The National Association of Home Builders released its April Housing Market Index (HMI) This Week in Real Estate reporting builder confidence rose for the fourth consecutive month. The reading of the HMI was the highest since September. Sales expectations over the next six months also increased, marking the first time both indicators were positive since June. The National Association of Home Builders reported that single-family starts and permits in March increased by 2.7% and 4.1%, respectively. Fannie Mae’s latest Home Price Index showed that single-family home prices increased at an annual rate of 4.7% from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023. Below are a few newsworthy events from the third week of April that influence our business:
Home Prices Grew 4.7% Year-over-Year in First Quarter. Single-family home prices increased at a non-seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.7 percent from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023, down from the previous quarter’s revised annual growth rate of 8.6 percent, according to Fannie Mae’s latest Home Price Index (FNM-HPI) reading. On a quarterly basis, home prices rose a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent in Q1 2023, above the 0.0 percent growth seen in the prior quarter. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, home prices also increased by 1.0 percent in Q1 2023. “As expected, the annual rate of increase in home prices has slowed dramatically in response to the rapid and significant increase in interest rates,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Still, the fact that prices rose slightly in the first quarter is evidence of significant pent-up mortgage demand, despite ongoing affordability constraints. Even though mortgage rates remain elevated compared to the previous few years, the acute lack of housing supply remains supportive of home prices.” The FNM-HPI is designed to serve as indicators of general single-family home price trends. Read the full story here.
Single Family Home Starts in the U.S. Improve in March. The National Association of Home Builders is reporting this week that single-family production in the U.S. showed signs of a gradual upturn in March 2023 as stabilizing mortgage rates and limited existing inventory helped to offset stubbornly high construction costs, building labor shortages, and tightening credit conditions. The March reading of 1.42 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if development kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts increased 2.7% to an 861,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate. However, this remains 27.7% lower than a year ago. The multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, decreased by 5.9% to an annualized 559,000 pace. “We expect choppiness for single-family construction in the months ahead, with the 2023 data posting significant year-over-year weakness before improving on a sustained basis,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “The multifamily market softened in March, and we anticipate ongoing declines for apartment construction in the months ahead due to tighter lending conditions in the commercial real estate sector.” Single-family permits increased 4.1% to an 818,000 unit rate, but are down 29.7% compared to a year ago. Multifamily permits decreased 22.1% to an annualized 595,000 pace. The number of single-family homes under construction in March was 716,000, the 10th monthly decline. Read the full story here.
Homebuilder Sentiment Rises in April, as Builders Grab Near-Record Share of the Market. Builder sentiment in the market for newly built homes rose in April for the fourth straight month, as the supply of existing homes for sale remains scarce. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index climbed to 45 in April, a 1-point gain. The reading is the highest since September. Builders in the report cited a lack of listings on the resale market, which gave them an unusually strong edge. New listings of existing homes have fallen about 25% compared with a year ago. Meanwhile, sales expectations in the next six months increased by 3 points to 50. It marked the first time both indicators were positive since June when mortgage rates really took off. Read the full story here.
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