Mortgage Rates Drop Again This Week

Mortgage Rates Drop Again This Week
Freddie Mac | June 22, 2018

Borrowers found lower mortgage rates again this week, marking the third decrease in rates in the past four weeks.

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“After a sharp run-up in the early part of 2018, rates have stabilized over the last three months, with only a modest uptick since March,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “However, existing-home sales have hit a wall, declining in six of the last nine months on a year-over-year basis.”

The National Association of REALTORS® reported earlier this week that existing-home sales—completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—dropped 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.43 million in May. Sales are now 3 percent lower than a year ago. Home prices also reached a new all-time high last month—a median of $264,800.

“Persistently low supply levels, and not this year’s climb in mortgage rates, are handcuffing sales—especially at the lower end of the market,” Khater says. “Home shoppers can’t buy inventory that doesn’t exist.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending June 21:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.57 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 4.62 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.90 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.04 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 4.07 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.17 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.83 percent, with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from a week ago. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.14 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine 062218

Upbeat Sellers Show Readiness to Make a Move

Upbeat Sellers Show Readiness to Make a Move
National Association of REALTORS® | June 21, 2018

Home prices are climbing across the country, and that has made homeowners more bullish when it comes to the prospects of selling. Seventy-five percent of more than 2,700 households recently surveyed say it’s a good time to sell a house; 68 percent say it’s a good time to buy, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ second quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey.

“Hopefully this strong seller optimism will lead to an increase in inventory later on in the year,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Fifty-five percent of consumers say they believe that home prices will continue to increase in their communities over the next six months, up from the previous quarter (53 percent), according to NAR’s report.

In the second quarter, however, optimism for buying stayed stagnant. Thirty-nine percent of consumers strongly agree now is a good time to buy, while 29 percent moderately agree. A decreasing number of renters are upbeat about buying, dropping from 55 percent in the first quarter to now 49 percent in the second quarter. Optimism for buying is highest among older buyers 65 or over, as well as those living in the South and Midwest regions, the report found.

“Inventory remains the driving force in real estate, affecting everything from rising prices to household formation,” Yun says. “Improving supply conditions is critical to improving buyer optimism and helping to remove some of the barriers holding back potential first-time buyers.”

Overall, consumers are more optimistic about the economy. Fifty-eight percent of households surveyed said they thought the economy was improving, with people in rural areas the most upbeat about economic conditions, according to the survey.

Their optimism over the economy has also helped more consumers believe that they would have an easier time to obtain a mortgage. “This is most likely a reflection of the current positive outlook on the direction of the economy,” Yun says. “Healthy job creation and faster wage growth mean that homeownership is viewed as a more attainable goal than it was a year ago.”

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Source: “Q2 Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey,” National Association of REALTORS® (June 21, 2018); REALTOR® Magazine 062118

Inventory Increases Across Middle Tennessee Housing Market

Inventory Increases Across Middle Tennessee Housing Market
Press Release by Greater Nashville REALTORS® | June 7, 2018

House 1048NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 7, 2018) – There were 3,767 closings reported for the month of May, according to figures provided by Greater Nashville REALTORS®. This represents a 4.5 percent decrease from the 3,943 closings reported for May 2017.

Year-to-date closings total 15,396, a 1 percent decrease compared to the 15,606 closings reported through May 2017.

“Greater Nashville had a record setting month last year in May 2017 with the highest number of closings in one month in the history of the region. It is not surprising to see a normalization of the sales in May 2018,” said Greater Nashville REALTORS® President Sher Powers. “The higher number of homes under contract at the end of May 2018, compared to last year, sets the stage for what could be a very strong month of June.”

“Even with rising interest rates we see a healthy and vibrant market with continued strong sales numbers.”

There were 3,575 properties under contract at the end of the month, compared to the 3,540 properties under contract at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 28 days.

“The increase in residential and condominium inventory is very healthy for the market. We saw a substantial inventory increase in both residential single-family homes and condominiums. This helps balance out a market that has seen a much lower inventory supply.”

The median residential price for a single-family home during May was $299,900 and for a condominium it was $226,000. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $279,142 and $205,000, respectively.

Active inventory at the end of May was 9,511 which increased from 8,557 in 2017.

About Us: Greater Nashville REALTORS® is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest professional trade associations and serves as the primary voice for Nashville-area property owners. REALTOR® is a registered trademark that may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics.

View the May 2018 Market Data Infographic

Source: Greater Nashville REALTORS® Press Release June 7, 2018