November 2018

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 were up 0.4 percent to 2,828. Pending Sales increased 4.8 percent to 2,491, and Inventory shrank 5.7 percent to 7,841.

Median Sales Price was up 8.6 percent to $179,000. Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.1 percent to 94.9%. Absorption Rate was down 7.4 percent to 2.5.

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.