Pending Home Sales Down For Third Month

Pending home sales fell for a third consecutive month in August, with three of the four regions seeing month-over-month declines, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index dropped by 2% between July and August. Year-over-year it tanked by 24.2%. All four regions saw pending sales drop year-over-year. The West, however, experienced a small uptick month-over-month, up by 1.4%. The Northeast PHSI fell by 3.4% from July, while the South fell 0.9% and the Midwest dipped by 5.2%. “The direction of mortgage rates – upward or downward – is the prime mover for home buying, and decade-high rates have deeply cut into contract signings,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “If mortgage rates moderate and the…

Existing Home Sales Down 0.4% In August

Existing-home sales dropped for the seventh straight month in August, down 0.4% from July and 19.9% YOY, according to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent data. Sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.80 million and declined in every major region. Inventory of unsold homes fell 1.5% from July to 1.28 million, breaking a five-month streak of increases. This is a 3.2 months supply at the current sales pace. “The housing sector is the most sensitive to and experiences the most immediate impacts from the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy changes,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.  “The softness in home sales reflects this year’s escalating mortgage rates. Nonetheless, homeowners are doing well with near nonexistent distressed…

July Pending Home Sales Slip Slightly, Buoyed By Moderating Interest Rates

Following moderating mortgage rates, pending home sales slipped only slightly in July, down 1% from June. The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index posted a reading of 89.8 last month. A reading of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. Pending sales were down 19.9% YOY, slipping from last month’s 20% YOY reading. It was the second consecutive month of decline and the eighth in the last nine months. “In terms of the current housing cycle, we may be at or close to the bottom in contract signings. This month’s very modest decline reflects the recent retreat in mortgage rates. Inventories are growing for homes in the upper price ranges, but limited supply at…

Existing-Home Sales Fell By 5.9% In July

Existing-home sales dropped for the sixth straight month in July, down 5.9% from June and 20.2% YOY, according to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent data. Sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million and declined in every major region. At the same time, inventory of unsold homes increased to 1.31 million, or 3.3 months of inventory at the current sales pace. “The ongoing sales decline reflects the impact of the mortgage rate peak of 6% in early June. Home sales may soon stabilize since mortgage rates have fallen to near 5%, thereby giving an additional boost of purchasing power to home buyers,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.  The median price for an existing home…

Applications Hit Lowest Level Since 2000

Mortgage loan application volume fell 2.3% last week, reversing a two-week uptick, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey shows. Overall applications dipped to their lowest level since 2000. The adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased by 2.3%. The adjusted purchase index fell 1% while the unadjusted purchase index dropped 2% and was 18% lower YOY. The refinance index dropped by 5% and made up 31.2% of total applications, down 82% from the same time last year.  Refinances are at their lowest level since November 2000, pushed down by a 6% decline in conventional refinance applications. ARM activity fell to 7% of total applications. “Home purchase applications continued to be held down by rapidly drying…

How Inflation Affects Housing

By TYRONE TOWNSEND The Federal Reserve has indicated that the central bank views inflation as a national emergency, with markets expecting a 0.75 percent interest rate rise. However, the Fed’s policy measures could come at a high cost, notably in the housing market.  Low mortgage rates and a lack of housing inventory during COVID-19 lockdowns sent home prices skyrocketing during the last two years. The housing market is cooling as mortgage rates have gone up and even surpassed 6 percent. Although this may be an acceptable short-term price to pay in the fight against inflation, it will cause future supply-chain issues after inflation is under control.  Before the pandemic, a six-month supply of homes for sale was considered a sign…

Homebuyers Competing With Cash Offers Get A Break

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Guild Mortgage has launched a national program that can help potential homebuyers compete with all-cash offers. Vice President of Product Strategy Erin Watts said in a recent interview with The Mortgage Note that they are doing everything they can to help homebuyers compete in today’s market. “We were getting these really well-qualified homebuyers that needed to get mortgage financing but they just kept missing out due to these cash offers,” Watts said. How does CashPass Work? When homebuyers apply for a loan with Guild Mortgage, they let them know they are interested in CashPass. They then provide the same information that they would need for pre-approval for a conventional loan. A minimum credit score of 680 is…

Existing-Home Sales Slip For 3rd Month Straight

April’s existing-home sales slipped for the third consecutive month, falling 2.4% from March to a seasonally adjusted rate of  5.61 million, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported. Sales were down 5.9% year-over-year, with each of the four major regions seeing declines. The median price for existing homes of all types was $391,200, up 14.8% YOY. This is the 122nd consecutive month of YOY price growth, the longest-running streak on record. “Higher home prices and sharply higher mortgage rates have reduced buyer activity. It looks like more declines are imminent in the upcoming months, and we’ll likely return to the pre-pandemic home sales activity after the remarkable surge over the past two years,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Housing…

Love It Or List It? Americans Are Renovating Rather Than Moving

By KIMBERLEY HAAS New data shows that 79% of Americans would rather renovate their current home than move to a different one and with $420 billion spent on remodeling projects in 2020 those in the mortgage, real estate, and building industries are taking notice. Discover Home Loans commissioned a national survey of 1,531 homeowners. The independent survey research firm Dynata fielded the first of the online surveys in January and found that nearly four in five people would rather make improvements on their homes than move in the current housing market. The maximum margin of sampling error was +/-3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. ​ The top five reasons given for why homeowners would rather renovate are:…

Pending Home Sales Down For Fourth Consecutive Month

Pending home sales dropped for the fourth month in a row in February, down 4.1% from January and 5.4% YOY, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), which measures home sales using contract signings, fell in three of the major regions. The Northeast was the only region that saw an increase from January.  All four regions saw year-over-year declines. “Pending transactions diminished in February mainly due to the low number of homes for sale. Buyer demand is still intense, but it’s as simple as ‘one cannot buy what is not for sale,'” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.  The Northeast PHSI rose 1.9% to 85.0 in February, down 9.2% YOY. In the Midwest, the…