Mortgage rates at 2015 high
Mortgage rates are at their year-to-date peak according to Freddie Mac. Positive housing data has pushed the rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages to 3.87 per cent for the week ending May 28. The previous week’s average was 3.84 per cent. For 15-year FRMs the average increased from 3.05 per cent last week to 3.11 per cent; 5 year ARMs increased to 2.90 per cent from 2.88 per cent; 1 year ARMs were down from 2.51 per cent to 2.50 per cent. With the exception of 1-year ARM’s all rates are still below their averages for a year ago.
Pending home sales hit 9-year high
Pending home sales increased in April to reach their highest level since 2006. New data from the National Association of Realtors shows that pending sales were up for the fourth straight month with its index hitting 112.4, a 3.4 per cent rise from March and 14 per cent higher than a year earlier. NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yar says that demand is growing but inventory is still low in many areas: "Homeowners looking to sell this spring appear to be in the driver's seat, as there are more buyers competing for a limited number of homes available for sale. As a result, home prices are up and accelerating in many markets."
Developers are optimistic for multi-family market
A measure of builders’ confidence in the multi-family housing market increased again in the first quarter of this year; the 13th consecutive quarter of positivity. The National Association of Homebuilders’ index tracks construction of low-rent units, market-rate rental units and “for-sale" units, or condominiums. W. Dean Henry, CEO of Legacy Partners Residential in Foster City, Calif., and chairman of NAHB’s Multifamily Leadership Board commented: “We’ll continue to see increased demand as new households form and the job market improves.” A separate NAHB index tracking perception of vacancy rates in multi-family developments declined to its lowest mark since the last quarter of 2012. HAHB chief economist David Crowe noted: “As more renters enter the market after having put off forming their own households for an extended period, demand for multifamily housing continues to strengthen.”