Market Forecast: Home Price Index, New Home Sales, and Pending Home Sales
Mortgage rates did not move significantly last week, after hitting a year-long low earlier in the month. There will be a full schedule of housing reports this week including the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index, new home sales, and pending home sales.
The Case-Shiller home price index tracks the change in home prices in 20 different metropolitan regions across the country. In January, the index reached a 31-month high after a 5.9% increase. Inventory constraints are driving up home prices, especially in Seattle, Portland, and Denver.
New home sales report on the sale of newly constructed home each month. Existing home sales comprise the majority of real estate transactions, but new home sales are still an important gauge of economic momentum. In February, new home sales increased to 592,000.
The pending home sales is a leading indicator for upcoming existing home sales reports. Typically, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale. In February, pending home sales increased 5.5% month-over-month reaching a level of 112.3 on the index.
Mortgage rates have held steady amidst recent international activity and stalled health care reform. This week’s reports will reveal a clearer picture of the housing market as we head into a busy spring and summer.
Sources: Mortgage News Daily, National Association of Realtors, CNBC, Bloomberg, Bloomberg