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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for April 30th

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

Home price gains continue to cool as they drift down to more normal levels due in part to an uptick in housing inventories. The S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index rose 3% from February 2018 to February 2019, up 0.2% monthly from January to February. The national index increased 4% annually. Home price gains topped out in late 2013 with double digit gains. A spokesperson for the index said that the pace of home prices continues to slow.

Consumer confidence remained strong in April though below the best levels ever seen last fall. The Conference Board reports that its Consumer Confidence Index improved in April to 129.2 from 124.2 in March. Consumer assessments for current conditions as well as the outlook for the labor markets was more favorable in April than in March. Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board said, "Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue growing at a solid pace into the summer months. These strong confidence levels should continue to support consumer spending in the near-term."

Signed real estate contracts to purchase existing single-family homes jumped in March from February as the spring home buying season kicked off. The National Association of REALTORS(R) reports that Pending Homes Sales jumped 3.8% month-over-month though down 1.2% from March 2018. It was the 15th straight month of annual declines. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said, "We are seeing a positive sentiment from consumers about home buying, as mortgage applications have been steadily increasing and mortgage rates are extremely favorable."

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