April 2023 MBS Highway Housing Index

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John Smith
January 1, 2023
5 min read

Homebuyer activity springs higher and prices at inflection point.

MBS Highway’s April 2023 Housing Survey showed another solid increase in buying activity as the spring selling/buying season kicked into high gear. This is the 4th-straight month of improving sentiment.

A survey record* 68% of respondents characterized their local buyer activity as ‘Very Active”, ‘Somewhat Active’, or ‘Steady’. That same figure was 56% in March 2023, and just 19% in November 2022.

Pricing pressure appears to be nearing an inflection point, with only 34% of respondents experiencing ‘Moderate’ or ‘Significant’ listing price reductions, down from 46% in March 2023 and 52% in February 2023. In contrast, a survey record* 33% of respondents indicated that they were now seeing ‘Significant’ or ‘Moderate’ price increases, up from 23% in March 2023 and 14% in February 2023.

While inventory levels rebounded in 2022, the number of available homes for sale remains significantly below pre-pandemic levels. This inventory shortage, combined with the recovery in demand, is spurring a resurgence of buyer competition. A survey record* 43% of respondents said that homes were “Selling Quickly with Multiple Offers”, up from 32% in March 2023 and 20% in February 2023.

  • We began the MBS Housing Survey in July 2022.

Buyer activity levels and upward pricing pressure were strongest in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midwest regions. Price reductions were most prevalent (but decreasing) in the Southwest and Southeast, but even there the majority of respondents characterized these as ‘Moderate’ only. The Northwest and West regions, meanwhile, have seen a dramatic reduction in pricing pressure in the last two months.

“The mass media wants you to believe that we’re in the middle of a housing crash, but the real estate and mortgage professionals on the ground see things very differently. Underlying demand is solid and increasing, but inventory levels remain very low on historical basis, and the number of new listings in the first quarter of 2023 was 16% below that of 2022. That’s why it’s no surprise to see several important home price indices (FHFA, CoreLogic, Black Knight) showing that home prices increased on a MoM basis in February,” said Barry Habib, MBS Highway Founder and CEO.

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