Double-Digit Annual Price Gains

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What a third quarter it was with respect to year-over-year home price growth. According to the National Association of Realtor’s latest quarterly housing report released This Week in Real Estate 117 of the 181 metro areas experienced double-digit price appreciation in the third quarter compared to Q3 2019. Just 15 metro areas recorded double-digit price appreciation in Q3 2019. Below are a few newsworthy events from the second week of November that influence our business: 

65 Percent of U.S. Metros Enjoyed Double-Digit Annual Price Gains in Q3. According to NAR’s latest quarterly housing report, every U.S. metro area tracked by the National Association of Realtors during the third quarter of 2020 saw home prices increase from a year ago. Due in large part to record-low mortgage rates and depleted nationwide housing inventory, median single-family home prices grew year-over-year in all 181 metropolitan statistical areas tracked by NAR, as every measured market showed sales price gains. Sixty-five percent of metros – 117 areas out of 181 – witnessed double-digit price growth from one year ago. In comparison, only 15 metro areas recorded double-digit increases in 2020’s second quarter. The nation’s median existing single-family home price climbed 12.0% on a year-over-year basis. All four major regions saw double-digit year-over-year price gains, led by the West (13.7%), but followed closely by the Northeast (13.3%), the South (11.4%), and the Midwest (11.1%).

Pending Sales Provide a Short-Term Price Forecast. The CoreLogic Home Price index has reported quickening appreciation in home values since May, and in September annual price growth was more than two percentage points faster than one year earlier. The acceleration in price growth reflected a demand and supply imbalance. Record-low mortgage rates stimulated demand. Concurrently, the pandemic contributed to an acute supply shortage. But will summer’s increasing price growth continue in the autumn? A partial answer is found looking at pending sales. The pending sales contract is typically made 30 to 45 days before closing of the transaction.  The price information in the sales contract provides a window into what we should expect to eventually see in a traditional price index, which is based on closed sales. Using pending sales through September from the CoreLogic Multiple Listing Service, we can construct a home-price metric that provides a good prediction of home-price trends through mid-autumn. Our Pending Home Price Index finds that annual price growth will continue to quicken. Based on a composite index covering 20 metros, we find annual price growth continuing to accelerate in October at the fastest pace in more than two years.

Mortgage Credit Availability Increased in October. Mortgage credit availability increased in October according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool. The MCAI rose by 2.3 percent to 121.3 in October. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit. “Credit availability increased in October for the first time since July. The ongoing economic recovery and improving labor market led to a rise in credit supply for various loan types,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “There was an overall increase in credit availability for low credit score and higher LTV loans, with conventional credit supply increasing 5.1 percent, and government credit staying essentially flat. Despite October’s slight turnaround, credit availability remains constrained to near a low last seen in 2014.”  

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