The worst thing you can say to consumers right now is, “The market is crazy!”

This year’s housing market is very complex, with changes happening month to month or, in some cases, week to week. It goes beyond the national trends, with some markets seeing more sales and rising prices while others are seeing the opposite. 

This week’s Hot Sheet recap takes a look at the most recent data for U.S. pending home sales, inventory, and home prices. Plus, more misleading headlines about changes to mortgages.

Dive in below for some of this week’s highlights.

Housing Inventory

Host Byron Lazine started off the week with some good news—an increase in housing inventory. However, with how volatile the market has been, we’ll need more increases in inventory to know we’ve hit the bottom of inventory for the year. 

Active listings rose by 8,546, according to the inventory tracker on Housing Wire. The week prior, active listings were down by 5,383. As we move forward into the spring market, everyone is hopeful that inventory continues to rise. 

Watch the breakdown of this week’s inventory tracker here.

Pending Home Sales

National Association of REALTORS® reported a 5.2% decrease in pending home sales in the U.S. in March, which typically doesn’t happen in the spring market. 

Regionally, the Northeast, Midwest, and West markets all saw a month-over-month decrease in sales, while the South saw a 0.2% increase in March.

pending home sales<br />

Track this data in your local MLS, so you can speak to consumers about what’s happening in your market.  

Watch the full breakdown of pending home sales here.

FHFA and Case-Shiller Home Price Reports

Two home price reports were released on Tuesday—FHFA and Case-Shiller

FHFA expected home prices to come in flat or experience a slight decrease, but instead, prices rose 0.5% for the month of February. 

This chart breaks down monthly home prices changes from April 2007 to February 2023:

FHFA home prices

Source: FHFA

Case-Shiller also reported an increase in U.S. home prices in February. This report showed a 0.2% gain in home prices,  citing buyer competition for limited inventory as the reason for increasing prices. According to Case-Shiller, this was the first month-over-month increase since June 2022. 

Watch the breakdown of the FHFA home price index and Case-Shiller home price index here.   

Misleading Headlines

A topic that has been all over social media is the new mortgage rule that officially goes into effect on May 2, 2023, if it hasn’t already in your market. 

Mainstream media sources, specifically Fox News, continue to spread misleading headlines like “Senate GOP slams ‘perverse’ Biden rule forcing people with good credit to subsidize high-risk mortgages.”

Because of this, there’s a lot of misinformation being spread about a rule that is fairly complicated to begin with. This week, Housing Wire wrote an article to correct the false claims, which included the chart below, from Mortgage News Daily, breaking down the changes. Orange and red cells highlight when borrowers will pay more, and yellow and green showcase when borrowers will pay less than before the new rule.

FHFA mortgage loan changes _ Mortgage News Daily

Loan officer Rebecca Richardson breaks it down further in this post:

Watch the full breakdown of the latest misleading headlines here

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