4-Small Gains in the National Housing Market

Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) analyzes home-purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, employment figures, and the number of on-time mortgage payments in markets across the country to determine the stability of the housing market. All of these indicators point to a slight improvement in the housing market as it heads into the busy spring season. January’s national MiMi value reached 82.7; while this isn’t as impressive as the all-time high MiMi value of 121.7, it is still a 40 percent improvement over the MiMi’s all-time low back in October 2010. January’s MiMi saw a three-month increase of 1.46 percent. Year-over-year values showed greater gains, with a 7.57 percent climb.

National Pending Home Sales
The Pending Home Sales Index, an indicator based on contract signings, reached 109.1 in February, a 3.5 percent increase from the downwardly revised 105.4 in January. This is a 0.7 percent improvement from February 2015’s index of 108.3. The index has seen year-over-year gains for the past 18 months, yet this last gain was the smallest of the lot.

Regional Pending Home Sales
In the Northeast, the Pending Home Sales Index fell 0.2 percent; it is still 12.6 percent higher than February 2015. The Midwest saw the index climb an impressive 11.4 percent month over month and 2.5 percent year over year. The index rose 2.1 percent and 0.7 percent in the South and the West, respectively. Compared to February 2015, the index dropped 0.4 percent in the South and 6.2 percent in the West.

Future Predictions
Economists with the National Association of Realtors predict that existing-home sales will reach 5.38 million this year̶up 2.4 percent from 2015. The national median existing-home price should also climb between 4 and 5 percent. In comparison, 2015 saw existing-home sales rise 6.3 percent, with home prices increasing 6.8 percent.