Last week’s economic reporting included readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index, and the Commerce Department on sales of new homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also reported.
S&P Case-Shiller, FHFA Report Near-Record Home Price Growth
February home prices continued their rapid growth, but analysts hinted at a coming slowdown in-home price growth as would-be buyers were faced with rising mortgage rates and affordability concerns. S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index reported year-over-year home price growth of 19.80 percent as compared to January’s national home price growth rate of 19.10 percent. The 20-City Home Price Index reported the top three cities for year-over-year home price growth were Phoenix, Arizona with 32.90 percent growth, Tampa, Florida reported 32.60 percent growth in home prices, and Miami, Florida reported year-over-year home price growth of 29.70 percent. All cities reported in the 20-City Home Price Index had double-digit growth in February and the pace of home price growth was faster for all 20 cities than in January.
In related news, the Federal Housing Finance Administration reported that home prices for homes owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose by 19.40 percent year-over-year and were 2.10 percent higher month-to-month.
Pending home sales were lower in March by -1.20 percent, as compared to the expected reading of -1,80 percent and February’s reading of -4.00 percent. Rising inflation and home prices created affordability concerns for first-time and moderate-income homebuyers.
Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Fall
Freddie Mac reported a lower average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by one basis point to 5.10 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.40 percent and were two basis points higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.78 percent and three basis points higher. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.90 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.
New jobless claims fell last week with 180,000 initial claims filed as compared to 185,000 first-time claims filed in the previous week. Continuing jobless claims held steady with 1.41 million ongoing claims filed and matched the prior week’s reading.
The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell by one-half point in April with an index reading of 65.2. The expected reading of 65.7 matched the March reading. Concerns over rising inflation, fuel prices, and the war in Ukraine contributed to lower consumer sentiment.
This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on public and private-sector jobs growth, the national unemployment rate, and a news conference by Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.