The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index is one of the key housing market statistics that we track at FREEandCLEAR. The Housing Market Index incorporates factors such as current and expected new home sales and interest level from potential new home buyers. It is important to highlight that the index focuses on new home sales, so homes built by builders that have never been lived in before, as opposed to existing home sales, which represents a larger portion of the overall housing market.
For January 2015, the Housing Market Index came in at 57 as compared to 58 in December 2014. Any figure above 50 is considered strong and January represents the 7th consecutive month with the index above 50. The January figure met industry analyst expectations with strong showings from the present new home sales and future sales components of the index. The third component of the index, home buyer traffic, came in weaker than expected at 44, continuing a lackluster trend over the past several months. The January figure provides a positive start for new home sales and the housing market although for the market to really take off we will need to see an increase in traffic, especially among first-time home buyers. (Source: Bloomberg)
What it Means for Mortgage Borrowers
The housing market has started off the new year in positive fashion although the lack of participation and interest from first-time home buyers remains an ongoing theme. Interest rates continue to be at multi-year lows which could eventually pull more first-time buyers into the market. Real estate market conditions vary greatly by market but with prices appearing to stabilize on a national basis, conditions could prove ripe for home buyers. If you are in the home buying market for the first time, check out the FREEandCLEAR First-Time Home Buyer Mortgage Cheat Sheet to understand the basics of getting a mortgage. You should also monitor the INTEREST RATES feature on FREEandCLEAR to keep track of mortgage rates for lenders in your area as rates continue to be very attractive for borrowers.
The FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Expert