Real Estate Rundown April 2024

April 01, 2024

Photo credit Kenny Eliason Via Unsplash

Mortgage Rates Ease Slightly

In the latest analysis of mortgage rates, Orphe Divounguy, senior macroeconomist at Zillow Home Loans, notes a slight decline attributed to mixed signals from Federal Reserve officials and absence of new data. Divounguy highlights a potential divide among Fed officials regarding interest rate cuts, with implications for inflation control. The 10-year yield, indicative of future inflation and economic growth, may remain elevated amidst expectations of economic growth and inflation stability. Rate volatility is anticipated as the Fed and investors await conclusive evidence on inflation trends, with the upcoming release of the core PCE price index expected to prompt further repricing activity.

Housing Supply Climbs 5%

The latest report from Redfin reveals a significant increase in the total number of homes for sale in the U.S., rising by 5% during the four weeks ending March 17. This surge, the largest year-over-year uptick since May 2023, has spurred a 15% increase in new listings—the most substantial rise since June 2021. Despite the growing inventory, median home-sale prices have continued to climb by 5.3% year over year, marking the second-largest increase since October 2022. The report also highlights a slight increase in the median monthly mortgage payment, which is just $31 shy of its all-time high, attributed to elevated mortgage rates and prices. Despite these trends, Redfin economists anticipate a gradual decline in mortgage rates throughout 2024, maintaining a positive outlook on the housing market.

The Truth About the NAR Settlement Agreement

The real estate industry has been abuzz following the announcement of a settlement agreement by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), aimed at resolving litigation regarding broker commissions on behalf of home sellers. Amidst the confusion and misinformation circulating in the media, it's crucial to clarify key points about the settlement. Firstly, NAR's settlement, subject to judicial approval, doesn't set or guide commissions—it merely provides a framework for resolving legal uncertainties. Additionally, commissions have always been negotiable, and this settlement doesn't change that fact. The agreement seeks to protect NAR members while preserving consumer choice, resolving claims against NAR and many other industry stakeholders. The settlement also mandates changes in business practices, such as prohibiting offers of compensation on MLS and requiring written agreements with buyers before home tours. NAR encourages its members to seek accurate information from official sources like facts. realtor and is offering resources to support them through these changes. Ultimately, NAR remains committed to serving its members and consumers, ensuring a vibrant and competitive real estate market.

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