WASHINGTON (5/29/15)--A gauge of pending-home sales in April rose 3.4% in April to 112.4, the highest mark since 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors.
With all four census regions posting monthly gains, potential home sales jumped 14% on a year-over-year basis in April (Economy.com May 28).
“The pending-home sales index extended its recent strength in April and indicates that the housing market recovery remains on track,” said Brent Campbell, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com). “The index is at a post-recession high and signals an increase in existing-home sales over the next couple of months.”
Pending sales climbed the most in the Northeast with a 10.1% jump and in the Midwest with a 5% increase. In the South sales climbed 2.3% and in the West they edged up by 0.1%.
On an annual basis, all census regions have posted solid year-over-year growth, ranging from a 16.4% annual increase in the West to a 9.4% jump in the Northeast.
Mortgage rates, meanwhile, continued to climb this week, as Freddie Mac reported the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.87% from 3.84%, the highest rate since the end of 2014.
A year ago at this time, the rate was 4.12%. Current rates are likely rising closer to that level because of recent “positive housing market data,” according to Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac chief economist.
The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed to 3.11% from 3.05% the prior week, while the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage rate rose to 2.9% from 2.88%.
The one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 2.5% from 2.51%.