Freddie Mac recently reported that the 30-year fixed rate fell to 4.63 percent – the lowest it has been since mid-September. Mortgage rates have either fallen or remained flat for five consecutive weeks and nationally purchase applicants are responding with an uptick in demand given these lower rates.
Though the Capital Region’s sales were reported down, the combination of low unemployment and the recent drop in rates should support home sales heading into the early winter months. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the New York state unemployment rate was at 4 percent.
Prices continued to gain traction and are up compared to this time last year as indicated by the median sales price which increased by 10 percent to $217,000. Days on market dropped by 18 percent to 54 days. Inventory continues to trend downward but not at the same high year-over-year rate as has been the case in recent years. The Capital Region’s months’ supply of inventory dipped by 2 percent to 5 months.
Home buying and selling activity rely on demand, and builders are showing caution by breaking ground on fewer single-family home construction projects in the face of rising mortgage rates and colder weather ahead. New construction listings were down 11 percent from November 2017 to 150 for the month.
GCAR President, Susan Sommers, of Better Homes and Garden Tech Valley, commented that “Overall, 2018 was a good year for real estate throughout our area. As we take into consideration the movement in interest rates and the low unemployment rate, we expect a positive atmosphere for buyers and sellers in 2019.”