Strong consumer demand helped drive builder confidence higher in October according to the most recent National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index. The National Association of Realtors also released This Week in Real Estate that September existing-home sales realized a 7% increase over August sales. The Mortgage Bankers Association announced their expectations for 2022 this week, forecasting a 9% increase of purchase mortgage originations to a record of $1.73 trillion, a 62% decrease in refinance originations to $860 billion and the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increasing to 4.0% by the end of 2022. Below are a few newsworthy events from the third week of October that influence our business:
Existing-Home Sales Ascend 7% in September. Existing-home sales rebounded in September after seeing sales wane the previous month, according to the National Association of Realtors. Each of the four major U.S. regions witnessed increases on a month-over-month basis. From a year-over-year timeframe, one region held steady while the three others each reported a decline in sales. Total existing-home sales rose 7.0% from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.29 million in September. However, sales decreased 2.3% from a year ago (6.44 million in September 2020). “Some improvement in supply during prior months helped nudge up sales in September,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Housing demand remains strong as buyers likely want to secure a home before mortgage rates increase even further next year.” Total housing inventory2 at the end of September amounted to 1.27 million units, down 0.8% from August and down 13.0% from one year ago (1.46 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.4-month supply at the present sales pace, down 7.7% from August and down from 2.7 months in September 2020. Properties typically remained on the market for 17 days in September, unchanged from August and down from 21 days in September 2020. Eighty-six percent of homes sold in September 2021 were on the market for less than a month. Existing-home sales in the West climbed 6.5%, registering an annual rate of 1,310,000 in September, down 3.0% from one year ago. The median price in the West was $506,300, up 8.3% from September 2020.
Industry Forecasts Purchase Originations To Increase 9% to Record $1.73 Trillion in 2022. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) recently announced that purchase mortgage originations are expected to grow 9% to a new record of $1.73 trillion in 2022. After an anticipated 14% decline in 2021 to $2.26 trillion, MBA expects refinance originations will slow again next year, decreasing by 62% to $860 billion. MBA forecasts mortgage originations to total $2.59 trillion in 2022 – a 33% decline from this year. In 2023, mortgage originations are expected to decrease to $2.53 trillion. Purchase originations are forecasted to reach new successive records in 2022 and 2023, while higher mortgage rates and fewer eligible homeowners will lead to further declines in refinance volume. According to Fratantoni, MBA’s 2022 forecast assumes continued, strong economic growth amidst eventual easing of the supply chain constraints that have curbed some economic activity this year. “The economy and labor market rebounded in 2021, but overall growth fell short of expectations because of stubborn supply chain issues that fueled faster inflation, slowed consumer spending, and presented challenges in filling the record number of job openings available,” he said. “With inflation elevated and the unemployment rate dropping fast, the Federal Reserve will begin to taper its asset purchases by the end of this year and will raise short-term rates by the end of 2022.” MBA’s baseline forecast is for mortgage rates to rise, with the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage expected to end 2021 at 3.1% before increasing to 4.0% by the end of 2022. “Mortgage lenders and borrowers should expect rising mortgage rates over the next year, as stronger economic growth pushes Treasury yields higher,” said Fratantoni. “2022 should be another strong year for the housing market. Home builders will have more success overcoming current building material shortages and should be able to increase the pace of construction to meet the sizable demand for buying,” said Fratantoni. “More newly built homes and more homeowners listing their homes for sale should lead to some deceleration in home-price growth next year. This is good news for the many would-be buyers who are currently priced out or delaying decisions because of low supply conditions and steep home-price appreciation.”
Strong Demand Boosts Builder Confidence Despite Supply Chain Disruptions. Strong consumer demand helped push builder confidence higher in October despite growing affordability challenges stemming from rising material prices and shortages. Builder sentiment in the market for newly built single-family homes moved four points higher to 80 in October, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. All three major HMI indices posted gains in October. The index gauging current sales conditions rose five points to 87, the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months posted a three-point gain to 84 and the gauge charting traffic of prospective buyers moved four points higher to 65. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Midwest rose one point to 69, the Northeast held steady at 72, the South and West each remained unchanged at 80 and 83, respectively.
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