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Existing Home Sales (Oct.)

Existing home sales eked out a small gain in October, slowing considerably from last month’s increase. With inventory at a record low, buyer sentiment in a pit and mortgage rates on the rise, we expect sales will fall back to around 5.7m annualised by mid-2022, before rising slowly to 5.75m by end-2023.
Sam Hall Assistant Property Economist
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US Housing Market Update

Mortgage debt service ratio to remain low

The surge in mortgage rates has led to a sharp deterioration in home affordability. But that doesn’t mean the mortgage debt service ratio, the share of disposable income spent on mortgage payments, will also surge from its current low level. Existing borrowers are protected by long-term fixed mortgage rates, and tight credit conditions argue against a large rise in debt-to-income ratios for new buyers. While home sales will take a hit from higher interest rates, the housing market will remain resilient to future shocks.

19 May 2022

US Housing Market Data Response

Existing Home Sales (Apr.)

Existing home sales fell once again in April, although for now they remain above their pre-COVID-19 level. But, with mortgage rates set to stay high and credit conditions unlikely to loosen significantly, sales will fall further this year. Indeed, buyer traffic dropped sharply in April. We expect sales will fall back to around 5m annualised by end-2022.

19 May 2022

US Housing Market Data Response

Housing Starts (Apr.)

Housing starts dropped by a marginal 0.2% m/m in April, driven by the single-family sector which also saw building permits fall for the second month in a row. Housing demand is faltering due to a surge in mortgage interest rates to a 12-year high, which helped push homebuilding confidence to a two-year low in May. That said, pent-up demand from the past couple of years means we are not expecting a crash in housing market activity, and single-family starts will fall gradually to around 1m annualised by end-2022.

18 May 2022

More from Sam Hall

US Commercial Property Update

Structural changes weigh on offices more than retail

Google mobility data show a much fuller recovery in visitors returning to retail and recreation than to the workplace. This supports our view that structural changes will weigh on the office sector more than retail over the next few years, helping to make offices the worst performing sector in this period.

19 November 2021

US Commercial Property Data Response

Commercial Property Lending (Oct.)

Outstanding real estate debt increased for the fifth consecutive month in October, driven by positive net lending in both residential and commercial real estate (CRE) sectors. We think that this reflects the rapid rebound in investment activity and an easing in credit conditions.

12 November 2021

US Commercial Property Update

REITs hint at upside risk for industrial and apartments

REIT pricing appears consistent with our view that retail values are nearing a turning point while office values have a bit further to fall. But a strong recovery in industrial and apartment REITs means that there is some upside risk to our capital value growth forecasts for 2021 and early 2022 in those sectors.

4 November 2021
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