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Demand For Housing Is Up But How About Inventory
This was a big week for housing data, with more signs pointing toward demand building. The key question for the housing market will be whether new and existing home supply will follow suit.
New construction starts in December were up 4.4%, inching closer to an annualized rate of 1.1 million, which we have not seen since 2007. The increase was driven by single-family, which is a good early sign that homebuilders are gearing production for greater demand in the spring. The December pace of single-family starts was 728,000 units, the highest number since March 2008.
Builders remain positive about the future. The January reading of the NAHB Housing Market Index reported this week reflects that builders are confident about their prospects.
Low mortgage rates spurring applications
Mortgage rates again made the news this week as rates hit new lows for the year. The lower rates are a gift to consumers from the global financial markets. When investors heavily buy U.S. Treasury bonds, the higher prices they pay move interest rates lower. As a result, mortgage application activity rose to its highest level since June 2013.
Consumers should not bank on rates staying low for very much longer, though, as the Federal Reserve is “staying on track to start raising short-term interest rates later this year,” the Wall Street Journal reports. In fact, after European Central Bank actions to support European economies were announced on Thursday, U.S. Treasury bonds have declined in price. That means mortgage rates will soon be on the rise again.
Today’s report on existing home sales from the National Association of REALTORS® affirms that demand has been growing. The annual pace of existing home sales was 5.04 million in December, which was 2.4% higher than November and 3.5% higher than last year.
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Denver Colorado Realtor -Michael Steffen
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My name is Michael Ross Steffen. I’m an Exit Realty Cherry Creek Agent in the Denver metro area and Team Leader For Generation Property Group! We specialize in advanced Internet marketing, buying, s....