Mortgage Rates, Prices, and Sales Are All On The Rise

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Mortgage Rates, Prices, and Sales Are All On The Rise. In March, despite rising mortgage rates, pending home sales surged 3.4%, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) This Week in Real Estate. This increase surpassed economists’ expectations of a 0.3% decline. March’s Pending Home Sale Index (PHSI) reading of 78.2 marked the best performance in a year. The median home price rose 4.8% from the previous year, reaching a record high for March. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 7.17% for the week ending April 25, slightly up from 7.10% the prior week. Additionally, sales of newly built single-family homes soared 8.8% in March, marking the strongest monthly increase since December 2022. Below are a few newsworthy events from the fourth week of April that influence our business: 

PENDING HOME SALES ASCENDED 3.4% IN MARCH. Pending home sales in March climbed 3.4%, according to the National Association of REALTORS. The Northeast, South and West posted monthly gains in transactions while the Midwest recorded a loss. Year-over-year, the Northeast and South registered decreases but the Midwest and West improved. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) increased to 78.2 in March. Year over year, pending transactions were up 0.1%. “March’s Pending Home Sale Index marks the best performance in a year,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. NAR forecasts that existing-home sales will rise by 9% in 2024 to 4.46 million (from 4.09 million 2023) and another 13.2% in 2025 to 5.05 million (from 2024). Housing starts are expected to rise by 1.2% in 2024 to 1.43 million (from 1.413 million in 2023) and 4.9% to 1.5 million in 2025 (from 2024). Read the full story here.
DESPITE HIGHER MORTGAGE RATES, NEW HOME SALES POST SOLID GAIN IN MARCH. Sales of newly built, single-family homes in March rose 8.8% to a 693,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate from a downwardly revised reading in February, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The pace of new home sales in March is up 8.3% from a year earlier. New single-family home inventory in March remained elevated at a level of 477,000, up 2.6% from February. Inventory of newly built single-family homes is up 10.2% on a year-over-year basis. Regionally, on a year-to-date basis, new home sales are up 15.1% in the Northeast, 17.8% in the Midwest and 28.1% in the West. New home sales are down 6.6% in the South. Read the full story here.
MORTGAGE RATES ARE ON THE RISE. SO ARE HOME SALES, AND PRICES. Mortgage rates have gained nearly 0.4 percentage point since the end of March, according to Freddie Mac data published Thursday, with the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rising to 7.17%.  Pending home sales, a leading measure of closed sales based on contract signings, increased 3.4% in March, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. The Realtors group now sees mortgage rates ending the year at 6.5%, and average 6.8% in 2024, tied with last year. Fannie Mae expects mortgage rates to end the year at 6.4%, up from end-of-year expectations of 5.8% in January. Existing-home sales are estimated to rise about 9% to 4.46 million in 2024, according to NAR’s forecast. Since 70 million more Americans live in the country now compared to three decades ago, it’s inevitable that sales will rise in coming years,” Lawrence Yun, the trade group’s chief economist, said in a statement. “Inventory will grow steadily from more home construction, and various life-changing events will require people to trade up, trade down or move to another location.” Read the full story here.

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