Last week’s economic reports included readings from Case-Shiller Housing Market Indices, National Association of Realtors® on pending home sales and weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.
The Commerce Department’s reading on sales of new homes was delayed due to the federal government’s shutdown.
Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth Lowest in Two Years
Home price growth was nearly nil with October’s month-to-month reading of 0.40 percent; The Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index showed a year-over-year home price growth rate of 5.50 percent, which matched September’s year-over-year reading. Las Vegas, Nevada led home price growth in the 20-city index with a year-over-year increase of 12,80 percent; San Francisco, California had home price growth of 7,90 percent and Phoenix, Arizona home prices grew by 7.70 percent year-over-year in October.
While San Francisco, California, Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon dominated the top three spots in the 20-City Home Price Index in recent years, the latest home price growth rates indicate that the West Coast may be easing off on its rapid home price gains. High-cost metro areas risk reaching a tipping point when there are few properties available with very high prices and buyers competing.
,Affordability and slim choice of available homes can cause would-be buyers to sideline themselves while they await more options and lower prices. Rising mortgage rates caused concern among buyers concerned with affordability and qualifying for mortgage loans under strict lender requirements.
Pending Home Sales Improve, But Remain in Negative Territory
Future home sales slipped in November, but less so than they did in October. Pending sales registered in negative territory with a reading of -0.70 percent in November as compared to October’s reading of -2.60 percent.
Analysts and real estate pros view pending sales as an indication of future completed sales and mortgage activity; falling numbers for pending home sales suggest slowing home sales that could impact housing markets. Pending sales are considered sales for which