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The ongoing strength of the U.S. economy continues to drive severe volatility in the bond market that impacts 30-year mortgage rates and, thus, the housing market here in California. 10-year Treasury rates have surged in the wake of last Friday’s jobs report, which showed more than 270,000 net job gains and daily mortgage rates have jumped back near 7.2%. The services sector, which has seen the strongest demand over the past 2 years, continues to grow and remains plagued by a lack of available workers, which is keeping wage growth and inflation elevated. Fortunately, more listings have been coming onto the market in the past few months despite many homeowners facing rate-lock after buying/refinancing when rates were below 3%. This has already helped home sales rebound from 2008 financial-crisis levels through April, and sales should continue to rise through the end of the year notwithstanding the caveat that the market will remain volatile.                                 Via C.A.R Market Minute

Home sales holding up remarkably well despite noisy rate environment:

Home sales in California, although sensitive to modest rate changes, have held up remarkably well in this volatile environment. After hitting a low-point of roughly 225,000 units last winter, sales bounced back to a 275,000-unit pace in April and preliminary indications are that May should maintain a similar level of sales. The top end of the market (homes priced $1 million and above) are significantly outperforming the entry level, both due to more available inventory at the top end of the market and the overperformance (economically) of high-income earners in California. Regionally, there is very little variation between north and south; urban/metro and rural; coastal and inland—highlighting how much of today’s housing market is influenced by macro, rather than local-specific factors. The current forecast expects sales to continue to trend up, breaching the 300,000 benchmark again by the end of the year, but the highs reached in 2021 are still years in the future.                       (June 17, 2024)

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