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Case-Shiller Reports Home Prices Rise at Fastest Pace in 7 Years

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 24th, 2021

Case-Shiller Reports Home Prices Rise at Fastest Pace in 7 YearsS & P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices reported the fastest pace of U.S home price growth in seven years. National home prices grew by 10.40 percent year-over-year in December as compared to November’s reading of  9.50 percent home price growth on a year-over-year basis.

The S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index reported home price growth in 18 of 20 cities included in the index. Detroit, Michigan did not report home price data for December. Phoenix, Arizona held the top position in the 20-City Index for the 19th consecutive month with year-over-year home price growth averaging 14.40 percent. Home prices in Seattle, Washington home prices held second place with year-over-year growth of 13.60 percent. San Diego, California home prices grew 13.00 percent year-over-year.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency released home price data for homes owned or financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Home prices rose by 10.80 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 as compared to home prices in the fourth quarter of 2019. Home prices reported by FHFA rose by 3.80 percent between the third and fourth quarters of 2020.

Idaho home prices reported by FHFA rose by 21.10 percent year-over-year.  Montana home prices grew by 15.50 percent; Utah followed closely with 15.40 percent home price growth. FHFA reported the highest pace of home price growth for cities in Boise, Idaho; home prices in San Francisco, California grew at the slowest pace. This data supports the trend of homeowners moving from costly metro areas to inland suburbs where they can buy larger homes for lower prices.

Rapidly Rising Home Prices Impact Affordability

While homeowners welcome quickly rising home prices, affordability issues worry real estate analysts and prospective home buyers. The covid-19 pandemic caused home prices to rise as homeowners fled congested urban areas for suburban and rural areas.

Supplies of available homes fall as demand for homes keeps rising during the pandemic. Millennials are in their peak home-buying years but many current homeowners are waiting out the pandemic to sell. Low inventories of available homes and rising building materials costs add to the shortage of homes in general and affordable homes in particular.

First-time and moderate-income home buyers face increasing challenges as home prices and mortgage rates rise. Mortgage approval standards are difficult to meet as rising home prices cause housing payments and down payment requirements to increase. In addition to property taxes and hazard insurance, buyers who cannot pay 20 percent down must also pay for mortgage insurance.

Skyrocketing home prices should ease when demand for homes slows, but that won’t happen until supplies of available homes catch up to buyer demand.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – February 22, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 22nd, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - February 22, 2021Last week’s economic reporting included readings from the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued along with data on sales of previously-owned homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

NAHB: Home Builders Index Rises One Point in February

Homebuilder confidence rose by one index point to 84 according to the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index. Readings over 50 in the Housing Market Index indicate that most homebuilders are confident about U.S. housing market conditions.

Component readings for the housing market index were mixed in February. Builder confidence in current market conditions for new single-family homes was unchanged with an index reading of 90; builder confidence in new home sales for the next six months fell by three points to a reading of 83. Builder confidence in buyer traffic in new single-family developments rose four points to an index reading of 72.  Before the pandemic, readings for buyer traffic in new housing developments were typically below 50, but the pandemic has created more interest in new single-family homes as families moved from congested urban areas to suburban areas.

Builders cited ongoing concerns including rising materials costs and affordability issues for first-time and low-income homebuyers.

Housing Starts Lower in January as Building Permits Rise

The Commerce Department reported fewer housing starts in January based on 1.58 million starts reported on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis, 1.67 million starts were reported in December and analysts expected a pace of 1.68 million housing starts for January.

Building permits issued rose in January to a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.88 million permits. Analysts expected a reading of 1.67 million permits issued based on 1.70 million permits issued in December. Winter weather conditions likely contributed to fewer housing starts, but builders took out more building permits in anticipation of improving weather and continuing demand for homes due to shortages of available homes for sale and higher demand due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The National Association of Realtors® reported 6.69 million sales of previously-owned homes on a seasonally adjusted annual basis as of January. Low inventories of available homes and high demand for single-family homes continue to drive home sales during the pandemic. Rising home prices caused by high demand and low inventories of homes for sale created affordability issues in suburban areas as well as traditionally high-priced metro areas.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Jobless Claims Mixed

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by eight basis points to 2.81 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.21 percent and were two basis points higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.77 percent and two basis points lower than the prior week.

Weekly jobless claims data was mixed last week with 861,000 initial jobless claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 848,000 first-time jobless claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims fell to 4.49 million continuing claims as compared to the prior week’s reading of 4.56 million continuing jobless claims filed.

What’s Next

This week’s scheduled economic readings include S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Home Price Index, and data on pending home sales. The University of Michigan will issue its reading on consumer sentiment and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – February 15, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 16th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - February 15, 2021

Last week’s scheduled economic reporting included readings on inflation, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on U.S. labor markets, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

Oil Prices Push Inflation Higher in January

Rising oil and gasoline prices drove a jump in January’s consumer price index. Inflation rose 0.30 percent month-to-month, which matched analysts’ expectations. The year-over-year inflation rate rose to 1.40 percent but remained lower than the pre-pandemic annual pace of 2.30 percent. The core inflation rate, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, was unchanged in January.

Some analysts expect stronger inflation throughout 2021 due to the impact of stimulus payments and the potential for covid-19 vaccines. Widespread vaccinations are expected to reduce quarantine requirements and local restrictions on businesses and workplaces.

Fed Chair Doesn’t Expect Lasting Jump in Inflation in Near Term

In remarks made during a speech to the Economic Club of New York, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said he anticipated neither “a large nor sustained” increase in inflation for the near future. Mr. Powell also said that rising prices caused by bursts of spending were not sustainable. “Inflation has been much lower and more stable over the past three decades than in earlier times.” The Fed Chair also observed that “In the 1970s  when inflation would go up, it would stay up.”

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady as Jobless Claims Decrease

Freddie Mac reported no change in the average rate of 2.73 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by two basis points to 2.19 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages rose one basis point to 2.79 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, and fell to 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Jobless claims fell last week with 793,000 initial claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 812,000 first-time claims filed. 4.55 million continuing jobless claims were filed last week as compared to 4.69 million ongoing claims filed in the prior week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings from the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index and Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. The National Association of Realtors will report on sales of previously-owned homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – February 8, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 8th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - February 8, 2021Last week’s economic news included Commerce Department readings on construction spending, labor sector reporting on public and private-sector job growth, and the national unemployment rate. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Construction Spending Driven by Housing Sector in December

The Commerce Department reported a one percent gain in construction spending in December to a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of $1.49 trillion. Residential construction drove spending for the seventh consecutive month with a 3.10 percent gain in spending. Construction for public projects rose by 0.50 percent; private-sector spending on non-residential construction fell by -1.70 percent.

Demand for housing remained high as supplies of previously-owned homes ran below average and homebuyers turned to new housing developments. Flight to less congested metro areas continued to drive demand for single-family homes. Builders cited rising materials costs and land and labor shortages as ongoing challenges to building affordable homes.

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady as Job Growth Improves

Freddie Mac reported little change in average mortgage rates last week. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged at 2.73 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.21 percent and one basis point higher. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was two basis points lower at 2.78 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

Public and private-sector job growth improved in January. ADP reported 174,000 private-sector jobs as compared to a negative reading of -78,000 jobs in December. Analysts forecasted 48,000 private-sector jobs added in January.

The federal government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report showed 49,000 public and private-sector jobs added, which fell short of the expected 50,000 jobs added, but the job growth reading was good news when compared to December’s reading of -227,000 jobs lost.  In related news, the national unemployment rate fell to 6.30 percent as compared to December’s reading of 6.70 percent 

Fewer Jobless Claims Filed

779,000 initial jobless claims were filed last week as compared to the prior week’s reading of 812,000 first-time claims filed. Continuing jobless claims also fell with 4.59 million ongoing claims reported; 4.79 million continuing claims were filed during the prior week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – February 1, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 1st, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - February 1, 2021

Last week’s economic reports included readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, readings on new and pending home sales,  and the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices: Home Prices Rose Faster in November

The Case-Shiller National Home Price Index showed that November home prices grew by 9.50 percent on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. October’s reading showed 8.40 percent home price growth; analysts expected a year-over-year pace of  8.80 percent for national home price growth.

Severe shortages of available homes coupled with high demand for homes continued to fuel rising home prices as builders faced rising materials costs. The covid pandemic added to home price growth, which is expected to slow as businesses and employers reopen and flight from congested urban areas slows.

The 20-City Home Price Index reported home price growth in 19 of 20 cities; Detroit, Michigan has not reported its data in recent months. Phoenix, Arizona, Seattle, Washington, and San Diego, California again held the top three places in the 20-City Index.

New Home Sales Rise in December

New homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 842,000 sales as compared to a sales pace of 829,000 homes sold in November. Pending home sales were lower in December with a -0.30 percent decline. Analysts forecasted a reading of -0.20 percent in pending sales based on November’s reading of -2.60 percent fewer pending home sales. Seasonal influences including winter weather and the holiday season typically cause home sales to fall during the winter months.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Lower

Freddie Mac reported lower fixed mortgage rates last week; the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by four basis points to 2.73 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell one basis point to 2.20 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was unchanged at 2.80 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent, 0.60 percent, and 0.30 percent respectively.

First-time jobless claims fell to 847,000 claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 914,000 initial claims filed. Continuing jobless claims were also lower with 4.77 million claims filed. as compared to the previous week’s reading of 4.97 million claims filed.

The University of Michigan reported an index reading of 79.0 in January for its Consumer Sentiment Index. Analysts expected no change to December’s reading of 79.2. The continued spread of covid-19 and related economic concerns contributed to lower consumer sentiment.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic readings include labor-sector reports on public and private obs growth and the national unemployment rate. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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Case-Shiller: Home Prices Continue Rising in November

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 29th, 2021

Case-Shiller: Home Prices Continue Rising in November

Case-Shiller Home Price Indices reported a year-over-year national home price gain of 9.50 percent for November 2020. Home prices continued to grow in response to high demand for homes and homeowner relocations in response to the covid-19 pandemic. Inventories of pre-owned homes remained low. Home prices rose at a slower pace in November but remained strong in most areas.

20-City Home Price Index Reports Home Price Gains in 19 of 20 Cities

November’s edition of the 20-City Home Price Index reported the highest year-over-year home price gain of 13.80 percent in Phoenix, Arizona, which held first place for the 18th consecutive month. Seattle, Washington reported year-over-year home price growth of 12.70 percent, and San Diego, California held third place with year-over-year home price growth of 12.30 percent. Home prices rose 1.50 percent from October to November.

Lower numbers of mortgage applications indicated that demand for homes may be slowing, but analysts expected demand for homes to continue driving home prices up. Factors contributing to slowing home sales include affordability and less inclination to relocate as businesses and employers reopen. Low inventories of available pre-owned homes limited prospective buyers’ choice of homes; home builders faced rising materials and labor costs that impact their ability to produce affordable homes.

FHFA Reports Home Price Growth Exceed Post-Recession Pace

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that prices of single-family homes owned or financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac grew by one percent between October and November; home prices were up by 11 percent year-over-year. November was the sixth consecutive month for home price growth reported by FHFA. Data supplied by FHFA is based on house purchases and does not include refinancing transactions. 

Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of FHFA’s Division of Research and Statistics, said “House prices have risen by at least one percent for six consecutive months. The acceleration has been slowing, but annual gains now outpace the prior housing boom. Current conditions can be explained by fundamentals including low rates and tight housing supply, which have been  intensified by the pandemic.”

Year-over-year home price growth within the nine federal census divisions ranged from 0.30 percent in the West South Central Division to 14.00 percent growth in the Mountain Division. Home price growth in the mountain west continued to grow as homeowners in costly and congested coastal areas moved to more affordable neighborhoods in cities including Phoenix, Arizona,  and Boise, Idaho.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 25, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 25th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - January 25, 2021Last week’s economic reporting included readings from the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, along with Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. The National Association of Realtors® reported on sales of previously-owned homes; weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

NAHB: Home Builders’ Housing Market Index Falls in January

Homebuilder confidence in housing market conditions fell three points to an index reading of 83 in January. The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index expected a reading of 85 for January as compared to December’s index reading of 86. Increasing covid-19 cases and rising materials costs caused builder confidence to fall as builder concerns rose.

The NAHB Housing Market Index remained strong as any reading over 50 indicates positive builder sentiment toward housing markets. Component readings for January’s Housing Market Index also fell; builder confidence in current market conditions fell two points to an index reading of 90. Homebuilder confidence in market conditions for the next six months also fell two points to 83. Builder confidence in buyer traffic in new housing developments dropped five points to an index reading of 68. Readings of more than 50 for buyer traffic were rare until the covid-19 pandemic started.

Conflicting factors impacted home builder confidence readings. Home sales rose as urban homeowners sought new and larger homes in the suburbs and rural areas, labor shortages, and rising materials expenses worried home builders.

Housing Starts and Building Permits Rose in December

The Commerce Department reported a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.67 million housing starts as compared to November’s reading of 1.547 million starts. Building permits issued rose in December with 1.709 million permits issued annually as compared to November’s reading of 1.635 million housing starts.

The National Association of Realtors® reported 6.76 million sales of previously-owned homes sold as of December on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Home sales are increasing although demand exceeds available inventory and home prices continue to rise.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Lower

Mortgage rates fell last week with the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages two basis points lower on average at 2.77 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.21 percent and were two basis points lower. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.80 percent and 32 basis points lower. 

First-time jobless claims fell to 900,000 claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 926,000 new claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims were also lower last week with 5.05 million continued claims filed as compared to 5.18 million claims filed the previous week. 

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the FHFA House Price Index, and the Federal Reserve’s Statement from its Federal Open Market Committee. Monthly readings on new home sales and consumer sentiment will also be published. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 19, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 19th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - January 19, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings on inflation, retail sales, and a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

 Inflation Rises as Retail Sales Fall, Fed  Says Current Monetary Policy Won’t Change

The Consumer Price Index rose to 0.40 percent in December as compared to November’s reading of 0.20 percent. The CPI measures inflation and the Core CPI measures inflation without the volatile sectors of food and fuel. December’s Core CPI reading fell to a rate of 0.10 percent growth from November’s reading of 0.20 percent.

Retail sales were dampened by the coronavirus, but December’s negative reading of -0.70 percent sales was lower than the    -1.40  percent rate reported in November.  December sales excluding the automotive sector were -1.40 percent lower in December as compared to November’s reading of -1.30 percent.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell dispelled fears of rising inflation and said that the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee will not raise its current federal interest rate range of 0.00 to 0.25 percent any time soon. Chair Powell also said that the Fed would not decrease its purchase of Treasury Bonds as a further measure to stabilize the economy.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 14 basis points to 2.79 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.23 percent and were seven basis points higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by 37 basis points to 3.12 percent on average. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for  5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose to 965,000 claims filed last week as compared to the prior week’s reading of 784,000 initial claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims also rose with 5.27 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of  5.07 million continuing claims filed.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index was lower in January with a reading of 79.2.  Analysts expected an index reading of 79.2 based on the December reading of 80.7.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include the National Association of Home Builder’s Housing Market Index and reports from the Commerce Department on housing starts, building permits issued. Sales of pre-owned homes will also be reported along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 11, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 11th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - January 11, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings on construction spending and reports on the national unemployment rate and job growth. Weekly reporting on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

Construction Spending Increases as Demand for Homes Rises

Homebuilders responded to increased demand for single-family homes and increased their spending in November. Construction spending rose by 0.90 percent as compared to projected spending of 1.10 percent and  1.60 percent growth in November. Demand for homes increased in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Homeowners left urban areas and bought larger homes in suburban and rural areas. Low mortgage rates, flight from cities, and needs related to working from home and homeschooling fueled demand for single-family homes.

Construction spending tapered off in November due to seasonal slowdowns and winter weather but is expected to continue growing as record-low mortgage rates encouraged prospective and current homeowners to seek larger homes.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower rates for fixed-rate mortgages as the average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate rate mortgages fell by two basis points to 2.65 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by one basis point to 2.16 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.75 percent and were four basis points higher. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed- rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points averaged 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Jobless claims fell last week with 787,000 first-time claims filed as compared to 790,000 new claims filed in the prior week. Analysts expected 815,000 initial claim filings. Ongoing jobless claims were also lower with 5.07 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 5.20 million continuing jobless claims filed.

Jobs Growth Falls in December; National unemployment Rate Holds Steady

ADP reported 123,000 fewer private-sector jobs n December as compared to 804,000 private-sector jobs added in November. The federal government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report showed similar results for December’s reading on public and private-sector jobs. 140,000 fewer jobs were reported in December as compared to 336,000  public and private-sector jobs added in November. December’s national unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.70 percent. 

What’s Ahead

 This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on inflation, retail sales, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be reported.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 4, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 4th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - January 4, 2021Last week’s economic news included reports from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and data on pending home sales. No weekly data on jobless claims were released due to the New Year holiday, but Freddie Mac did issue its weekly report on average mortgage rates.

Case-Shiller Reports Home Prices Reached 6-Year High In October

U.S. home prices reached their highest level in six years according to Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index. Home prices rose by 8.40 percent year-over-year in October as compared to September’s home price growth reading of 7.00 percent. Demand for homes rose during the Covid pandemic as families moved from congested urban areas to less crowded suburbs and rural areas. Ongoing shortages of available homes fueled rising home prices as mortgage rates fell to record lows. 

Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index showed a 7.90 percent year-over-year growth rate in October as compared to September’s home price growth rate of 6.60 percent.  Phoenix, Arizona led the 20-City Index with a year-over-year home price growth rate of 12.70  percent. Seattle, Washington posted a year-over-year home price growth rate of 11.70 percent, and San Diego, California followed closely with a year-over-year home price growth rate of 11.60 percent.

Cities posting the lowest home price growth rates in October were New York, New York with 6.00 percent home price growth; Chicago, Illinois posted year-over-year home price growth of 6.30 percent and Las Vegas Nevada home prices grew by 6.40 percent year-over-year,

Analysts did not expect home price growth to slow any time soon. Relocation and the anticipated retreat of the pandemic as vaccines become available were expected to fuel home price growth as the economy improves.

Pending Home Sales Fall in November, Average Mortgage Rates Mixed

The National Association of Realtors® reported  -2.60 percent a drop in pending home sales in November; this was the third straight month of falling pending home sales. Pending home sales are sales for which purchase contracts are signed but have not closed.

Mortgage Rates Mixed

Freddie Mac reported mixed average mortgage rates last week. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by one basis point to 2.67 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by two basis points to 2.17 percent and rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages dropped by eight basis points to 2.71 percent on average. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on construction spending, minutes from the Fed’s FOMC meeting, and payroll data for public and private-sector jobs. The national unemployment rate will also be released. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims are also expected.

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