What Will This Week’s Housing Market Indicators Tell Us?

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Are fence-sitters losing out? Is it finally the right time to become a buyer in the housing market?

In the past week the market digested five housing market indicators – the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Housing Market Index, the MBA Mortgage Index, the Census Bureau’s Housing Starts and Building Permits, and the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Existing Home Sales. 

Three beat expectations

  • NAHB Housing Market Index, up to 35 against an expected 30;
  • MBA Mortgage Index, up 16.9 percent;
  • Census Bureau’s Housing Starts, up to 760 K versus a market expectation of 743 K)

Two failed to meet expectations

  • Census Bureau’s Building Permits – 755 K compared with 765 expected;
  • NAR’s Existing Home Sales – 4.37 million versus an expected 4.65 million.

This week brings three new indicators:

  • The Federal Housing Finance Authority’s (FHFA) Housing Price Index,
  • The MBA Mortgage Index
  • The Census Bureau’s New Homes Sales.

Market expectations

The MBA Mortgage Index is released weekly and probably won’t get much attention, but the FHFA Housing Price Index and the New Home Sales numbers could give market observers some real talking points.

New Homes Sales Expectations

In general, the market has already priced in some moderate gains for both housing prices and new homes sold, with the market anticipating an increase in the new homes sales by 1.6 percent and home prices to increase by about 1 percent.


 If the FHFA reports good housing price appreciation figures, it would be the fifth month in a row of housing prices moving in a positive direction.  Similarly, if the Census Bureau’s figures on new homes sales come in around target, it would be the third month in a row of positive news for new homes sales.

If you’re in the market for a new home and these figures make you think you might be missing your chance to get in before the market turns into a sellers’ market, you may be right to be nervous!

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