5/28: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

April new home sales edge up 0.6 percent from March, but fell 6.2 percent year-on-year

New home sales in April rose 0.6 percent from March, but fell 6.2 percent year-on-year.  The median sales price of these homes fell 8.5 percent year-on-year to $309,900, which was largely due to more homes selling under $300,000 at the expense of higher-priced homes over $500,000.At current sales rates, existing inventory would take 6.3 months to sell, down from March’s 6.4 months but up from 6.1 months in April 2019.



Purchase loans rise 9 percent, rates remain mostly flat

The Market Composite Index increased 2.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans rising 9 percent (and also up 9 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity falling 0.2 percent (but up 176 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances increased one basis point to 3.42 percent.



Case-Shiller Index annual gains rose to 4.4 percent in March

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index reported a 4.4 percent annual gain in March, up from 4.2 percent in the previous month. After seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month increase of 0.5 percent.



Consumer Confidence Index rebounds slightly in May as economy beings to re-open

Following two months of rapid decline, the free-fall in the Consumer Confidence Index stopped in May, and actually rebounded from 85.7 to 86.6.  The severe and widespread impact of COVID-19 has been mostly reflected in the Present Situation Index, which has plummeted nearly 100 points since the onset of the pandemic. Short-term expectations moderately increased as the gradual re-opening of the economy helped improve consumers’ spirits.



Share of loans in forbearance rises to 8.36 percent in weekly update

The total number of loans now in forbearance increased from 8.16 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 8.36 percent as of May 17, 2020. Approximately 4.2 million homeowners are now in forbearance plans.


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