For the local homeowners with homes for sale, last week’s real estate news was filled with encouraging details. Headlines like “Home-Price Growth Accelerated in January” (the Wall Street Journal), “Home prices skyrocket 19.2% in January” (CNBC), and “Condo prices hit all-time high: Redfin” (TheRealDeal.com) were prominent across the media, with reportage emphasizing signs that for most of the country, this year’s busy season was already in full swing.
Even the most worrisome development—a stronger-than-expected uptick in mortgage interest rates—could be viewed as a plus for homeowners with homes for sale. Although the week’s average home loan rates climbed to their highest level in more than three years, most outlets included the caveat that they remained at close-to-historic levels.
Furthermore, the Federal Reserve’s indication of more to come could well spur sales. Although prospective buyers might be disappointed at having missed out on the best mortgage bargains, the future seemed all but certain to hold higher (possibly, much higher) rates. Per Bloomberg, already a half-point hike “was on the table in May, and more to come.” For buyers whose monthly housing budgets might already be challenged, that outlook would be hard to ignore—adding pressure to catch the affordability train before it left the station entirely.
Readers of Marketwatch found confirmation in reports that “…homebuyers rushed to lock in deals.” Even the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Supervisory Economist Will Doerner confirmed that “intense borrower demand” was not yet dampened because of the week’s home loan pricing levels, while The Wall Street Journal headlined, “…costlier home loans have yet to dent demand in a big way.” All in all, last week provided ample encouragement for area homeowners contemplating adding their own property to the current crop of homes for sale.