MBS Highway's Latest Housing Index Shows Higher Buyer Activity and Stronger Price Direction Than a Year Ago
Earlier this month, MBS Highway surveyed roughly 30,000 mortgage and real estate professionals around the country regarding current housing market conditions. The results for the November 2023 release showed that buyer activity slowed as 30-year mortgage rates climbed briefly above 8%, and the prevalence of price reductions increased. That said, the sharp reversal in mortgage rates in recent weeks, and the continued, unseasonal rise in inventory could improve transaction volumes in the months to come.
The MBS Highway National Housing Index dropped to 31 in November 2023 from 35 in October 2023. In November 2022, the index was at 13.
Among the two sub-indexes, the National Buyer Activity sub-index dropped to 20 in November 2023 from 24 in October 2023 as elevated mortgage rates and normal seasonality took hold. However, it remained above the 13 seen in November 2022.
Although competition levels have eased in recent months, the low inventory of homes available for sale has tempered the decline in the National Home Price Direction sub-index, which fell to 41 in November 2023, from 46 in October 2023. In November 2022, when home prices were falling month-over-month in most larger cities, the sub-index was at 12.
The most notable change in the regional indexes was the sharp decrease in the Buyer Activity index for the Northeast (67 in September, 45 in Octoberand 30 in November). The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions have been both the most active and had the most positive price direction for most of 2023.
It also appears that the Northwest (+1), Midwest (flat) and Southwest (-2) regions are finding their floors, with their Buyer Activity indexes largely unchanged from October.
Similar to the trends seen at the National level, the regional Price Direction indexes are holding up much better. In both the Mid-Atlantic (60) and the Northeast (57), price increases still outnumber price decreases. The weakest pricing trends remain in the Northwest (28) and Southwest (34).
"Even without mortgage rates moving above 8%, you'd still expect to see the normal, seasonal slowdown in the MBS Highway Housing Survey results. Compared to last year, buyer activity is generally higher and price direction is much stronger. There's also real hope that the drop in U.S. treasury yields and mortgage rates we've seen in the last few weeks will draw a line under transaction volumes," said Barry Habib, MBS Highway Founder and CEO.
About MBS Highway's Housing Index
MBS Highway's monthly Housing Index provides an accurate and real-time read on buyer activity and home price direction both nationally and regionally in the U.S. housing market. This survey of 30,000 mortgage and real estate professionals fills a crucial industry need for insights that reflect buyers' immediate experiences, helping mortgage loan originators to better serve homebuyers.
Any number over 50 indicates expansion while a number below 50 indicates contraction. The MBS Highway Housing Index can range between 0 and 100.
Dan Habib, MBS Highway's Chief Revenue Officer, explained, "There are a few reliable housing reports available in the market, most of which are delayed by two months. Because MBS Highway has a large base of mortgage and real estate clients, we felt we were in a unique position to capture real-time housing data from our subscribers, who are on the front lines of the housing market."
For more information on our methodology, visit highway.ai/mbs-highway-housing-index
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