Conflicting Signs for Housing Market Recovery

Mortgage rates hit another all time low last week, according to Freddie Mac — the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan sank to 3.56 percent, the lowest recorded rate since long-term mortgages were introduced in the 1950s.

At the same time, the median price for existing home sales rose nearly 8 percent from last June to $189,400 while existing home sales dropped 5.4 percent month to month from May to June this year — although the 4.37 existing homes that sold in June still represents a 4.5 percent increase from June of 2011.

A senior economist at BMO Capital Markets notes that “it is only one month and the rest of the housing indicators have all continued to show improvement.”

Perhaps the most encouraging sign of recovery is the behavior of mortgage bond investors, who are beginning to price bonds as though the housing market is at or close to its bottom. Indeed, Randy Robertson of BlackRock, Inc. said “the market is just starting to assimilate some of the numbers we've seen in terms of stabilization in housing.”

Via The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and CBSNews.


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