Housing Market Update

The National Association of Home Builders created a Housing Market Index (HMI), based on a survey of the members of its organization.  Within this survey, respondents are asked questions about the current state of the housing market, in regards to sales, the forecasted sales of homes over the next six months and current buyer traffic of new homes, which is a good gauge of demand. 

For the month of July, the HMI was released at a level of 68.  This is unchanged from last month’s number and inline with expectations.  A number at a level over 50 is seen as positive.

Current Sales of New Homes:  Sales are very strong for the month of July.  They came in unchanged from its prior month’s number at a level of 74.

Estimated Sales of New Homes Over The Next Six Months:  Forecasted sales are still very strong, but recent estimates dipped a little bit, dropping the level to 73 instead of 75 that was released last month.

Buyer Traffic of New Homes:  The overall buyer traffic seems to be lagging, but still strong as it is at a level over 50 at 52.  Regionally broken down, we see that buyer traffic is seen at its strongest in the west at a level of 75 and at a level of 57 in the northeast.



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30 Second Update - Week of July 16th, 2018 

Job Report has positive effect on Housing Market

The US economy continues to add jobs at a blistering pace, as indicated by 213,000 jobs added in June versus the 195,000 expected by economists.  In addition, 601,000 people came off the sidelines and re-entered the work force.  This influx of labor participation actually caused the unemployment rate to tick up to 4%.  Wharton School finance professor, Jeremy Siegel, referred to the most recent jobs report as “the best possible outcome – strong job growth, a rise in the participation rate, and less pressure on unemployment."  Siegel went on to indicate that this strong job report gives him hope that the Federal Reserve may slow the pace of interest rate hikes, because it would put a squeeze on labor supply.

Effect on Housing

As more people enter back into the work force, the demand for housing will increase naturally, as these same individuals will begin to set their sights on home ownership.  This notion was supported by Mike Fratantoni, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association, stating, “The strong job market continues to bolster demand for homes."  Strengthening this notion, mortgage application volume rose 2.5% last week, seasonally adjusted, as compared to the previous week.  This increase was driven entirely by purchase applications.  Now all we need is inventory to pick up to match the demand, and we may finally be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Danielle Hale, chief economist for touched on that notion, stating, “Even though inventories continue to decline, they are doing so at a slower pace.  Before we see inventories increase, we need them to slow, and the data has shown four months of deceleration.”

30-Second Market Update for the week of 7/9/2018


The Housing Market is Resilient

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association released their mortgage data showing purchase and refinance application volume across the country.  Purchase application volume increased by about 1% from the same time last year.  Even with slightly higher interest rates and increased home values, home purchases are continuing and their growth and resiliency is evident.  Refinances are down by about 27% from this time last year, but are still in the mix and takes up about 37.6% of the total share of mortgage applications.



What is inflation and how does it affect interest rates?

Inflation is the rise in the pricing of goods and services that erodes the value, or purchasing power, of the consumer’s dollars.  When Inflation occurs, investors tend to lessen their purchases of mortgage backed securities or bonds and of treasuries.  They lessen their investments because their fixed return are forecasted to have less of a return due to inflation of the weakening dollar. In a nutshell, the investment loses its value.   Because of this, demand in these investments drops which then pushes yields higher, ultimately increasing mortgage rates.  A recent inflation monitoring report called the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) was just released and it showed that inflation had ticked up slightly from 1.8% to 2%.  When increasing inflation is reported, interest rates tend to react negatively, so reports like this one need to be monitored at all times.




Fun Facts about the month of July

  1. July is marked as the hottest month in the northern hemisphere.
  2. The birthstone of July is the ruby which represents health, wisdom, wealth and love.
  3. July is a fun month for food items as well because it is National Blueberry, Ice Cream and Hot Dog Month.

30 Second Update:  Summer Housing Market Outlook


The ultra-competitive spring housing market seems to have every appearance of continuing through the summer season.  Rising home prices, low inventory, and strong demand are the driving force behind buyer frustration. Even as new listings come on the market, buyers are being faced with multiple offers on almost every property.  Danielle Hale, chief economist for announced, “I think it’s fair to say this is the most competitive housing market we’ve seen in recorded history.”


Housing Market Data

  • Mortgage Rates – After a sharp run-up in the early part of 2018, mortgage rates have stabilized over the last few months. According to Freddie Mac, have now declined in three of the past four weeks.

  • Home Prices- According to the April Case-Shiller Index, Home price gains are still unrelenting, reflecting a yearly increase of 6.4%.

  • Supply- According to data, inventory has decreased for 42 consecutive months and is down 8.5% from last year.

  • Demand- People listing their homes for sale in higher numbers this April and May is good news for buyers, and good news for home sales, but it's still not enough to satisfy buyer demand, which means price increases will lilkely continue.

  • Mortgage Applications- According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, total mortgage application volume fell 4.9%, = last week compared with the previous week.

  • Overall Analysis- According to Redfin’s head of analytics, Pete Ziemkiewics, “People listing their homes for sale in higher numbers this April and May is good news for buyers, and good news for home sales.  But it’s still not enough to satisfy buyer demand, which means price increases will likely continue.”

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