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Home prices accelerated at fastest pace in 47 years during Q1

Fannie Mae Home Price Index records a 20% year over year jump in prices

Home price growth accelerated at a rapid pace during the first quarter of 2022, according to the Fannie Mae Home Price Index, published on Friday.

During the first quarter of 2022, the FNM-HPI rose 20% year over year, up from 19.1% annual growth rate reported during the fourth quarter of 2021. In addition, this is the fastest annual pace ever recorded in the 47 year history of the index.

The FNM-HPI is a national repeat-transactions home price index measuring the average, quarterly price change for all single-family properties in the United States, excluding condos. According to Fannie Mae, the index is designed to serve as an indicator of general single- family home price trends.

“After decelerating toward the end of 2021, the FNM-HPI sped up in the first quarter due to continued strong homebuying demand and a lack of inventory,” Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan said in a statement. “We believe recent homebuying demand was augmented by many homebuyers pulling forward their home purchase plans in anticipation of rising mortgage rates.”

On a quarterly basis, home prices rose 4.8% at a seasonally adjusted basis during the first quarter.

As mortgage rates have continued to rise, now firmly above 5%, buyers have lost some of their buying power. As a result, home sellers in some markets are being forced to lower their list price.

During the four week period ending on April 3, 12% of home sellers dropped their asking price, according to a report from Redfin. A year prior, only 9% of homes on the market during the four week period saw price drops.

“Price drops are still rare, but the fact that they are becoming more frequent is one clear sign that the housing market is cooling,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said in a statement. “It goes to show that there’s a limit to sellers’ power. There is still way more demand than supply, and buyers are still sweating, but sellers can no longer overprice their home and still expect buyers to clamor at their door. That’s because higher mortgage rates are eating into homebuyers’ budgets.”

Also cutting at prospective homebuyers’ buying power is inflation. With inflation rising at 8.5% in March, the average consumer is spending $511 more per month compared to a year ago, while wages have only risen $212 per month. Due to this, the average homebuyer will be looking for a home that is $41,793, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

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