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Market Forecast: Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Pending Home Sales Index, and FOMC Meeting

Posted On April 27, 2020

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Mortgage rates remain historically low and have not moved much in recent weeks.  This week, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday for its first scheduled semiannual monetary policy meeting since the two emergency meetings last month.  In housing news, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index and the pending home sales index are both scheduled for release. 

The Case-Shiller home price index tracks changes in the value of homes involved in two or more sales transactions across twenty major metropolitan areas throughout the country.  In January, the 20-city index appreciated 0.3% month-over-month and 3.1% year-over-year.  Appreciation was led by Phoenix, AZ, up 6.9% annually, followed by Seattle, WA, Tampa, FL, and San Diego, CA, each up 5.1% annually.  The data lags by one month, and this month’s report will likely not yet be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Pending home sales tracks changes in the number of homes under contract but not yet closed.  Typically, it takes about four to six weeks for a contract to close.  In February, pending home sales jumped to a three-year high, up 2.4% month-over-month and 11.5% year-over-year.  Sales data had been supportive of strong home buying season, before the coronavirus pandemic caused a global economic slowdown.  This month’s data will give us an idea of what we can expect in the coming months. 

The FOMC will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, following its two unscheduled emergency meetings last month.  In March, the Fed voted to cut the benchmark interest rate twice to prepare for the global economic slowdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mortgage rates have not moved significantly in recent weeks and many homeowners could lower their monthly mortgage payment with a mortgage refinance, even if they bought their home in the last few years.  If you have any questions about refinancing, please let us know.

 

Sources: Bloomberg, Econoday, MarketWatch, MarketWatch, Mortgage News Daily, Yahoo Finance