December is generally a sluggish month for home sales but according to new data, the end of the year saw an increase that surprised some economists. Potential existing-home sales increased during the month according to First American’s Potential Home Sales Model. December 2019 saw sales tick up by 1.2 percent in total.
The increase was driven by a combination of low mortgage rates and strong wages for workers according to the report.
“The primary driver of rising housing market potential compared with one year ago was increased house-buying power,” said Mark Fleming, First American’s chief economist. “According to our analysis, lower rates boost housing market potential.”
Fleming adds that the lower rates are also promoting a wave of refinances from existing homeowners who are choosing to stay in their homes longer.
Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.5 percent and 15-year rates are near 3.0 percent.
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