Merry Christmas and Happy New Year | Get yourselves ready for 2024!!!

Last week’s falling mortgage rates and year-over-year increases in new listings suggest that 2023’s frozen housing market is thawing and Sales are likely to climb after the typical holiday lull. The median U.S. monthly mortgage payment was $2,472 during the four weeks ending December 17, down $264 from the October peak but up 11% year over year. Citing a recent Redfin article, just last week Redfin saw a double-digit annual increase this week in homeowners contacting its real estate agents for help selling their homes. This is certainly a nice prelude to what could be a come back year for mortgage and real estate in 2024. We will certainly celebrate that holiday cheer through new years and be ready for homeownership gains in 2024!

Also, something interesting is unfolding to end 2023 which has to do with the home price collapse that was all for naught. The most recent data available to end the year reports listed homes that had a price cut in order to sell in 2023 was 4% LOWER than the 2022 levels. Yah, LESS HOMES TOOK PRICE CUTS IN 2023 THAN 2022. So what happened with the collapse? Well, sellers just didn’t want to sell, and enjoyed holding on to their historic low interest rates. As we wind down the lowest volume sales year in decades it turns out that economic theory held prevailed, home prices were only destined to dive if mass volumes of listings hitting the market all at once…and that just simply didn’t happen.

And after a year full of record-high interest rates and home prices, experts say there are signs of improvement for the housing market in 2024. In December, the average mortgage rate dropped below 7% for the first time since August and after an 8% peak in October, which pushed housing costs to the highest level since 2000. Jessica Lautz, the deputy chief and vice president of research at the National Association of Realtors says, “The decline poses good news for buyers.” She went on to say that “First-time buyers stand a chance at this time period.” It’s a trade off: Do they want to run the risk of encountering higher competition when rates are lower or do they want to increase the probability of securing homeownership?” Well, what do YOU think about that? Should renters hold out even longer for price declines while rates are also easing up? Or, do you think it will be survival of the fittest and everyone on the fence should jump into the game right now?

So with that, let’s take a quick look at what’s coming up in the markets this week. You know it’s going to be a light week already, but there’s a few things we’ll have our eyes on as they relate to housing and jobs.

Monday it’s Christmas Day and a bank Holiday, the markets are closed

On Tuesday we get Home Price Index Month over Month and year over year

And Thursday Unemployment claims comes out and Pending Home sales

Thanks again for tuning in to Monday Mortgage Minute.

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