MEDIAN HOME PRICES + NUMBER OF SALES
Median Home prices were flat the last three months, at the same levels as Nov 2021 to Jan 2022. But number of sales dropped to the lowest levels in 3 years at 96, down from peaks in the 250 to 300+ range. This is the seasonal trend where sales drop off in the winter, but to a deeper level than in the past three years.
BUILDING PERMITS AND FINANCE VS. CASH TRANSACTIONS
Building permits dropped to 16 off of highs around 90. Builder activity is slowing significantly. This is relevant because summer inventory is being 'started' now, this could mean there is a deeper housing shortage in the summer buying season because nothing is breaking ground today.
Cash transactions dropped by more than half after they supported last months prices. But conventional transactions remained roughly flat likely due to stability in mortgage rates around 6.5%.
Mortgages were stable, even coming down slightly after peaking in mid-November around 7.5%; rates now hover around 6.5%. The mortgage market has likely already priced in 2 more interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve meaning they may remain flat while the Fed continues to increase rates, unless the Fed increases more than expected.
NATIONAL SFR HOME SALES
National SFR home sales are down about 40% from mid-Covid highs.
MATERIALS AND LUMBER COSTS
Lumber is down 73% from 2022 peaks! $1300 per thousand board feed to $400 per thousand board feet. You can see lumber's extreme volatility the last couple of years. Materials costs are coming down slowly across the board.
SOURCES AND RESOURCES
Zero Hedge Article: Builder Sentiment