Treasury Bond yields drop this week – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.93%, down from 3.06% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.09%, down from 3.20% last week.
Mortgage Rates higher this week – The May 24, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.66%, up from last week’s 4.61%. The 15-year fixed was 4.15%, up from 4.08% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.87%, up from 3.82% last week. Rates dropped Thursday and Friday, so next week’s rates will be lower.
U.S. existing home sales pace slows and prices increase in April – The National Association of Realtors announced that the number of sales of existing homes nationwide dropped 1.6% on a year-over-year basis in April. It should be noted that U.S. existing home sales were at record levels in 2017, so even with a slight drop, although not optimal, sales numbers are still at a robust level. Prices continued to increase. The median price paid for a home nationally was up 5.3% from last April, the 74th straight month of year-over-year increases. The number of existing homes for sale were 6.3% lower than last April. The unsold inventory index nationwide had a 4 month supply of housing available for sale, down from a 4.2 month supply last April. That was the 42nd straight month of year-over-year inventory level declines. The western region of the U.S. showed even better results. Sales for the western region were down just 0.8% year-over-year and the median price was 6.8% higher than last April.
California added 39,300 jobs in April and unemployment dropped to a record low – The Employment Development Department reported that 39,300 new jobs were created in April. The statewide unemployment rate dropped to 4.2%.
Housing Affordability index rises in first quarter of 2018 – The California Association of Realtors reported that 31% of home buyers could afford to purchase a median-priced existing single-family home in California in first-quarter of 2018. That was up from 29% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Year-over-year affordability was down slightly. The index stood at 32% in the first quarter of 2017.