Housing Market Tracker: Mortgage charges over 7%

Debt-ceiling drama pushed bond yields up final week, taking mortgage charges to a brand new 2023 excessive in the course of the spring home-selling season. Energetic housing stock, fortunately, noticed some first rate development final week. Buy utility knowledge had a second straight week of declines. 

Right here’s a fast rundown of the final week:

  • Energetic stock grew 8,914 week to week, despite the fact that new itemizing knowledge remains to be trending at all-time lows in 2023.
  • Mortgage charges rose to a 2023 yr excessive of 7.12% because the debt ceiling talks pushed bond yields greater.
  • Buy utility knowledge had its second straight week of destructive knowledge because the fixed theme of upper charges impacted the weekly knowledge.

The ten-year yield and mortgage charges

The White Home and Republicans introduced a tentative deal on the debt ceiling on Saturday,  placing an finish to the drama we’ve all needed to cope with for the previous two weeks.

And on Wall Road, many merchants have been quick the bond market, which means that a whole lot of speculative trades have been made betting that bond yields would rapidly go greater. These two components despatched bond yields taking pictures up. 

After all, this despatched mortgage charges to the yearly excessive of 7.12% final week, which is the second time this yr that mortgage charges have made a 1% transfer greater from the underside! 

Mortgage charges have been very unstable — despite the fact that the 10-year yield hasn’t reached a brand new excessive in 2023, mortgage charges have. For the reason that banking disaster began, the mortgage market has gotten more and more pressured, and the latest debt ceiling points didn’t assist. As you may see beneath, this final transfer greater in bond yields was very sharp.


In my 2023 forecast, I wrote that if the financial system stays agency, the 10-year yield vary ought to be between 3.21% and 4.25%, equating to mortgage charges between 5.75% and 7.25%. I’ve additionally pressured that the 10-year stage between 3.37% and 3.42% could be exhausting to interrupt decrease. I name it the Gandalf line within the sand: You shall not cross.” To date in 2023, that line has held up, because the pink line within the chart above exhibits.

Nonetheless, despite the fact that we haven’t hit my peak mortgage charge name of 7.25%, the mortgage market is rather more pressured than I believed it might be in 2023.

That is the place the banking crisis and the debt ceiling uncertainty kick in, as I tagged the height charge of 7.25% with a 10-year yield of 4.25%. The brand new variable of the banking disaster is necessary: the debt ceiling subject for now’s over except one thing unexpected occurs, however the banking disaster and the mortgage stress are nonetheless right here.

We would get some short-term reprieve in bond yields and mortgage stress. Nonetheless, the spreads between the 10-year yield and 30-year mortgage charges have worsened because the banking disaster began. Will probably be vital to see how the bond market and mortgage spreads act this week.

One other side of my 2023 forecast was that if jobless claims break over 323,000 on the four-week transferring common, the 10-year yield may break beneath 3.21% and head towards 2.73%. This might push mortgage charges down into the mid-5% stage. Proper now, the jobless claims knowledge, whereas rising noticeably from the latest lows, nonetheless hasn’t come near breaking over 323,000 on the four-week transferring common. This week is jobs week, with 4 completely different labor stories I’ll be watching.

From the St. Louis Fed: Preliminary claims for unemployment insurance coverage advantages elevated by 4,000 within the week ended Could 20, to 229,000. The four-week transferring common was little modified, at 231,750.


Weekly housing stock

The expansion in lively itemizing stock has been tepid this yr. Some feared a mortgage charge lockdown would forestall stock from rising this spring, however that’s not the case.

Although stock development has been gradual, we’re nonetheless seeing a spring stock bump as we do annually; it simply hasn’t been very robust. As we will see from the information beneath, stock is greater than final yr however removed from something we expect is regular.

  • Weekly inventory change (Could 19-26): Stock rose from 424,190 to 433,104
  • Similar week final yr (Could 20-27): Stock rose from 338,399 to 357,582
  • The stock backside for 2022 was 240,194
  • The height for 2023 thus far is 472,680
  • For context, lively listings for this week in 2015 have been 1,131,405

New itemizing knowledge rose final week, in line with Altos Research, however the development of 2023 having the bottom new itemizing development in historical past remains to be intact. Even so, let’s do not forget that there are nonetheless folks promoting properties the place they’d low mortgage charges to purchase properties in a better charge setting: Complete lively listings are nonetheless greater this yr than final.

Listed here are the brand new listings knowledge for this week over the past a number of years:

  • 2023: 62,765
  • 2022: 83,105
  • 2021: 74,984

For this week, I need to stress the massive distinction between the brand new itemizing knowledge in 2023 and the earlier two years.

In 2022, when the housing market was coping with a pointy transfer greater in mortgage charges, the brand new itemizing knowledge grew greater than the identical week in 2021. You can also make the case that some sellers needed to record earlier than charges elevated much more, and that was mirrored within the weekly knowledge.

However after mortgage charges obtained over 6%, went again to five%, after which spiked to 7.37%, sellers determined to not record their properties on the similar charge as the full value to purchase a house merely went up too quick final yr. This shouldn’t shock folks when you’ve the largest affordability hit in your lifetime in a yr; this crushes demand. A vendor is a conventional purchaser, so when affordability isn’t nice, some folks don’t record their properties to promote to purchase one other.


Whereas it has been disappointing to see new itemizing knowledge trending at all-time lows and low ranges of development in lively listings in 2023, we nonetheless have extra stock this yr than final yr. Sadly, that’s not saying a lot.

Buy utility knowledge

Over the past seven months, the massive housing story has been buy utility knowledge stabilizing from its waterfall dive in demand in 2022. Beginning on Nov. 9, mortgage charges fell from 7.37% to five.99%, facilitating 12 weeks of constructive trending knowledge on the weekly stories, giving us an enormous bounce in gross sales within the present house gross sales stories a number of months in the past.

Buy utility knowledge look ahead 30-90 days, so whereas gross sales have been nonetheless falling, that knowledge was setting the groundwork for an enormous rebound in demand.

As you may see within the chart beneath, present house gross sales collapsed within the quickest style ever in 2022 however then had one huge bounce in gross sales. After that, not a lot is going on, and for now, I’m not in search of gross sales to get greater than 4.55 million as buy utility knowledge in 2023 has been having a tug-of-war battle between constructive and destructive prints relying on the place mortgage charges are for the week. 


Buy utility knowledge may be very seasonal; I usually weigh this after the second week of January to the primary week of Could since after Could whole volumes fall. As you may see within the chart beneath, we’re working from a shallow stage at this time, and Could is sort of over. 


We observe weekly buy utility knowledge no matter seasonality, because the final three years have proven we have now seen late-in-the-year runs with this knowledge. In a recent podcast with Mike Simonsen, I talked about why I consider we get the seasonal backside in stock later within the yr. Now that the seasonality interval is ending and contemplating how excessive mortgage charges are at this time, the housing market has had a barely constructive yr, one thing I talked about on CNBC recently.

The week forward: Bonds and jobs 

On this quick vacation week, I’ll first be centered on the bond market response to this debt ceiling deal. The housing market moves with the 10-year yield, so watching that is vital. 

Second, it’s jobs week once more! We are going to get knowledge on job openings, jobless claims, the ADP report, and the massive BLS jobs Friday report. Bear in mind, with the roles knowledge, wage development is vital. The Federal Reserve desires a better unemployment charge, and it gained’t tolerate Individuals making extra money, so from their perspective wage development has to decelerate as quickly as doable. 

Additionally we have now house value knowledge from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home price index and FHFA this week.

The week forward is all in regards to the bond market response to the debt ceiling settlement, watching to see if the spreads enhance for mortgage charges and jobs knowledge. Hopefully, the weekly tracker articles have proven how important it’s to trace housing knowledge weekly. Too usually, folks don’t perceive the turns available in the market, each constructive and destructive, as a result of they’re compelled to depend on stale month-to-month knowledge.