Falling Mortgage Rates Drive Jump In Home Sales
The U.S. Commerce Department is reporting sales of new U.S. homes climbed 4.9 percent in February. Those rising numbers are being driven by a decline in mortgage rates.
An article in the Charlotte News-Observer says, new homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000 in February, an increase from an upwardly revised 636,000 in January. New-home sales are running 2.8 percent higher through the first two months of 2019 than during the same period last year.
Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com, told the newspaper, "This trend supports the fact that lower mortgage rates have started to entice buyers this spring and foreshadows a potential strengthening of existing-home sales in the months to come."
The housing market has also shifted slightly to new construction for entry-level buyers. The proportion of properties sold between the prices of $200,000 and $299,999 was 35 percent in February, up from 31 percent in 2018. This move has corresponded with a downward shift in sales of homes priced above $500,000, the News-Observer also reported.