Atlanta Mortgage Trends
1. Nationally, housing is really taking off. March Housing Starts are up to the highest level since June 2008 and home prices are rising at their fastest pace since the 2nd quarter of 2006 (up 7.3% over the last year according to most recent Case-Shiller report).
2. Locally, in metro-Atlanta, housing is really taking off as well. According to the AJC, the median price for homes sold in metro-Atlanta is $150,500, which is up 11% from Feb and 42% from on year ago! According the Case-Shiller report, Atlanta posted its biggest year-over-year gain since 1991 (9.9%)!
3. The new problem in housing is not falling prices but lack of inventory. According to theAJC, metro-Atlanta’s inventory levels are down 15% from one month ago and 17% from one year ago. With low rates, stabilizing prices, and little competition, it is the ideal time to put a house on the market!
4. You can also expect quicker and better results. According to the Georgia Association of Realtors, the average # of days a listing stayed on the market in Georgia fell by 15% to 73 days in March (national average 85 days) and the actual amount the seller received as a % of the original list price received increased 5% to 94.6%.
5. Low inflation equals low rates so last week’s excellent inflation report was also great news. The most closely watched US inflation indicator revealed that March Core CPI inflation was just 1.95% higher than one year ago.
6. Low inflation is always good news for mortgage rates. It is even more important right now because the Fed has announced that it will continue it’s Mortgage-Backed Security and Treasury purchase program if inflation is not seen as rising too rapidly. The Fed’s program is the #1 reason mortgage rates are so low.
While it was a rough week for the stock market, mortgage markets were very quiet. The economic data contained no major surprises, and there was little change in mortgage rates during the week.
The Conforming 30 year fixed-rate is approximately 3.375%.
The biggest economic report this week will be Friday’s release of first quarter GDP, the broadest measure of economic growth.