It might be hard to tell if home prices are up or down, depending on the source and the measures used. The latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index shows that while home prices grew by 3.5% in April, it was the 13th consecutive month-over-month decline in growth. Regional numbers showed a big change between March and April: Eighteen of the top 20 metropolitan areas showed price drops in March, while April brought price increases in 10 of the same top 20.
SALES SPEED UP
Home sales picked up nationwide in May according to figures released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). All four regions tracked by NAR had sales increases in May, led by the Northeast. Explaining the 2.5% nationwide increase, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding.” NAR also reported that the nationwide median home price was up 4.8% last month to $277,700, marking the 87th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Mortgage interest rates have stabilized over the last few weeks, with a pause in the downward trend that began last November according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending June 20. All the ingredients for a strong home purchase market are in place: low interest rates, strong job market, wage growth and consumer confidence.
More Americans think their credit scores are “good” or “excellent” than they did in 2015 according to Fannie Mae (FNMA). Fannie’s 2019 “Understanding of Mortgage Survey” shows that 75% of consumers believe they have good scores, compared to 69% when the first survey was conducted.
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