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Monday, June 7, 2010

April Housing and Mortgage Market Trend Sheet Now Available

April’s explosive housing market activity was driven by the expiration of the Home Buyer Tax Credit program and the low mortgage rate environment. Below are this month’s highlighted trends:
  • Existing home sales in April rose 7.6% to an annualized 5.77 million units, their fastest pace since November, when the original first-time home buyer tax credit expired.
  • New home sales also surged to an annualized 504,000 units, which was an increase of 14.8% from the month before and a year-over-year expansion of 47.8%.
  • Housing starts rose 5.8% at an annualized pace of 672,000 units. The increase was driven by a large surge in starts of single-family units, which jumped 10.2%.
  • In April, the NAR Housing Affordability Index (HAI) continued to trend downward signifying that a median income family would need to put up more of their income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced home. The fall in the HAI is tied to sale prices rising with the increase in home demand at the end of the tax credit program.
  • The Fed’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey reported that underwriting standards remained tight in the first quarter, although less so relative to the quarter before. Meanwhile, mortgage demand continued to fall.
  • In the first quarter, the percentage of seriously delinquent loans fell after growing for more than three years. The news is positive, but the small decline could be attributed to seasonality.
The Housing and Mortgage Market Trend Sheet, located in the "OCE Documents of Interest" column at the right, is now updated with April figures. The trend sheet includes sales, pricing, construction, and delinquency data.

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