A ‘Welcome Sign’ for Housing!

For the second consecutive month, existing-home sales rose, as three of the four major U.S. regions saw an increase in sales last month, the National Association of REALTORS® reported 12/19/18.

“The market conditions in November were mixed, with good signs of stabilizing home sales compared to recent months, though down significantly from one year ago,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation.”

For a closer look at some of the leading indicators in existing-home sales in November, visit details and chart at: National Association of REALTORS®

It’s a Good Time to Lock in Mortgage Rates

“This week’s survey shows the 30-year fixed rate inching up to 3.56 percent, only 2 basis points above last week’s average. The low rates continue to be good news for the housing market, as existing home sales rose 1.8 percent to a 5.53 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in the month of May — the highest level since February 2007.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending June 23:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.56 percent, with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 3.54 percent average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.02 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.83 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 2.81 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.21 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.74 percent, with an average 0.5 point, holding the same average from a week ago. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.98 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Existing Home Sales Inch Up

Existing-home sales increased modestly in February, but constrained inventory levels pushed price growth to its fastest pace in a year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February from 4.82 million in January. Sales are 4.7 percent higher than a year ago and above year-over-year totals for the fifth consecutive month.

The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in February was $202,600, which is 7.5 percent above February 2014. This marks the 36th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains and the largest since last February (8.8 percent).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says although February sales showed modest improvement, there’s been some stagnation in the market in recent months. “Insufficient supply appears to be hampering prospective buyers in several areas of the country and is hiking prices to near unsuitable levels,” he said. “Stronger price growth is a boon for homeowners looking to build additional equity, but it continues to be an obstacle for current buyers looking to close before rates rise.”