October 21, 2022

  • The Realtor.com® economics team weekly video update gives you the relevant economic and real estate information you need to know to navigate the housing market as a homebuyer, home seller, or industry professional.
  • This week, Chief Economist Danielle Hale discusses what’s going on in the labor market including the latest weekly jobless claims data and insights from the Fed’s Beige Book and jobs report.
  • Danielle highlights what this means not only for the Fed’s likely policy moves, but also for mortgage rates, which this week took another step closer to 7 percent, as Hannah Jones details.
  • Higher mortgage rates continue to impact housing, and Danielle discusses the effects on both new construction and existing home sales in September.
  • Meanwhile, Realtor.com weekly housing data from October highlight relative steadiness in most indicators except for active listings, and Danielle notes what this could tell us about the market moving forward. 
  • Find details and Realtor.com® housing data for download at realtor.com/research.  And follow us on twitter: @rdc_economics, for real time updates.

WEEKLY DATA SUMMARY:

  • I’m Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com® and here’s what you need to know. 
  • As we wrap up the third week of October, signs point to a robust labor market. Jobless claims dipped lower as businesses hang on to workers amid tough hiring conditions.  
  • While labor demand has been a persistent problem, the Beige Book, a national summary of regional economic conditions from the Fed highlights a potential increase in the supply of labor in the form of workers taking on multiple jobs or gig work to boost income in the face of still elevated inflation. This is consistent with other data showing a rise in multiple job workers since spring 2020, but there aren’t as many now as there were in late 2019, before the pandemic.
  • With the jobs market still chugging along and inflation still well above what the Fed is aiming for, the Fed is expected to raise the policy rate again in roughly two weeks, and the upward trend we’ve seen in mortgage rates continues. The rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was just shy of 7 percent this week, prompting buyers, sellers, and even some builders to take a step back and evaluate their options.
  • In fact, total housing starts slipped in September as both builder and homebuyer expectations worsened. By unit-type, both single-family and multi-family starts were lower. While the total number of units under construction hit a new all-time high, single-family units continued to drop from May’s peak, a sign that supply-chain challenges may be easing.
  • Existing home sales declined for an 8th straight month in September, but by a relatively modest amount. And the median home sale price rose by 8.4%. September buyers and sellers likely benefited from the lull in mortgage rates that lasted until early August. Since then, mortgage rates have surged by nearly another 2 percentage points, which likely means a further weakening of home sales in the months ahead.
  • Consistent with that expectation, the Realtor.com Weekly Housing Trends Report showed that even as home price growth, the new listings trend, and time on market were relatively consistent with what we’ve seen recently, active listings saw the biggest increase in yearly growth in 15 weeks.  This could reflect another pull back from buyers trying to navigate an uncertain market in which costs continue to rise. 
  • You’ll find the details to help you navigate these market shifts along with our housing data for download at realtor.com/research.  And follow us on twitter for real time updates.

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Danielle Hale

Danielle Hale


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