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The Week Ahead: Will Affordability Improve?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) will release its Housing Affordability Index on Friday. 

Its prior report found that housing affordability improved in January 2020 compared to last year to December, according to NAR’s Housing Affordability Index. Median home prices rose 6.9 % in January from one year ago. The effective 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 3.68% this January from 3.78% in December, mortgage rates are historically low compared to the year-ago level of 4.76%.

The NAR stated that affordability was up in three of the four regions and is only down in the Northeast 1.1% down from the prior month. The South had the largest gain of 6.1% followed by the West with an increase of 5.3%. The Midwest had the smallest incline of 4.5%.

Nationally, mortgage rates were down 108 basis points from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points). The median sales price for a single-family home sold in January in the US was $268,600 up 6.9% from a year ago, while median family incomes rose 2.7 % in 2020 from one year ago.

CoreLogic’s latest Case-Shiller Index found home prices recorded their largest annual increases since December 2018 and a month-over-month increase of 0.85%—the fastest pace in 10 months. 

The report found annual home prices in March 2020 reached 4.35%. 

Also, the Census Housing Vacancy and Homeownership Survey shows homeownership continued to climb during Q1 2020, and at 65.3%—the highest level in seven years. The increase, according to CoreLogic, was driven by the jump in homeownership among those 29-year-old and younger. 

Also ahead on The Week Ahead are more exclusive interviews on DS5: Inside the Industry. Featured this week are conversations with Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist, First American Financial; Jeremy Serfling, Sr. Director, Product Management/Mortgage Lead, Equifax; and Daren Blomquist, VP, Market Economics, Auction.com


Here's what else is happening in The Week Ahead:

U.S. Senate Banking Committee Hearing on Housing Regulators (Tuesday) 

FOMC Meeting (Tuesday) 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.

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