Last week’s economic reporting included readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices on home prices, reports on U.S. jobs growth, and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.
S&P Case-Shiller: Limited Supply of Available Homes Boosts Prices in March
Limited supplies of homes for sale drove home prices up in March. Home prices rose by 0.40 percent month-to-month as compared to 0.70 percent year-over-year. Cities with the highest rates of home price growth were Miami, Florida, where home prices rose 7.70 percent year-over-year, Tampa, Florida with a year-over-year pace of 4.80 percent home price growth, and Charlotte, North Carolina, where home prices rose by 4.70 percent year-over-year.
High mortgage rates impacted both home buyers and sellers as average mortgage rates approached 7 percent. Higher mortgage rates create higher monthly payments and also affect buyers’ ability to qualify for mortgage loans. Homeowners who refinanced to lower mortgage rates during the pandemic stayed in their homes rather than buying new homes or refinancing their current homes at higher interest rates.
The Commerce Department reported that construction spending rose by 7.2 percent year-over-year .and 1.2 percent month-to-month in April. Private residential construction rose by 0.50 percent in April, but single-family home construction fell by -0.8 percent.
Mortgage Rates and Jobless Claims Rise
Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week as the rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 22 basis points to 6.79 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 21 basis points to an average rate of 6.18 percent.
232,000 new jobless claims were filed last week; analysts expected 235,000 initial claims to be filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 230,000 initial jobless claims filed. The national unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent in May. Analysts expected a national unemployment rate of 3.5 percent in May.
In related news, U.S. employment rose as 339,000 jobs were added in May; analysts expected a reading of 190,000 jobs added. 294,000 jobs were added in April.
This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.