Higher Priced Homes Selling, Builders Confident, Forbearance Update

Homes in the $100,000 to $250,000 range only saw a 4% gain in sales compared to a year ago, while sales of homes costing more than $1 million more than doubled.

Lawrence Yun

Rates – ticked up marginally this week maintaing the slight upward trend over the last quarter. They remain nearly 1% lower than this time last year.

Jobs – 787,000 people filed for unemployment insurance for the first time this week. This is the first time that number has dipped below 800K since the pandemic. This number is still nearly 4X pre-Covid levels. The total number of people receiving benefits (including ongoing claims) is down 1M to roughly 12M.

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Home Sales – inventory remains incredibly low with ‘no shortage of hopeful, potential buyers’. This combination of low supply and strong demand supports home values. Home sale volume increased over 9% in September and is up 21% from the previous September – the highest increase since 2006 when there were double the current inventory. The Median home price (not the average) is up nearly 14% from this time last year. Higher priced homes are selling extremely well.

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Builder – confidence is at a record high for the second consecutive month. Builders are challenged with: lack of land, labor, and rapidly increasing cost of materials.

Mortgage Applications – are down a marginal 0.6% from the previous week. Year over year purchases are up 26% and refinances are up 74%.

Freight – the Cass Freight Index which covers the movement of goods, is up nearly 28% from April lows and year over year is down nearly 1.2% from this time lats year.

Forbearance – the share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance declined under 6%. This marks the 19th consecutive week of declines for Conforming loans (Fannie/Freddie), and less than 4% of conforming loans are in forbearance plans. A big reason for decline is that plans expired automatically. While eligible for 12 months of extension borrowers must reapply with their servicer for that extension.

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