Home Prices Hit Sixth All-Time High

Home prices hit yet another all-time high as tight inventory keeps competition elevated. Prices were up 6.5% YOY in March, on par with the month prior and the sixth record high reached in the last year, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price NSA Index.  Month-over-month, national prices rose 0.3% after seasonal adjustment, while the 20-City Composite and the 10-City Composite registered gains of 0.3% and 0.5%, respectively. Monthly prices were cooling at the end of 2023 into 2024, but increased demand and still-tight inventory have turned that trend around. Despite high interest rates, the lack of homes on the market has kept competition booming for well-priced listings. “Regionally, the Northeast remains the top performer with an 8.3%…

Home Prices Soared To Another Record High In February

Annual home price appreciation continued its upward trend in February, accelerating on both an annual and monthly basis. Prices were up 6.4% YOY, an increase from January’s 6% gain and the fastest annual rate since November 2022, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price NSA Index.  Month-over-month data showed prices on an upswing for the first time since October 2024. The National Index, 20-City Composite, and the 10-City Composite registered gains of 0.6%, 0.9% and 1.0%, respectively. Monthly prices were cooling at the end of 2023 into 2024, but increased demand and still-tight inventory have turned that trend around. Home prices are now “at or near all-time highs,” according to Brian D. Luke, Head of Commodities, Real &…

Rates March Toward 7% On Sticky Inflation Data

Mortgage rates are marching towards 7% again as inflationary pressures threaten their stability. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.88%, up from the week prior’s 6.82%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.27%. The 15-year fixed rate increased from 6.06% to 6.16%. A year ago, it averaged 5.54%.  Rates have primarily stuck between 6.5% and sub-7% as they moved up in the first quarter. Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater noted that rates moved up as inflation stayed sticky and the Central Bank’s monetary policy shifted. “While newly released inflation data from March continues to show a trend of very little movement, the financial market’s reaction paints a far different…

Rates Move Down Slightly

Mortgage rates fell last week but remained in the high-6% range. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.79%, down from the week prior’s 6.87%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.32%. The 15-year fixed rate also dropped from 6.21% to 6.11%. A year ago, it averaged 5.56%.  “Mortgage rates moved slightly lower this week, providing a bit more room in the budgets of some prospective homebuyers,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “We also are seeing encouraging data on existing home sales, which reflects improving inventory. Regardless, rates remain elevated near 7% as markets watch for signs of cooling inflation, hoping that rates will come down further.” Both existing…

Former Fannie Mae Exec Named CEO Of Meridian Capital

Commercial real estate juggernaut Meridian Capital Group named former regulator Brian Brooks as its Chairman and CEO. Brooks takes the reigns from co-founder Ralph Herzka, who will remain with the company as Senior Chairman. The change-over will take place in April. Herzka helped found Meridian in 1991 and steered it to the forefront of commercial mortgage origination. “As we look to institutionalize Meridian as a world-class company and further diversify our revenues, there is no better steward of our future than Brian. He is an outstanding and recognized leader in financial services, and I am excited to work with him to build on our firm’s foundation of unparalleled experience and market intelligence,” Herzka said in a press release. Brooks is…

House Price Appreciation Up Annually, Trending Down Monthly

Annual home price appreciation continued its upward trend in January, though signs of moderation are shining through on a monthly basis. Prices were up 6% YOY, an increase from December’s 5.6% gain and the fastest annual rate since 2022, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price NSA Index.  San Diego once again reported the highest annual gains at 11.2%, followed by Los Angeles with an 8.6% increase. Portland showed a 0.9% increase, the smallest YOY growth. This is the second straight month of price growth in every city analyzed, putting U.S. home prices at a new all-time high, breaking every record set last year. “While there is a large disparity between leaders such as San Diego versus laggards…

Biden Addresses Housing Crisis In State Of The Union

President Biden used the State of the Union address Thursday to tackle the nation’s housing crisis and propose big plans to boost activity. “I know the cost of housing is so important to you. If inflation keeps coming down, mortgage rates will come down as well. But I’m not waiting,” he said in the address. The administration proposed a mortgage relief plan providing first-time homebuyers an annual credit of $5,000 for two years, effectively a $10,000 mortgage rate buydown that would save as much money as a 1.5% rate reduction. Another credit, aimed at current homeowners, would offer a one-year, $10,000 credit to families who sell their starter homes, helping to turn inventory over. More than 3.5 million middle-class buyers…

Rates Up For A Fourth Week, Skirting 7%

Mortgage rates inched up to a two-month high last week, putting pressure on hopeful spring homebuyers. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.94%, up from the week prior’s 6.90%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.65%. This is the fourth consecutive week of increases. The 15-year fixed fell, however, to 6.26% from 6.29%. A year ago, it averaged 5.89%. “The recent boomerang in rates has dampened already tentative homebuyer momentum as we approach the spring, a historically busy season for homebuying,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “While sales of newly built homes are trending in a positive direction, higher rates and elevated prices continue to pose affordability challenges…

HUD Commemorates Black History Month

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development commemorated Black History Month by highlighting its impact on the Black community. “This Black History Month, we celebrate all that Black Americans have contributed to our great nation,” Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a statement. “As the 18th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and a student of history, today I honor the legacy of one of my personal heroes, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. Dr. Bethune was a scholar, activist, and champion of racial and gender advancement. Despite being born Black and a woman in America at a time when both groups were denied equal protection under the law, she worked tirelessly to change our country for the better. Like Dr. Bethune,…

Rates Slip For Third Week Straight

Mortgage rates slipped for a third consecutive week as Wall Street rallied around positive inflation data. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.44%, a modest decline from the week prior’s 7.5%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.61%. The 15-year fixed rate fell from 6.81%% to 6.76%. A year ago, it averaged 5.98%. “For the third straight week, mortgage rates trended down, as new data indicates that inflationary pressures are receding,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “The combination of continued economic strength, lower inflation, and lower mortgage rates should likely bring more potential homebuyers into the market.” The consumer price index for October dipped by 0.1% month-over-month and…