U.S. Treasury Bond yields lower for second week – The 10-year U.S. Treasury Bond closed the week yielding 2.40%, down from 2.50% last Friday. The 30-year Treasury Bond yield closed the week at 3.00%, down from 3.11% last week. Mortgage rates follow bond yields, so we watch treasury bonds closely.
Mortgage rates drop this week – The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey released on March 23, 2017 reported that average mortgage rates from lenders surveyed for the most popular mortgage products were as follows: The 30-year fixed rate average was 4.23%, down from 4.30% last week. The 15-year fixed average rate was 3.44%, down from 3.50% last week. The 5/1 ARM average rate was 3.24%, down from 3.28% last week.
U.S. new home sales surge in February – The Commerce Department reported that new home sales rose 6.1% in February from January’s sales pace levels. Year over year new home sales increased a staggering 13% from last February, 2016. The National Association of home Builders / Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose to its highest reading since June 2005.
Low inventory leads to a decline in sales of pending existing homes – The California Association of Realtors reported that new contracts signed for the purchase of existing homes in February declined 2.6% year over year from the number of contracts last February. Month over month pending sales increases 3.2% from January’s pending contract level. It’s best to compare year over year rather than month over month due to seasonal reasons. Pending home sales is an indicator of closed sales.
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