October saw exisitng home sales (SAAR) surge to 5.60mm (handily better than the 5.44mm expectation). These are deals essentially done in August and September – weeks before mortgage rates exploded higher – and with median home prices hitting new highs as the cost of funding spikes, it is hard to se how this is sustainable.
What happens next?
The 2013 taper tantrum spike in mortgage rates created a 10% plunge in existing home sales in the following 4 months.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the wave of sales activity the last two months represents a convincing autumn revival for the housing market.
“October’s strong sales gain was widespread throughout the country and can be attributed to the release of the unrealized pent-up demand that held back many would-be buyers over the summer because of tight supply,” he said. “Buyers are having more success lately despite low inventory and prices that continue to swiftly rise above incomes.”
“The good news is that the tightening labor market is beginning to push up wages and the economy has lately shown signs of greater expansion. These two factors and low mortgage rates have kept buyer interest at an elevated level so far this fall.”
“The ramp-up in housing starts in October is a hopeful sign that overall supply can steadily increase enough to provide more choices for buyers and also moderate price growth,” said Yun. “A prolonged continuation of the robust single-family starts pace seen last month (869,000) would go a long way in giving homeowners much-needed assurance that they can list their home for sale and find a new home to buy within a reasonable timeframe.”
Well those “low mortgage rates” just evaporated!!!