Despite the harsh weather, New Home Sales rose by 9.6 percent from December to January to an annual rate of 468,000, well above expectations. The 468,000 rate was the highest level since July 2008. Pending Home Sales for January also came in just above expectations and well above December's reading. In addition, research firm CoreLogic reported that completed foreclosures fell by 19 percent from January 2013 to January 2014, while the Case Shiller 20-city Home Price Index ended its best year since 2005.
Remember that the Fed is now purchasing $35 billion in Treasuries and $30 billion in Mortgage Bonds (the type of Bonds on which home loan rates are based) to help stimulate the economy and housing market. This is down from the original $85 billion per month that the Fed had been purchasing. With the December and January job creation numbers far below expectations, the Fed will be looking closely at February's numbers for any signs of a pattern. If this report and other key economic data points are weak, the Fed may have to rethink the tapering it has begun. This story is sure to impact the markets and home loan rates as we move ahead in 2014.
The bottom line is that now remains a great time to consider a home purchase