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Case-Shiller/FHFA House Prices (May)

House prices showed no signs of slowing in May, with annual growth setting new records on both the Case-Shiller and FHFA measures. But with housing demand falling back since the start of the year, and lenders not set to ease credit conditions, we expect annual growth will soon peak. From 16.6% y/y in May, we expect it to slow to 10% y/y by end-2021, and 3% y/y by end-2022.
Matthew Pointon Senior Property Economist
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US Housing Market Update

The anatomy of a housing market downturn

Measures of housing market activity and prices tend to follow a predictable sequence in downturns. In this Update we highlight the key US and UK variables that clients should follow to track the housing downturn and identify turning points. With most indicators already softening in both countries, it is just a matter of time before house prices fall. In view of the wider interest, we are also sending this US Housing Update to clients of our UK Housing Service.

24 June 2022

US Housing Market Data Response

New Home Sales (May)

New home sales rose in May, bucking widespread signs of a housing market slowdown. But given the volatility in the data we wouldn’t put too much weight on one month’s reading. After all, new home sales are not immune to higher financing costs and survey measures point to a fall in sales over the next couple of months. While a healthier inventory means the new home market will outperform existing sales, we still expect a fall in sales to around 630,000 annualised by end-2022.

24 June 2022

US Housing Market Data Response

Existing Home Sales (May)

Surging mortgage rates led to another fall in existing home sales in May to their lowest level since the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns two years ago. And with mortgage rates set to rise to 6.5% by early 2023, sales will see further declines. We expect they will bottom out at 4.8m annualised by the end of the year, which would represent a 23% drop from their end-21 level.

21 June 2022

More from Matthew Pointon

US Housing Market Data Response

New Home Sales (Jun.)

New homes sales dropped for the third month in a row in June, as homebuilders restricted sales in an effort to catch-up with the backlog of homes sold last year. But builders have reported continued strength in prospective buyers, and that implies sales will rise later this year as supply improves. We therefore expect new sales will end the year at around 850,000 annualised.

26 July 2021

US Housing Market Outlook

Home sales to ease even as mortgage rates stay low

Even as mortgage rates have remained low, housing market activity has dropped back as booming house prices, tight credit conditions and a lack of inventory have put off buyers. We expect that dynamic to continue over the remainder of the year. While mortgage rates will see only a small rise to 3.5% by end-2021, total home sales will end the year at around 6.5m annualised, down 15% y/y. Low mortgage rates will however support house prices, and we expect growth to only slow to around 10% y/y by end-2021. Single-family housing starts have been constrained by a shortage of materials and labour. While the latter won’t be solved overnight, a sharp drop in lumber prices should help get some stalled projects off the ground and help starts average 1.16m in 2021, a 16% increase on 2020. Rental demand is recovering quickly as cities and offices reopen and households complete delayed moves. With supply also tight, that will drive up effective rental growth to 2.5% y/y by end-2021, and 4.0% y/y by mid-2022.

15 July 2021

US Housing Market Update

Will booming house prices translate into rents?

The recent surge in house price growth to record highs does not automatically mean rental growth is also set to take off. But a strong recovery in rental demand as cities reopen and households make delayed moves, coupled with low vacancy rates, mean rental growth will rise this year. From 1.9% y/y in June, we expect the rent of primary residence component of the CPI to rise to 2.5% by the end of the year, and 4.0% y/y by mid-2022.

14 July 2021
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