MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Existing home sales fall 2.4 percent in March, down 22.0 percent year-on-year
Existing-home sales retreated 2.4% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.44 million. Sales declined 22.0% from one year ago. The median existing-home sales price dipped 0.9% from the previous year to $375,700. The inventory of unsold existing homes rose 1.0% from the prior month to 980,000 at the end of March, or the equivalent of 2.6 months’ supply at the current monthly sales pace.
New home mortgage applications rise 10 percent in March, up 0.6 percent year-on-year
Mortgage applications for new home purchases in March increased 0.6 percent compared from a year ago. Compared to February 2023, applications increased by 10 percent. MBA estimates that new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 666,000 units in March 2023, down 3.2 percent from February. On an unadjusted basis, MBA estimates that there were 65,000 new home sales in March 2023, an increase of 6.6 percent from 61,000 new home sales in February. The average loan size of new homes increased from $406,953 in February to $407,015 in March.
Housing starts slip 0.8 percent in March, down 17.2 percent year-on-year
Privately‐owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,420,000, down 0.8% from February and 17.2% year-on-year. Starts for single-family homes rose 2.7% but fell 27.7% year-on-year. Starts for multifamily buildings with 5+ units fell 6.7% but rose 6.1% year-on-year.
Building permits fall 8.8 percent in March and 24.8 percent year-on-year
Building permits fell 8.8% from February and 24.8% year-on-year. Permits for single-family homes rose 4.1% from February but fell 29.7% year-on-year. Permits for multifamily buildings with 5+ units fell 24.3% from February and 17.7% year-on-year.