Sales of new homes declined from March to April though the numbers in March were revised higher. The Census Bureau reports that new home sales fell nearly 7% in April from March though were above the 665,000 expected. Sales rose by 7% from April 2018 to April 2019. Sales losses were seen across the country except for the Northeast, which saw sold gains of 11.5%. However, demand for housing will remain supported by low mortgage rates along with a strong job market. Inventories of homes for sale on the market was 5.9 months while the median new home price rose 8.8% from a year ago to $324,200 in April.
Mortgage rates remained near 16-month lows this week as bond prices rose. Yields pushed lower due in part to the uncertainty surrounding the US/China trade issues. Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.06% this week with an average 0.5 in points and fees. Freddie Mac said, "The drop in mortgage rates is causing purchase demand to rise and the mix of demand is skewing to the higher end as more affluent consumers are typically more responsive to declines in rates."
The New York Fed recently revealed a survey that showed 65% of those surveyed think it is a good time to purchase a home. The survey went on to reveal that households expect home prices to rise at a somewhat slower pace relative to last year. The New York Fed went on to say that renters perceive that access to mortgage credit has loosened somewhat, after tightening in 2018.