Home Prices Continue to Thrive

CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (HPI) continue to show that owner-occupied homes across the nation are increasing in value.  In September, values increased 0.4%, which is an increase of 3.5% since September of last year.    The HPI also gives us a forecast of appreciation showing that homes will appreciate by 0.3% over the next month and by a whopping 5.6% over the next year! 

Chief Economist for CoreLogic, Frank Nothaft said, “Mortgage rates were a full percentage point lower this September compared to a year ago, boosting affordability for first–time buyers and supporting a rise in homeownership.  In addition to lower interest rates, personal income grew faster than home prices during the past year.  This provided an additional lift for first-time buyer affordability and helped to boost the homeownership rate to the highest level in more than five years.”

CoreLogic also notes that all fifty states are currently seeing positive trends with home pricing.  Addiitonally, there is a lot of demand coming from millennial buyers, who are actually spending more on homes than they anticipated, while also on average putting less than 20% down.

Low interest rates and continued buyer demand are helping homes appreciate.  The housing market is very healthy and will continue to be healthy should the current market conditions continue.   

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30 second update:  Fed Cuts Interest Rates: How It Affects You!

On October 30th, the Federal Open Market Committee lowered its benchmark funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.5% - 1.75%, which is down from 1.75% - 2.0%.  This was the third cut this year by the Fed.  Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stated, “The committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook as it assesses the appropriate path of the target range for the federal funds rate.”

Let’s take a closer look at the Federal Funds Rate.  This rate is the rate banks charge each other for overnight lending and is tied to most forms of revolving consumer debt such as credit cards, home equity lines of credit, car loans and more.   A common misconception is that this rate is directly tied to mortgage rates.  When the Fed loosens its policy and cuts rates, this is to spur or ignite economic activity and can also stir up some inflation. Mortgage rates increase when there is a spike in inflation.  This is why we must keep an eye on the Fed rate, because sometimes it can actually push longer term interest rates higher. 

Following October 30th's rate cut, however, the Fed made several comments explaining that there are currently lower levels of inflation.  Because of these comments, the bond market improved in price which has helped keep mortgage rates low.  On top of all of this, the Personal Consumption and Expenditures (PCE) report came out, which reports on national levels of inflation, pointing to low levels of inflation as well. 

When inflation is flat or declining, mortgage rates tend to follow suit.  This is great news for those out shopping for a home or looking to refinance. 

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Consumer Demand Helps Create Equity

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), single family homes purchased with conforming mortgages across the nation increased in price by 0.2% for the month of August.  They increased in price by 4.6% from August 2018 to August 2019.   Homes are still appreciating, which should continue as long as demand stays strong and interest rates remain low.

The Existing Home Sales report, which measures the sales of “existing” homes in the US, was released showing that sales dipped slightly for the month of September.  Even though sales slipped from their highs, they are still up a whopping 3.9% year over year.  Continued strong levels of demand and aggressive interest rates are helping consumers enter the market. 

Over the last twelve months, the MBA’s mortgage application data is showing that mortgage applications are much higher than where they were last year.  Purchase applications are up 5.8% and applications for refinancing are up 126%.

We are currently in a very healthy mortgage and housing environment.  This is the time to speak with a trusted resource and discuss refinancing and purchasing options.

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30-Second Update:  Homebuilder Confidence Surges to Highest Level in Two Years


According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index, builder confidence on single family properties surged three points in October to 71.  This jump marks the highest level since February 2018, and up from 68 in October of last year.  Any report resulting in an index of 50 or greater is considered as positive.

Low mortgage rates continue to be the driving force behind the strong housing market.  NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde echoed that statement, “The housing rebound that began in the spring continues, supported by low mortgage rates, solid job growth, and a reduction in new home inventory.”  Within the index’s three components, current sales conditions rose three points to 78, sales expectations over the next six months jumped six points to 76, and buyer traffic rose five points to 54.

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Housing News Continues to Show Health

The Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which is for the month of July, showed that homes across the nation appreciated over the last twelve months by 3.2%.  This index also pulls information from twenty major cities across the country and showed an annual appreciation of 2.0%.

CoreLogic has also released their monthly appreciation report, which shows that homes across the nation have appreciated by 3.6% from August of last year to August of this year.  They are forecasting that homes will appreciate by a whopping 5.8% from August 2019 to August 2020!

It is apparent that homes are continuing to appreciate and continuing to add equity for those purchasers who were able to get into the housing market. This continued appreciation is due to the low interest rate environment, coupled with high levels of buyer demand.  These reports both point to the fact that this is still a great time to purchase a home.


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