January 2019 Market Update
The booming U.S. economy continues to prop up home sales and new listings in much of the nation, although housing affordability remains a concern. Historically, housing is still relatively affordable. Although Freddie Mac recently reported that the 30-year fixed rate is at its highest average in seven years, reaching 4.94 percent, average rates were 5.97 percent ten years ago, 6.78 percent 20 years ago and 10.39 percent 30 years ago. Nevertheless, affordability concerns are causing a slowdown in home price growth in some markets, while price reductions are becoming more common.
Closed Sales decreased 4.1 percent for existing homes and 3.6 percent for new homes. Pending Sales decreased 4.7 percent for existing homes and 29.1 percent for new homes. Inventory decreased 0.8 percent for existing homes but increased 5.8 percent for new homes. The Median Sales Price was up 7.4 percent to $192,250 for existing homes and 4.9 percent to $367,131 for new homes. Days on Market decreased 8.7 percent for existing homes and 4.3 percent for new homes. Supply remained flat for existing homes but increased 1.7 percent for new homes.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the national unemployment rate was at 3.7 percent. Low unemployment has helped the housing industry during this extensive period of U.S. economic prosperity. Home buying and selling activity relies on gainful employment. It also relies on demand, and builders are showing caution by breaking ground on fewer single family home construction projects in the face of rising mortgage rates and fewer showings.
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*Information provided courtesy of KCRAR and Heartland MLS