Last week’s economic reporting included readings from S&P Case Shiller Home Price Indices, the National Association of Realtors®’ report on pending home sales, and the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index for September. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.
S&P Case-Shiller Reports 4th Consecutive Month of Record Home Price Growth
July Home Prices grew at a year-over-year pace of 19.70 percent as compared to June’s home price growth rate of 18.70 percent according to S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index.
The S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index reported that July home prices grew by 19.90 percent year-over-year; 17 of 20 cities posted higher home price growth rates in September than in August. The top three home price growth rates in the 20-City Home Price Index were held by Phoenix, Arizona at 32.40 percent; San Diego, California home prices grew by 27.80 percent, and Seattle, Washington home prices grew by 25.50 percent year-over-year in September.
Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of investment strategy for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said “The last several months have been extraordinary not only in the level of price gains but in the consistency of gains across the country.” This differed from the traditional pattern of rapid home price growth in high-demand coastal metro areas as the covid pandemic drove homebuyers to seek out less congested and less expensive metro areas.
Pending home sales rose by 8.10 percent in August according to the National Association of Realtors® and far exceeded analyst expectations of 1.20 percent growth and July’s reading of -1.80 percent growth in pending home sales. Pending home sales are sales for which purchase contracts are signed, but the transactions are not completed. Real estate pros and mortgage lenders use pending home sales to predict future home sales and loan closings.
Mortgage Rates, Initial Jobless Claims Rise
Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week as the yield on 10-Year Treasuries rose. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 13 basis points to 3.01 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also rose by 13 basis points and averaged 2.28 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.48 percent and five basis points higher. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages; 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
Initial jobless claims increased to 362,000 first-time claims filed from the previous week’s reading of 351,000 new claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims decreased to 2.80 million continuing claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 2.82 million continuing jobless claims filed.
The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose to an index reading of 72.8 in September from August’s reading of 71.0. Analysts expected no change from August’s reading.
This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on public and private sector jobs, the national unemployment rate, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.