Spring home sales to get boost from falling mortgage rates, rising inventory

2018 marked the weakest year of home sales in 3 years
April 01, 2019 02:05PM

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage is now just over 4 percent (Credit: iStock)

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage is now just over 4 percent (Credit: iStock)

The national housing market may see its best home-buying season in years.

Trends like falling mortgage rates, rising home inventory and slowing home-price growth mean fewer bidding wars and more price cuts for buyers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage is now just over 4 percent, down from nearly 5 percent last year, the Journal reports. Meanwhile, home-price growth has slowed for 10 consecutive months, rising 4 percent year over year, compared to 6 percent last year. Additionally, inventory has been rising, up 7 percent from a low in December, 2017.

“It’s been a rough go for home buyers since the bottom of the housing market and there are signs we’re entering a period of normalcy,” Ralph McLaughlin, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic Inc, told the Journal.

However, the rise in inventory may be a symptom of another problem. Economists said that more inventory may not be the result of more owners listing, but of homes taking longer to sell.

Equally, despite slowing home-price growth prices are still high, up 50 percent since 2012. Homes sales were down 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, making it the weakest year of sales since 2015. [WSJ] —Decca Muldowney