What to expect at HousingWire’s Spring Summit

The focus of the Summit is The Year-Round Purchase Market. Record low rates led to a banner year for mortgage lenders in 2020, and this year is expected to be just as incredible.

Increasing lending and servicing capacity – regardless of rates

Business process outsourcing and digital transformation are proven solutions that more companies in the mortgage industry are turning to. Download this white paper for more.

HousingWire's 2021 Spring Summit

We’ve gathered four of the top housing economists to speak at our virtual summit, a new event designed for HW+ members that’s focused on The Year-Round Purchase Market.

An Honest Conversation on minority homeownership

In this episode, Lloyd interviews a senior research associate in the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute about the history and data behind minority homeownership.

Real Estate

NAR’s Yun forecast for 2019 housing sales: New homes will drive market gains

New home sales should reach a 12-year high as builders scramble to meet demand

Sales of new homes probably will reach a 12-year high this year as builders scramble to meet demand from entry-level buyers, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. Existing home sales probably will be flat, he said.

The number of new houses sold in 2019 probably will total 667,000, the highest level since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007, Yun said at NAR’s Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington D.C. on Thursday. Sales of existing homes, which tumbled 3.1% in 2018 as mortgage rates rose to an eight-year high, probably will be flat this year, Yun said. Next year, existing home sales probably will gain 3.7%, he said. 

Yun predicted changing migration patterns within the U.S. as buyers give up trying to stretch to get into pricy markets and move to more affordable areas of the country. Nationally, the inventory of homes on the market has grown for eight straight months on a year-over-year basis, and Yun said he expects that to continue. Housing affordability had been falling, according to NAR's Housing Affordability Index.

"While affordability has been sliding, it is still better than we saw in the year 2000. This is due to much lower mortgage interest rates today," Yun said at the conference. 

This year, incomes have been gaining at a pace closer to home-price growth as average hourly wages increased, Yun said. Incomes have been climbing from a post-recession bottom hit in 2011, according to data from Sentier Research.

"With strong job creation, wages are growing at a faster pace," Yun said. "Finally, wages and home prices are aligning."

The mix of new houses being sold will shift toward the more affordable end of the market, resulting in a lower median price. Even as sales rise to a 12-year high, the median new-house price will fall 2.8% to $317,300, according to Yun’s forecast. For 2020, he expects new-home sales will grow 7.9% to 720,000 and the median price will increase 1.8%. In March, new-home sales jumped 4.5%, according to an April 23 report from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales for that month were 3% higher than March 2018.

Prices for existing homes probably will gain 2.3% this year and 3.3% in 2020, Yun said. That's a slower pace than 2018's 4.9% increase.

The average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage probably will be 4.3% this year, compared with 4.5% in 2018, Yun said at the conference. The unemployment rate likely will average 4% this year, not far from last year’s 3.9%, he said. Earlier this month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.6% in April, the lowest in five decades.  

Most Popular Articles

Do higher mortgage rates mark the end of the refi wave?

As mortgage rates rose over the last week, refi activity fell. But millions of borrowers are still eligible if lenders can get them through the pipeline.

Feb 23, 2021 By

Latest Articles

How lenders can prepare for growing fraud threats

HousingWire recently spoke with Jeffrey Morelli, general manager at Truework, about what lenders can do to prepare for and overcome the growing threat of fraud and data inaccuracy.

Feb 26, 2021 By
3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please