Case Shiller: Home Prices Rise at Fastest Pace Since 2005

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 2nd, 2021

Case Shiller: Home Prices Rise at Fastest Pace Since 2005March readings for S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices rose to their highest level since 2005 in March. National home prices rose by 13.20 percent year-over-year as compared to February’s reading of 12.00 percent growth. The Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index reported average year-over-year home price gains of 13.30 percent in March. Phoenix, Arizona continued to lead the 20-City Index with a year-over-year home price growth of 20 percent. San Diego, California followed with home price growth of 19.10 percent; Seattle, Washington reported year-over-year home price growth of 18.30 percent.

How the Covid Pandemic Impacted  Home Prices

Real estate pros said that the Covid epidemic continued to impact housing markets as homeowners were more willing to list their homes as Covid cases decreased. Demand for single-family homes increased as homebuyers shopped for larger homes in less-congested metro areas. The pandemic opened more opportunities for working from home, which increased buyer interest in larger homes with amenities including home offices.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, home prices for single-family homes owned or financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose by 12.60 percent from the first quarter of 2020 through the first quarter of 2021.

As Covid cases fall more Americans will either return to their workplaces or re-evaluate their employment and housing situations. Demand for homes will exceed the supply of available homes for the foreseeable future, but the current high demand for homes may soften as families return to work and school and covid-related fears ease.

Home Price Growth May Slow, but Prices Unlikely to Drop

Rapid home price growth is likely to slow as more home sellers and buyers enter the market in the aftermath of the pandemic. Analysts don’t see major dips in home prices as demand continues to exceed supplies of new and previously-owned homes. Homebuilders face ongoing obstacles including labor shortages and rapidly rising materials prices that impact their ability to provide enough homes to meet demand.

Affordable homes are in short supply as pre-owned homes are often subject to bidding wars and cash sales due to buyer competition for fewer available homes. First-time and moderate-income buyers are joined on the sidelines by buyers who depend on mortgages to buy homes; they typically can’t compete with cash sales. As real estate markets return to pre-pandemic conditions, home prices may gradually plateau, but there isn’t much relief in sight for homebuyers needing to finance their home purchases.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 24, 2021

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

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - May 24, 2021Last week’s economic reporting included readings from the National Association of Home Builders, data on sales of existing homes, and reports on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

NAHB: Home Builder Confidence Unchanged in May

The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index reading for May was unchanged from April’s reading of 83. Readings higher than 50 indicate that most home builders were positive about housing market conditions.

Component readings for builder confidence in housing market conditions in May were mixed; builder confidence in current market conditions was unchanged with an index reading of 83; builder confidence in market conditions in the next six months rose one point to 81 and builder confidence in buyer traffic in new single-family housing developments dropped one point to 73. Readings for buyer traffic rarely exceeded 50 before the pandemic.

Robert Dietz, NAHB’s chief economist said that costs of land, labor, and building materials were expected to rise throughout 2021 and would drive home prices higher. Lower interest rates, shortages of pre-owned homes for sale, and interest in relocating to less congested suburban and rural areas continued to increase demand for single-family homes against severe shortages of homes for sale. Rapidly rising home prices squeezed first-time and moderate-income home buyers out of the market and caused some sales to fall through.

Sales of previously-owned homes fell in April and supported concerns about shortages of available homes. 5.85 million homes were sold on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, which was lower than the expected reading of 6.02 million sales and the March reading of 6.01 million sales of previously-owned homes. Rising home prices and short supplies of homes for sale continued to create high demand for homes.

Housing Starts Fall in April; Building Permits Issued Rise

The Commerce Department reported a sharp decrease in housing starts in April with 1.57 million starts on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. March housing starts were revised downward to 1.73 million starts, but this did not affect April’s reading being the highest pace of housing starts since 2006. Housing starts fell in the Midwest and South and rose in the Northeast and West.

Building permits held steady in April at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.76 million permits issued. Analysts expected 1.77 million building permits issued.

Mortgage Rates Rise; Jobless Claims Mixed

Mortgage rates rose last week as rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by six basis points to 3.00 percent on average. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.79 percent and were three basis points higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages were unchanged at an average rate of 2.59 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 0.70 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims fell to 444,000 initial claims filed last week from the previous week’s reading of 478,000 new claims filed. Continuing jobless claims rose to 3.75 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of  3.64 million ongoing jobless claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s economic reporting includes readings from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, data on new and pending home sales, and the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – April 5, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 5th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - April 5, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings on home prices, pending home sales, and construction spending. Data on public and private-sector employment and the national unemployment rate were published along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims. 

vLast week’s economic reports included readings on home prices, pending home sales, and construction spending. Data on public and private-sector employment and the national unemployment rate were published along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims. Last week’s economic reports included readings on home prices, pending home sales, and construction spending. Data on public and private-sector employment and the national unemployment rate were published along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

Case-Shiller: Record Home Price Growth in Phoenix, but Will it Last?

Case-Shiller Home Price Indices indicated fast growth in home prices as the national home price growth rate for January grew to 11.20 percent from December’s reading of 10.40 percent national home price growth. Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index reported 19 of 20 cities reported rising home prices in January, but Cleveland, Ohio home prices were lower. Detroit, Michigan resumed reporting to the 20-City Home Price Index after nearly a year’s absence.

Phoenix, Arizona led the January 20-City Home Price Index with a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 15.80 percent; Seattle, Washington, and San Diego, California followed with home price growth of 14.30 percent and 14.20 percent.

 Analysts expressed concerns that rapidly rising home prices are not sustainable in the long term and cited rising mortgage rates and skyrocketing home prices as obstacles to homebuying. As demand for homes eases, home price growth will slow.

The Commerce Department reported fewer pending home sales in February as pending home sales fell by 10.60 percent. Analysts expected pending home sales to fall to -3.10 percent; pending home sales dropped by -2.40 percent in January. Construction spending fell by -0.80 percent in February; it was expected to fall by one percent as compared to January’s positive reading of 1.25 percent growth in construction spending. Rising lumber prices and severe winter weather influenced construction spending in February.

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady, Jobless Claims Mixed

Freddie Mac reported little change in mortgage rates last week. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose one basis point to 3.18 percent; Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.45 percent and were unchanged. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was also unchanged at 2.84 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

The Census Bureau reported 719,000 new jobless claims last week; this surpassed the prior week’s reading of 658,000 initial claims. Ongoing jobless claims fell to 3.79 claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 3.80 million continuing jobless claims filed.

Private-sector jobs grew by 525,000 jobs in March but fell short of the expected 525,000 private-sector jobs added. Public and private-sector jobs also ramped up with 916,000 jobs added in March. Analysts expected 675,000 jobs added to the Non-Farm Payrolls report; 468,000 public and private-sector jobs were added in February. The national unemployment rate decreased to 6.00 percent from February’s reading of 6.20 percent.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic releases include job openings and minutes of the recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be reported.

 

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Case-Shiller: Phoenix Home Prices Hot, Hotter, and Hottest

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

Case-Shiller: Phoenix Home Prices Hot, Hotter, and HottestThe S&P Case-Shiller National Home Price Index posted its highest gain in nearly 15 years with a year-over-year home price growth rate of 11.20 percent in January. The December 2020  National Home Price Index reported 10.40 percent home price growth. The S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index reported 11.10 percent year-over-year growth with 19 of 20 cities reporting higher home prices. Cleveland, Ohio was the only city reporting no home price growth in January. Detroit, Michigan reported home price growth data for the first time in nearly a year.

Phoenix, Seattle, and San Diego Home Prices are Hot, Hotter, and Hottest

Home prices in Phoenix, Arizona again topped Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index for January with a year-over-year home price growth rate of 15.80 percent. Seattle, Washington held its second-place position with home price growth of 14.30 percent, and San Diego, California held third position with year-over-year home price growth of 14.20 percent.

Rapidly rising home prices coupled with rising mortgage rates presented challenges for first-time and moderate-income buyers; some have revised their purchasing budgets downward while others have left the market. Analysts noted that buyers leaving the housing market could impact high demand and strong buyer competition which has fueled bidding wars and driven home prices ever higher in popular metro areas.

Craig Lazzara, managing director and head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that January’s home price data supported the position that COVID encouraged buyers to leave congested urban areas for single-family homes in suburbia. He said that many of these households may have accelerated existing home-buying plans.

FHFA Posts 12 Percent Increase in Home Prices; Slowing Momentum

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reported a 12 percent year-over-year growth in prices of single-family homes owned or financed by the two government-sponsored mortgage companies. According to Lynn Fisher, FHFA’s deputy director of the division of research and statistics, home price growth slowed to its slowest pace since June. She wrote, “While house prices experienced historic growth rates in 2020 and into the New Year, the monthly gains appear to be moderating.”

Home prices are expected to continue growing in popular metro areas, but at a slower pace due to higher mortgage rates and would-be buyers leaving the market. Demand for homes may ease as COVID-driven flight from urban areas slows but families working from home and homeschooling their children also create demand for larger homes.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – March 29, 2021

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

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - March 29, 2021Last week’s economic news included readings on sales of new and previously-owned homes along with final March index readings on consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Sales of New and Pre-Owned Homes Fall in February

Weather-related problems disrupted sales of new and previously-owned homes in February as low inventories of homes for sale further stalled sales. The National Association of Realtors® said that sales of new and pre-owned homes were slowed by persistent shortages of homes on the market.

Shortages of available homes were common before the pandemic and are more pronounced now. Realtor.com estimates that 200,000 homeowners stayed out of the market in the past year; this contributed to the two-month supply of homes available in February. Real estate professionals consider a six-month supply of homes for sale to indicate a balanced market. Sales of previously-owned homes were 9.10 percent higher in February 2020.

High demand for homes fueled competition among buyers and drove home prices higher. Rising mortgage rates, short supplies of homes, and rising home prices presented obstacles for first-time and moderate-income home buyers as the national median price for previously-owned homes reached $313,000.

New homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 775,000 sales in February according to the Census Department and was 18.20 percent lower than the reading of 948,000 new home sales reported in January. The inventory of new homes available rose to a 4.80 month supply as buyers were sidelined by winter weather and rising mortgage rates. Analysts expect high demand for new homes to continue as buyers move out of crowded urban areas and seek larger homes that meet increasing needs for work-at-home space and up-to-date technology.

Mortgage Rates Rise as Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week as rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages jumped eight basis points to 3.17 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose five basis points to 2.45 percent and the average rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages rose five basis points to 2.84 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 0.20 percent.

New jobless claims fell to 684,000 claims from the prior week’s reading of 781,000 first-time jobless claims.  Ongoing claims were also lower with 3.87 million continuing claims filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 4.13 million continuing claims filed.

The University of Michigan reported an index reading of 89.1 for its Consumer Sentiment Index in March. February’s reading was 83.0 and analysts expected an index reading of 83.7.

What’s Ahead

This week’s economic reporting includes readings from Case-Shiller Home Price Index and reporting on pending home sales. Private and public sector job growth and the national unemployment rate will be released along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

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

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

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - March 1, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings from Case-Shiller on home prices, the Federal Housing Finance Agency also reported on home prices and the Commerce Department released data on sales of new homes and pending home sales. The University of Michigan released its Consumer Sentiment Index, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were released.

Case-Shiller Home Price Indices Report Fastest Price Growth in 7 Years

The S&P Case Shiller National Home Price Index reported December home prices rose at the fastest pace since 2014. The National Home Price Index posted a year-over-year home price growth rate of 10.40 percent in December as compared to November’s home price growth rate of 9.50 percent.

Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index posted December home price growth at a year-over-year pace of 10.10 percent as compared to November’s home price growth rate of 9.20 percent according to Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index. Phoenix, Arizona home prices rose at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 14.40 percent; Seattle, Washington home prices held second place with 13.60 percent growth, and San  Diego, California held third place in the 20-City Home Price Index with 13.00 percent home price growth. 18 of 19 cities reported higher home prices;  Detroit Michigan did not report data for December.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported year-over-year home price growth of 11.40 percent in December for homes owned or financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. High demand for homes and short inventories of available and affordable homes created challenges for first-time and moderate-income home buyers. Builders said that rising materials costs and labor shortages continued to impact new home construction.

 

New Home Sales Increase as Shortages of Pre-Owned Homes Persist

The Census Bureau reported 823,000 sales of new homes in January on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Analysts expected 850,000 sales based on December’s reading of 885,000 new homes sold. Homebuyers are turning to new homes as supplies of previously-owned homes are in short supply. Shortages of previously-owned homes continued as homeowners stayed in their homes due to economic uncertainty, unemployment, and ongoing concerns over the pandemic.

 Pending home sales fell by – 2.80 percent in January as compared to December’s reading of – 0.50 percent.

Mortgage Rates Rise as Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose 16 basis points to 2.97 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose 15 basis points to 2.34 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 22 basis points higher at 2.99 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for fixed-rate home loans and 0.10 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims fell to 730,000 new claims filed from the prior week’s reading of  841,000 initial jobless claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims were also lower; 4.42 million continuing claims were filed last week as compared to 4.52 million ongoing claims filed in the prior week.

The University of Michigan reported an index reading of 76.80 for its Consumer Sentiment Index in February, as compared to January’s index reading of  76.20.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on construction spending, job growth, and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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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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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 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 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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