What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week –February 3rd, 2020Last week’s economic reports included readings on home prices, new and pending home sales and a statement from the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee. The University of Michigan issued its monthly statement on consumer sentiment and weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth Picks Up in November

According to Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index for November, home prices rose by 3.50 percent on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis as compared to October’s reading of 3.20 percent. Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index showed that home prices for cities included in the Index rose 2.60 percent year-over-year. All 20 cities showed growth in home prices on a month-to-month basis.

Cities with top rates of home price growth have shifted from high-cost coastal metro areas to more moderately priced areas inland and in the South. Phoenix, Arizona reported a reading of 5.90 percent growth in home prices year-over-year and has held first place in the 20-City Home Price Index for six consecutive months.

Charlotte, North Carolina held second place with a year-over-year home price gain of 5.20 percent. Tampa, Florida reported a  5.00 percent gain in home prices and held third place in the 20-City Index.

New Home Sales dipped by 3000 sales in December to a rate of 694,000 sales on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. December sales of new homes fell short of the expected reading of 735,000 sales according to the Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The seasonally-adjusted inventory of 327,000 new homes available represented a 5.70 months supply of new homes based on the current sales rate.

In related news, the National Association of Realtors® reported fewer pending home sales in December; all regions reported fewer pending sales in December as compared to November. Pending sales in the Northeast were -4.00 percent lower; pending sales in the Midwestern region fell by -3.60 percent and  December’spending sales in the South and West were -5.50 percent and -5.40 percent lower respectively.

The steep drop in pending home sales was attributed to slim inventories of available homes, but fewer buyers make offers on homes durin