U.S. Pending Home Sales Fall to Second-Lowest Level on Record But Double-digit U.S. Home Price Growth Streak Skids To An End

U.S. Pending Home Sales

U.S. Pending Home Sales Fall to Second-Lowest Level on Record But…

According to a statement released on Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors index pending home sales fell 4% this month to the lowest since before the pandemic for records dating back to 2001. Although the decrease exceeded all predictions from an economist survey conducted by Bloomberg, many feel that we are very close, if not already at the bottom of the market. This means that better times for housing may lie ahead in 2023.

The aggressive tightening effort by the Federal Reserve to control inflation has significantly affected the housing market in 2022. Home sales and, consequently, prices have been falling for months as borrowing costs have approximately doubled from where they were at the beginning of the year.

There are approximately two months of lag time between mortgage rates and home sales,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement. “With mortgage rates falling throughout December, home-buying activity should inevitably rebound in the coming months and help economic growth.”

MBA Weekly Survey Dec. 21, 2022: Falling Rates Boost Refis for 2nd Straight Week

The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Dec. 16 showed an increase in refinancing activity for the second consecutive week due to the lowest interest rates since September.

Although the unadjusted refinance index rose 6% from the previous week, it was still 85% lower than the last week a year earlier. More mortgages were for refinances, from 29.4% the last week to 31.3 percent of all applications.

Double-digit U.S. Home Price Growth Streak Skids To An End

When mortgage rates spiked above 7% in October, and further limited demand, annual price growth in the U.S. housing market fell into the single digits for the first time in roughly two years, a pair of highly monitored surveys indicated on Tuesday.

The S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller national home price index saw its first single-digit gain since November 2020 in October, rising 9.2% as opposed to 10.7% in September. This is the index’s first non-double-digit gain since September 2020. The annual home price increase rate decreased to 9.8% in October from 11.1% in September, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The Fed’s aggressive interest rate increases, intended to lower high inflation by reducing demand in the economy, have negatively impacted the housing market. The Fed increased rates by half a percentage point this month, capping a year that saw its benchmark rate grow at the fastest since the early 1980s, from nearly zero in March to between 4.25% and 4.5%. In 2023, rates, according to Fed experts, will likely reach 5%.

The National Association of Realtors predicted earlier this month that existing home values, which comprise the vast majority of the market, will stay steady in 2023.

Next week’s potential market-moving reports are:

  • Monday, January 2nd – No Report
  • Tuesday, January 3rd – Construction Spending
  • Wednesday, January 4th – Job Openings, Quits, FOMC Minutes
  • Thursday, January 5th– – Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims, ADP Employment Report
  • Friday, January 6th – Unemployment Rate, Average Hourly Earnings

As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can. Please feel free to reach me at (800) 216-1047.

Related Post

Mortgage Demand Is Up In Six Weeks, Despite Much Higher Interest Rates – Housing Construction Rebounds Seen in August While Existing Home Sales Fall


Housing Construction Rebounds In August While Permits Drop

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and Housing and Urban Development Department, residential building unexpectedly picked up in August, with home starts up 12.2% month over month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.58 million units.

Both multifamily and single-family starts increased during the month. The growth occurred even as the housing sector battles a slowdown brought on by the unpredictability of the economy and the climate of rising mortgage rates.

After falling for five consecutive months, single-family starts increased by 3.4% in August, perhaps as a result of some improvements in the supply of building materials. However, the single-family building is still insufficient by modern standards.

“Today’s housing starts report is more evidence that the housing recession is deepening for the single-family market, with the pace below 1 million for the last two months,” added Jing Fu, the NAHB’s director of forecasting and analysis. “Expected additional tightening of monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, falling builder sentiment, and a 15.3% year-over-year decline in single-family permits point to further weakening for the housing sector.”

Even while the August numbers are positive, the construction recovery might only be temporary. August saw a 10% drop in all building permits, with single-family permits falling by 3.5% and multifamily permits falling by 17.9%. The August reversal indicates that builders are still reducing production due to continued material cost concerns and muted demand. Permitting is a reliable predictor of future new-home supply.

Existing Home Sales Fall in August; Prices Soften Significantly

As the National Association of Realtors reported, sales of previously owned homes dropped 0.4% from July to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.80 million units. That is the lowest sales pace since May 2020, when the Covid epidemic’s beginnings temporarily caused activity to stall.

All price ranges saw a decline in sales, but the lower end saw the most significant drop. While sales of properties priced between $750,000 and $1 million were down just 3% from the previous year, those priced between $250,000 and $500,000 saw a 14% decline—a decline primarily due to supply, which is most scarce at the bottom end of the market.

Although there was a slight increase in single-family housing starts in August, the U.S. Census reports that homebuilders have been cutting back in response to declining demand. That might have been brought on by a momentary dip in mortgage rates that increased buyer interest. Building permits, a sign of upcoming construction, decreased since mortgage rates were anticipated to rise once more.

Mortgage Demand Is Up In Six Weeks, Despite Much Higher Interest Rates

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances—$647,200 or less—rose from 6.01% to 6.25%, with points for loans with a 20% down payment falling from 0.76 to 0.71 (including the origination fee).

Applications to refinance a home loan, often particularly susceptible to significant rate changes, actually increased 10% for the week. The prior week’s holiday adjustment might have impacted part of that. It’s also possible that the few remaining borrowers who could profit from a refinance finally decided to do so after realizing that rates might increase soon.

Despite an increase of 1% for the week, mortgage applications for home purchases were 30% fewer than during the same week last year. Since there is currently less competition in the expensive market, some buyers might act quickly. Even so, costs have not decreased much, and because interest rates are currently so high, affordability is historically poor. The slight weekly increase in mortgage demand does not accurately reflect the current severe decline in home sales.

A bank advertises that it offers mortgage loans with no interest.

Customer: “Hello, I’d like to apply for a mortgage.”

Bank Employee: “Yeah, whatever.”

Next week’s potential market-moving reports are:

  • Monday, September 26 – Chicago Fed National Activity Index
  • Tuesday, September 27 – S&P Case Shiller and FHFA U.S. Home Price Index (SAAR), New Home Sales (SAAR)
  • Wednesday, September 28 – Pending Home Sales Index
  • Thursday, September 29 – Initial Jobless Claims, Continuing Jobless Claims
  • Friday, September 30 – Core PCE Price Index, Real Consumer Spending, Chicago PMI

As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can. Please feel free to reach me at (800) 216-1047.



Related Post

The Federal Open Market Committee Indicates Taper End In March, Rate Hike in our midst! Read on

FOMC Indicates Taper End In March, Rate Hike Soon

Officials at the Federal Reserve have been persuaded by rising inflation and a solid labor market that interest rates must be increased “soon.” However, a specific date has yet to be announced.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) resolved on Wednesday to hold the federal funds rate target range at 0 to 0.25 percent, but it is expected that rates will be hiked in early March.

Mortgage-backed securities and loan rates will rise in 2022 due to the announcement of a rate hike and the closure of the pandemic-era asset purchasing policy, which will strain mortgage-backed securities. For a typical 30-year mortgage, mortgage rates are currently above 3.5 percent, and the Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that by the end of the year, mortgage rates will rise to 4%. Read More

Related Post