Mar 29, 2023 - Economy & Business

Home sales turn corner due to mortgage easing

Data: Freddie Mac; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Freddie Mac; Chart: Axios Visuals

The housing sector story of 2022 was one of activity coming to a standstill. The story of this year — at least so far — seems to be one of a rebound.

By the numbers: Pending home sales, where the buyer's offer has been accepted for previously owned homes, ticked up by 0.8% in February, the third consecutive monthly gain. Sales increased in all regions, except the West.

What they're saying: "After nearly a year, the housing sector's contraction is coming to an end," Lawrence Yun, the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, said in a release.

  • Yet pending home sales are still down 21% from a year ago.

Why it matters: It's the latest housing data to suggest the sector is bouncing back from its recent lows, spurred by mortgage easing from recent highs.

  • Existing home sales surged last month, ending a yearlong decline. Pending contracts, including for new homes, have also climbed in recent months, NAR notes.

The bottom line: In the wake of the banking crisis, "access to commercial mortgage loans could become increasingly difficult," but "residential mortgage loans are expected to be more readily available, Yun adds.

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