May 26, 2018

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  • Thirty-year fixed rates may rise to 6 percent by December and to about 6.5 percent at the end of 2011; rates were at about 5 percent in early April.

    It’s tempting to think the Federal Reserve’s recent pullback from mortgage-backed securities purchases will drive interest rates higher. 

    But since it ended those purchases at the end of March, as it had planned to do, the impact on rates has been negligible.

  • Decisions about what to buy and when—by consumers and by businesses—inevitably lead to market fluctuations that sometimes can be forecast and sometimes not.

    We see this volatility in the spectacular surge in home sales that closed last November when households believed the home buyer tax credit was about to expire, and then in the subsequent drop in sales over the next two months, after Congress extended and expanded the credit.

    In the long term, however, broad trends can smooth out these short-term fluctuations.

  • The extension and expansion of the home buyer tax credit can be counted on to help home sales throughout the first half of this year, but how will markets fare after the credit expires on April 30 (with deals having until June 30 to close)?

    The health of housing for the second half of the year is dependent on jobs, and on this point the picture is mixed. Although we expect GDP growth of about 3 percent this year, job growth will lag and we could see unemployment worsen to about 10.5 percent in the second quarter before it improves.

  • For the first half of this year home sales will improve by more than 20 percent over the same period of 2009. That means we could see a sales pace of more than 5.7 million by June, a much welcomed improvement from the last few years.

  • Yes, we’re pulling out of the recession and better economic conditions lie ahead. Continuing the home buyer tax credit and relieving the commercial real estate credit crunch are what we need to bring those lost jobs back and keep the economy growing.

  • The latest housing and business indicators for the real estate market.

  • More broadly, there are other indications the economy is heading up. Thanks to promising signs, we forecast higher home sales and stabilizing prices in the year ahead. But there are still some concerns.

  • The latest housing and business indicators for the real estate market.

  • The latest housing and business indicators for the real estate market.

  • After dropping for three years, home prices appear to be stabilizing. It’s safe to say we’ve reached the point where prices are justified by the fundamentals of the economy and may even represent an undervaluation.