Mortgage Rate Forecast: May 1, 2023

Mortgage Rate Forecast: May 1, 2023

Happy Monday! Todays blog post will give you a quick overview of the latest updates and trends in the housing market. We’ll cover key indicators such as home prices, new home sales, pending home sales, inflation, mortgage rates, and jobless claims.

Last week’s economic reports provided updates on key housing market indicators, such as home prices, new home sales, and pending home sales. Inflation data for both monthly and year-over-year readings were also published, along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for February showed that while national home prices continued to rise, the rate of growth slowed down. Home prices increased by 0.40% month-to-month, in line with analyst expectations, but lower than January’s reading of 2.50% growth.

Meanwhile, the 20-city home price index, which is a key metric for tracking housing markets, rose by 0.10% month-to-month in February, marking the first increase in home prices in eight months.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency also reported a 0.50% increase in home prices for properties owned and sold by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These homes are subject to loan limits and underwriting rules used by the two agencies.

However, pending home sales fell by -5.20% in March compared to the expected growth of 0.50% and February’s reading of 0.80%. This may be a sign that the housing market is starting to cool off after months of intense competition.

In other news, Freddie Mac reported mixed movement on mortgage rates, with the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rising slightly to 6.43%. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, on the other hand, fell by five basis points and averaged 5.71%.

Finally, initial jobless claims fell to 230,000 claims, which was below the expected number and a positive sign for the economy. Continuing jobless claims also fell to 1.86 million filings from the previous week’s reading of 1.87 million.

Looking ahead, scheduled economic reports for this week include readings on construction spending, the Federal Open Market Committee’s statement, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s post-meeting press conference. We’ll also be keeping an eye on updates on public and private-sector employment and national unemployment.

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