For our communication this week, we want to share a few of the recent headlines in national real estate news to give our clients a pulse on the national market.
Mortgage Rates Rose Again Last Week: Mortgage rates have had an interesting year. Last week they rose again for the fourth straight week; however, they remain lower than this time a year ago. For the week ending April 25, “30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.20 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.17 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.58 percent” (https://magazine.realtor/daily-news/2019/04/26/for-the-fourth-straight-week-mortgage-rates-rise#!#.XMcODgplrsI.twitter).
U.S. New Home Sales Rose in March: New home sales saw an increase in all U.S. regions but the Northeast. According to Realtor.com, “Purchases of newly built single-family homes—a relatively narrow slice of all U.S. home sales—rose 4.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000 in March, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 2.5% decline. Sales were up 3.0% in March from the prior year. The pace of new-home sales remains well below the elevated levels seen before the 2007-09 financial crisis and recession” (https://www.realtor.com/news/real-estate-news/u-s-new-home-sales-rose-in-march/). This is interesting news, as it shows a positive growth in the economy, as buyers are purchasing new homes.
Contract Signings Rebound: For the month of March, three of the four major U.S. regions saw an uptick in contract signs. This signals more future home sales, although the total number of contract signings are down 1.2% from last year. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun believes numbers will increase consistently, “ ‘We are seeing a positive sentiment from consumers about homebuying, as mortgage applications have been steadily increasing and mortgage rates are extremely favorable,’ ” Yun says (https://magazine.realtor/daily-news/2019/04/30/a-spring-sales-pick-up-contract-signings-rebound).”
These national trends indicate forward momentum in the real estate market, and it’s encouraging to see mortgage rates stay on the low end (historically). With new home sales and contract signings increased, this reflects well on the state of the real estate market. As always, we would love to discuss further, and next week we will take a look at the local numbers for the month of April.