’s too soon to tell whether this downturn is a blip or a trend,” Dr. Kolko opines, still referring to it as a “red flag.”

employment stats

Prior to the bubble, young adult employment hovered around 78 to 80 percent, but is not yet even halfway back to normal.

“Having a job matters for housing. Just 12 percent of employed 25-34 year-olds live with their parents, versus 20 percent of 25-34 year-olds without jobs,” Dr. Kolko added.

Job growth in “clobbered metros”

In “clobbered metros,” job growth was 2.2 percent in March compared to the same week in 2013, which has outpaced national job growth which is only 1.7 percent during the same period.

job growth

Among clobbered metros, Las Vegas (+3.6%), Fort Lauderdale (+3.3%), Orlando (+3.1%), and Miami (+3.1%) had especially strong year-over-year job growth, while Detroit (-0.9%) continued to lose jobs.

“Job growth in clobbered metros has outpaced overall U.S. job growth since mid-2011,” Dr. Kolko said. “Year-over-year job growth in clobbered metros ran ahead of the U.S. overall until the bubble burst, then lagged the U.S. overall during the bust and recession. Employment in clobbered metros has increased 11% cumulatively from before the bubble (January 2000) to now (March 2014), compared with 5% for the U.S. overall.”

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.


Why it’s about to get more expensive to get a mortgage

(FINANCE) Borrowing money is getting more expensive, especially for those looking to get a mortgage. But why?



bonds and mortgages

Although there have been some blips, bonds have grown substantially in value since the 1980s. They’ve performed extremely well for a number of reasons, not least of which is the big slowdown in inflation over that time period.

The result, for investors, has been that anything “bond-lik,e” i.e. capable of paying a regular income – like a high-dividend stock or even a property like your home – has shot up in value. A reversal of bond prices would mean less support for such investments.

That’s what the economy is currently experiencing. According to Financial Times, American worker wage growth is hastening the sell-off of bonds by the US government, which is decreasing the overall price of bonds. As bond prices go down, the interest rates that they offer new investors go up. That rate jumped to 2.85 percent last Friday, the highest level since 2014.

Since the rates at which banks lend their money are largely based on the interest rates offered by bonds, regular folks looking to take out a mortgage or a loan are facing higher costs.

How does this work?

If we’re talkin’ bond prices, we’re talkin’ yield. When the price of a bond goes up, the yield of that bond goes down! Let’s say you’re getting paid $5 each year. If you pay $50 for that right, then you’re making a 10% “yield” (5/50 = 10%). But if you pay $100 for that right, then you’re making a 5% “yield” (5/100 = 5%).

It’s the same thing with the price of a bond because the amount a bond investor gets paid (usually) is fixed. And so, when the bond goes up in value, the “yield” goes down – and vice versa.

For realtors, its important to help clients shop for the best rates to improve their confidence in this market. Leveraging the right online and local financing resources can help potential buyers get the best deal. Explaining broader market context is also critical. Historically, a three percent interest rate is still very low.

According to Investopedia, mortgage rates averaged 7.81% in 1996 and 10.19% in 1986. Instilling confidence with information will put buyers and sellers in the right place to make moves.

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How does this soft jobs report impact the housing market?

(REAL ESTATE NEWS) When we see a soft jobs report, does that hurt or help the housing market? We talk to two economists about it.



In a year of political uncertainty, the release of any jobs report is polarizing. Political figures and armchair policy wonks will read into the data as they wish, but not housing economists.

That’s who we look to in these times, because we all know that jobs is the cure-all for a recovering economy, but payroll growth slumped in September as the U.S. Labor Department reports that employers added only 156,000 jobs.

This fell short of the 172,000 originally projected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Hidden positives in the report

Dr. Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist at Trulia said, “While the September jobs report came in below expectations, the continued addition of jobs to the US economy will help buoy demand for homes, both on the for-sale and rental side of the market.”

He observed another positive hidden in the Labor Department result. “In addition, wage growth kicked up again, which will help bolster the savings of first-time homebuyers trying to scrape together a downpayment.”

Real estate remains unchanged

“Given no major surprise in the data, the national outlook for real estate market remains essentially unchanged, with home sales expected to squeak out slight gains in 2016 and 2017 while commercial building vacancy rates should continue to fall,” said NAR Chief Economist, Dr. Lawrence Yun.

Yun adds that “we should note that men have been underperforming as 68.4% of adults have jobs, down from historic norm of around 75%. Meanwhile, 55.8% of women have jobs, roughly matching the historic norms.”

Pointing out that the data is being “digested” through the perspective of the upcoming election, Dr. Yun notes that, “among men, those with a college degree 72% of adults are working while only 54% of those with only a high school degree are working.”

Dr. Yun observes, “There will surely be a big divergent voting patterns among men versus women and among those with college education and those without in November.”


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Mortgage companies hiring time travelers to uncover missing documents?

(MORTGAGE NEWS) – Mortgage companies are hiring for an interesting new position that may speak to their role in the economic crash of 2008.



During the Great Recession of 2008, it’s been estimated that around seven million Americans lost their home. Many of the homes that went into foreclosure did so because people lost their jobs, and just gave up on their home. In some, people got kicked out based on false documentation, faulty paperwork or just downright illegal mortgage servicing. Numerous lawsuits have been filed and won by homeowners who were wrongfully evicted.

In California, in Yvanova v. New Century Mortgage Corporation, the California Supreme Court ruled that plaintiffs held the right to contest foreclosures when documentation (in this case, a mortgage transfer that was allegedly void) was not handled correctly. The Court didn’t determine validity of the document in Yvanova’s case, just that she had the right to contest the foreclosure.

New jobs in mortgage documentation

According to David Dayen, who wrote Chain of Title, this phenomenon has brought new jobs to the market. Career Builder lists a job for a “Default Breach Specialist” posted by a recruiting firm in Jacksonville, Florida. The primary characteristics for this position:

“The Default Breach Specialist responsibilities include ensuring all breach letters are issued as required by investors, insurers and/or State Law.  Responsible for ordering title, reviewing title and all security documents to identify missing assignments needed to complete the chain of title prior to foreclosure referral.”

Seeking time travelers

According to Dayen, all the assignments of mortgage should have been prepared and recorded at the time of the sale or transfer. He questions why any mortgage company would need to order these documents.

In Yvanova’s case, it’s alleged that the mortgage was not converted into the trust in a legal fashion. In many of the cases involving foreclosure, third parties were hired to produce the paperwork that conveyed a mortgage into the trust. Dayen alleges that many of these companies “mocked up” documentation.

Although it is possible that the mortgage company is simply looking for someone to make sure everything is in the case file, it’s also possible (some would say highly likely) that some documents may never be found because they don’t exist.

The failure to follow the law as it pertains to property records is so bad that companies are now hiring chain of title specialists to manage the problem. This does not put the real estate industry in the best light.

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