03 Dec Mortgage News Summary for December
Here are a couple of mortgage news stories that we are keeping an eye on this week:
New home sales declined at the national level in October. Meanwhile, the number of home showings has decreased in the Charleston area. Here is more on the mortgage news stories we are watching:
Sales on New Homes Decline Across the Nation
U.S. home sales sank 8.9% in October. The number of recently constructed, unsold homes on the market rose to the greatest level since 2009. New home sales have been on the decline for four of the past five months, with the sales of new homes having dipped 12% year-over-year largely as a result of rising interest rates. New home affordability is again an issue with the climbing rates. Likewise, existing homes are experiencing a decline in sales, down 5.1% this year. The average 30-year mortgage interest rate was 4.81% as of last week, an increase from 3.92% compared to the same time in 2017.
Charleston Region Home Showings Have Dropped
During the month of October, home showings decreased by 15.2% around the Charleston area. According to the Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS, this is the steepest decline in the past year. But the low turnout for showings is not unique to the “Holy City,” as Charleston is nicknamed. Home showings across the South are down for the first time in 12 months. The “South,” for purposes of this study, included states from Maryland to Texas. With mortgage interest rates rising to a seven-year high as of October, the decline in showings may be an indicator of buyer reluctance, according to the ShowingTime Showing Index. Another factor could be affordability, which, based on the National Association of Home Builders’ affordability index, continues to be a serious constraint for homebuyers. It’s interesting to note that although showings have declined in the Charleston region, home sales are on pace to match last year’s record sales if the last two months of 2018 are as strong as the first.
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Boak, Josh. “US new-home sales plunged 8.9 percent in October.” Web blog post. The Charlotte Observer. 28 November 2018. Web 28 November 2018.
Wise, Warren L. “Home showings plummet 15% in Charleston.” Web blog post. The Post and Courier. 1 December 2018. Web 1 December 2018.