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Mortgage Applications (Jun.)

Home purchase mortgage applications fell back again in June, leaving them down 23% compared to the 11-year high seen in January. Tight inventory and stretched affordability are largely responsible for the recent downward trend in housing demand and we expect these factors will persist throughout the year.
Sam Hall Assistant Property Economist
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US Housing Market Data Response

Housing Starts (Jul.)

Single-family housing starts fell for the fifth consecutive month in July, leaving them down by 25% from their high at the end of 2021. Leading indicators point to a much larger decline in the coming months. However, pent-up demand, tight supply and easing supply shortages will provide some support to starts, and we expect they will fall gradually to around 800,000 annualised by end-2022.  

16 August 2022

US Housing Market Outlook

Stretched affordability to hit sales and prices

Despite a reduction in our mortgage rate forecast, affordability is still set to be as stretched as it was during the mid-2000s housing boom. Alongside record-low homebuyer sentiment and a slowing economy, that means we have become more downbeat on housing activity this year. We now expect a 30% peak-to-trough fall in total home sales. The weaker outlook for new sales will weigh on single-family housing starts, which we think will end 2022 almost 35% below their end-2021 level. While tight markets and a lack of forced sellers will prevent a house price crash, we forecast that the annual growth rate will bottom out at -5% in mid-2023. From there, improving affordability will support a gradual recovery in activity and help price growth rise to 3% y/y by end-2024. Higher bond yields will also push apartment yields up a little this year and next. Coupled with a sharp slowdown in rental growth, that means we expect total annual returns to fall below 9% in 2022 and reach just 1.5% in 2023.

12 August 2022

US Housing Market Update

Higher rates to prevent rise in homeownership

The odds are stacking up against first-time buyers (FTBs), an important demographic for homeownership. A very limited number of starter homes on the market, higher interest rates, tight credit conditions and a weak outlook for new home sales all point to the rise in the homeownership rate in recent years coming to an end.

5 August 2022

More from Sam Hall

US Commercial Property Data Response

US Metro Employment (May.)

Employment growth in May was positive in all metros, largely driven by gains in the leisure & hospitality sector. This benefited Orlando, Los Angeles and Las Vegas the most, but still left employment around 10% below its pre-pandemic peak in the worst affected metros.

30 June 2021

US Housing Market Data Response

Case-Shiller/FHFA House Prices (Apr.)

House price growth gathered pace in April, with the annual growth rate hitting record highs on both the Case-Shiller and FHFA measures. But despite the pick-up in house price expectations, we don’t think a self-reinforcing bubble will form, nor do we expect values will crash. Rather, we think rising mortgage rates and stretched affordability will cool house price growth to around 7% y/y by the end of the year.

29 June 2021

US Commercial Property Update

Student accommodation not set to see a rapid rebound

The student accommodation sector faces high levels of uncertainty for the fall 2021 academic year. In our view, demand for student housing will rebound from last year, but fall short of its pre-pandemic peak. Overall, we expect vacancy to nudge higher and rental values to edge back this year.

25 June 2021
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