Will the US Housing Market Bounce Back in the Months Ahead?
The United States housing market passed through the pandemic in pretty good shape, especially in major metropolitan areas where demand remained strong. However, soaring inflation rates forced the US Federal Reserve to pursue its most aggressive rate tightening policy in nearly two decades. From the outset, there was concern that this would wreak havoc on real estate prices and sales.
According to Freddie Mac, the national average 30-year mortgage rate soared to a 23-year high of 7.79% at the end of October 2023. Meanwhile, the 30-year fixed rate eased to 7.44% in the week ending November 16, 2023.
These high rates have dissuaded prospective home buyers in the second half of 2023. Monthly existing-home sales were down for the fourth month in a row in October. All four major U.S. regions posted sales declines according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Regardless, demand remains high as the U.S. and many of its peers in the developed world have continued to maintain low housing supply. High immigration levels should keep a steady floor for this sector going forward.
Rising credit card delinquencies and a shaky economic picture likely means that the Federal Reserve is either close to the end of its interest rate tightening cycle, or already at peak rates. A downward move is something many experts and analysts are predicting in 2024. That could give a boost to top housing stocks like NVR (NYSE:NVR) and LGI Homes (NASDAQ:LGIH).
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