Adam Constantine on MLK Jr.’s impact on housing equality

During the interview, Constantine explains why the industry needs to focus on evoking intentional change rather than launching lackluster initiatives.

Navigating capacity concerns amidst record-high volumes

High loan volumes continues to loom large in the new year, making the “one-stop-shop” approach to the servicing and lending process even more appealing.

How servicers continue to protect neighborhoods amid COVID

We spoke with MCS CEO Caroline Reaves about self-service technology, the shift to virtual and how servicers can prepare for post-COVID success by improving processes today.

How student loan debt impact homeownership

Student loan expert Catalina Kaiyoorawongs shares her practical and tangible advice for people who feel overwhelmed by their student loan debt.

MortgageReal Estate

Pending home sales jump to highest level in nearly a year

Housing market to finally slowdown in the West Coast?

Overcoming several roadblocks in housing, pending home sales managed to increase in March for the second consecutive month, reaching their highest level in almost a year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, grew 1.4% to 110.5 in March from an downwardly revised 109.0 in February. This is also 1.4% above March 2015 (109.0).

With this new reading, the index has increased year-over-year for 19 consecutive months and is at its highest reading since May 2015 (111.0).

Last month, pending home sales beat expectations and grew to the highest level in seven months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says last month’s pending sales increase signals a solid beginning to the spring buying season.

“Despite supply deficiencies in plenty of areas, contract activity was fairly strong in a majority of markets in March,” he said. “This spring’s surprisingly low mortgage rates are easing some of the affordability pressures potential buyers are experiencing and are taking away some of the sting from home prices that are still rising too fast and above wage growth.” 

Broken up regionally, Yun said, “Demand is starting to weaken in some areas, particularly in the West, where the median home price has risen an astonishing 38% in the past three years.”

“As a result, pending sales in the region have now declined in four of the last five months and are lower than one year ago for the third month in a row. Closed sales in the region in March were also below last year’s pace,” he added.  

The PHSI in the Northeast increased 3.2% to 97.0 in March, and is now 18.4% above a year ago. In the Midwest the index inched up a slight 0.2% to 112.8 in March, and is now 4.0% above March 2015, while the South the index rose 3.0% to 125.4 in March but is still 0.6% lower than last March. The index in the West fell 1.8% in March to 95.3, and is now 7.9% below a year ago.

The most recent new-home sales report also touched on what is happening on the West Coast.

“So far this year, much of the softness in national new home sales numbers has been driven by weakness in the West region. In both January and March, new home sales in the West fell more than 20% month-over-month. Some, but not all, of this slack has been picked up in other areas of the country: Over the year, new home sales are down 20.7% in the West, but up 15.4% in the South,” Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell said about the new home sales report.

“The West region is home to some of the nation's priciest and fastest-growing housing markets, and continued weakness could indicate some fatigue among homebuyers who need a breather from breakneck appreciation,” she continued. 

Most Popular Articles

Prepare for the rise in mortgage rates

Economists offer their takes on how high mortgage rates will climb, how lenders will respond and what impact this will have on the housing market. HW+ Premium Content

Jan 18, 2021 By

Latest Articles

Biden issues 60-day regulation freeze

As one of his first directives after taking office, President Joe Biden announced a 60-day freeze on regulations in order to give his administration time to review any new rules.

Jan 22, 2021 By
3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please