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June Housing News & Notes

At a Glance

Mortgage applications started strong in May before tapering in the face of climbing interest rates. But the housing market is still showing some signs of life.

Mortgage applications took off like a rocket at the start of May, but their trajectory was soon tempered by rising rates later in the month. With the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate hitting its highest since November 2022, it's no surprise to see a pullback in applications.

The way the numbers fluctuate weekly can make mortgage applications look a bit chaotic.

To be sure, there's still life in the housing market with the summer homebuying season underway. But for many would-be buyers, low inventory and higher mortgage rates continue to make for tough going.

Inventory & Days on Market

Active home listings in May were up 21% from last year, according to That translates to about 100,000 more homes on the market than last May.

But the number of total home listings -- including homes under contract but not yet sold -- dipped slightly year over year, which was the first time that's happened since last June.

In May, a typical home stayed on the market for 43 days, two weeks longer than the same time last year, but still shorter than pre-pandemic months, according to

Every one of the 50 largest metros saw an increase in time on market compared to the previous year.

Encouraging Signs From Spring

Freddie Mac's most recent national housing survey revealed something interesting: the Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) shot up to its highest in almost a year this April.

Thanks to a wave of optimism about mortgage rates, the HPSI leaped 5.5 percentage points in a single month – the biggest jump in over two years. By April, a solid 62% of homeowners agreed it was a good time to sell (up from 58% in March), marking the highest agreement since July 2022. And while those thinking it's a good time to buy remain in the minority, their ranks rose from 20% to 23%.

Data from Black Knight, which calculates the share of sales that make it to the finish line, shows that more buyers are sealing the deal. This suggests a sturdy demand, even in a higher rate environment.

Median Price Up in May

The national median price for a newly listed home crept up to $441,000 in May from $430,000 in April, according to

While lower than June 2022's record high of $449,000, the May figure means that the annual growth rate for newly listed home prices has settled at a modest 0.9%, quite a drop from April's 2.5%.

Economic Outlook

Inflation's proving to be a tough nut to crack, but some key economic indicators suggest a cool-down might be on the horizon.

In May, the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point. But mortgage rates don't always march to the same drum – the late May rate rise was more influenced by external factors like economic uncertainty and future interest rate predictions.

Eyes will be on the Federal Reserve's next meeting on June 13-14 for clues on the direction of monetary policy and what it could mean for the housing market.

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