US Housing Market: For the third consecutive month, three US regions posted monthly gains in February. The Midwest increased by 0.4%, the Northeast increased by 6.5%, and the South gained 0.7% compared to January of this year. The West decreased, and all four regions saw year over year decreases in transactions.
Monthly Trends in U.S Regions
For the third consecutive month, three US regions posted monthly gains in February. The Midwest increased by 0.4%, the Northeast increased by 6.5%, and the South gained 0.7% compared to January of this year. The West decreased, and all four regions saw year over year decreases in transactions. The West fell the most down by 28.4% compared to one year ago. The Northeast gained by 17% on top of the current levels right now 83.2, which is much lower compared to pre-covered levels.
Analysis based on data from the National Association of Realtors
The housing sector’s contraction is coming to an end after nearly a year. Lawrence Hume says it’s anyone’s guess what’s going to happen, but in his personal opinion, it depends on the direction of mortgage rates. Data pulled from the National Association of Realtors website showed an increase of 0.8% in February, which is remarkable given the fact that rates were increasing for the vast majority of February. The contracts being signed right now have now increased by 9% compared to December last year and also have increased by 10% compared to November last year as well as last year.
Comparison to Years Past
Although demand has been increasing for three consecutive months, compared to one year ago and also compared to the past several years, the numbers are still at very low levels. Real estate is local, and every housing market is different. For example, in the Sacramento area, according to Ryan Lundquist, who is the king of real estate market stats for the greater Sacramento area, there are more pending home sales than active listings in Sacramento County right now. We should have way more listings than pendings, so what he’s saying here is that the number of houses for sale is actually higher, so we should have more contracts signed in Sacramento. We have more contract signings than active sales than the number for sale in Sacramento County as well as active listings. We have a lot of contracts signed than active properties, which is not a normal trend. We should be very competitive right now, and this is why the market feels so competitive.
Home Sales and Loan Applications in Sacramento Region
Despite low home buyer demand, we have seen a significant decrease in the number of houses listed for sale in the Sacramento region, according to MBA. For multiple months in a row, there have been approximately 4,000 fewer new listings since January this year. Some home sellers are overpricing their houses and not getting offers, which means there is an opportunity for potential buyers to place an offer and potentially get it accepted for well below the asking price.
New Report on Home Loan Applications by MBA
A new report by MBA posted on March 29th shows that home loan applications increased by 2.9 percent for the week ended March 24th this year. Refinancing applications increased by five percent compared to the previous week but were down 61 percent compared to the same week one year ago. It is the fourth consecutive weekly increase in their purchase index, according to the MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist, Joel Khan. The 30-year fixed rate declined to 6.45 percent, which is the lowest level in over a month. Refinancing activity also increased last week but still remains 61 percent below last year’s pace. Most homeowners still have rates significantly lower than current levels. Two-thirds of all people who have loans on their houses have rates below four percent, as reported by the data analytics giant, Black Knight.