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Market Forecast: Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Mortgage Apps, and Pending Home Sales

Posted On December 25, 2017

Markets will be closed today, in observance of the Christmas holiday.  There are some noteworthy housing reports scheduled for release, including the Case-Shiller home price index, the weekly mortgage application survey, and pending home sales.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index tracks monthly changes in the values of homes involved in two or more sales transactions across twenty metropolitan areas around the country.  The data lags by one month, but is used to predict home price appreciation and evaluate housing trends.  In September, the 20-city index appreciated 0.4% month-over-month and 6.2% year-over-year. 

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage application survey reports on the change in the volume of new purchase and refinance applications filed from week to week.  For the week ending 12/15, new purchase applications declined 6.0% and refinance applications were down 3.0% for a composite decrease of 4.9%. 

The pending home sales index counts homes for sale that are under contract, but not yet closed.  Typically, it takes four-to-six weeks for a contract to close.  Pending home sales can be used to gauge future housing market activity like existing home sales.  In October, pending home sales improved 3.5%, bringing the index to a level of 109.3. 

Despite the rate hike earlier this month, mortgage rates remain historically low.  Even with a recent upward trend, last week’s average rate is still below the year-long high.  Going into 2018, home builders are confident, housing activity is solid, and housing professionals are optimistic about the coming year. 

 

Sources: Bloomberg, MarketWatch, Mortgage News Daily