Home Prices Soar
The forbearance numbers out today are good — we’re down to about 2.5 million homeowners in forbearance, the lowest number since last March, and the numbers dropped across all investor categories. However, more than 11% of those still in forbearance have exceeded the 12-month mark, and Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, says many of those could opt for the recent forbearance extension of up to 18 months.
The existing home sales report out today was less sunny. Rising home prices and mortgage rates, combined with limited inventory, led to a sales decline of 6.6% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.22 million, according to NAR.
Home prices rose in every region compared to February 2020:
- Northeast: up 20.5%
- Midwest: up 14.2%
- South: up 13.6%
- West: up 20.6%
Those price increases concern Lead Analyst Logan Mohtashami, but he sees room for optimism too.
“When I look at today’s report, the most significant data point to my mind is the 9.1% year-over-year growth in existing sales. This is the best February sales data we have had in a long time, and it’s working from a high comp. This shows me that, despite what you may hear to the contrary, homes were on the market to buy and they were bought! But as inventory and days on the market decline, the housing market is getting unhealthier.”
Read his full analysis here.