October 2023 MBS Highway Housing Index

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John Smith
January 1, 2023
5 min read

Buyer activity continued to slow as 30-yr mortgage rates rose above 7.5%, but competition levels for scarce inventory remained high.

National Data

The MBS Highway National Housing Index fell to 35 in October 2023 from 42 in September 2023. In October 2022, the index was at 18.

Buyer activity continued to slow as average 30-year mortgage rates climbed above 7.5%. The National Buyer Activity sub-index dropped to 24 in October 2023 from 34 in September 2023, but remained slightly above the 20 seen in October 2022.

Reflecting strong competition for limited inventory, the National Home Price Direction sub-index held up much better, easing to 46 in October 2023 from 49 in September 2023. One year ago, the sub-index was at 16.

Regional Data

Every region saw a significant slowdown in October 2023 relative to September 2023. In the Northwest and Southwest regions, the Buyer Activity index has now slipped below last year’s levels, a clear indication of how quickly things have cooled.

The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic remain the busiest regions, and (together with the West), are the only areas where price direction remains net positive. The recovery in the West region has been remarkable. A year ago it had the lowest buyer activity and the most negative price direction. Today, it is the 3rd-most-active region with the 3rd-best price direction.

“As we move into the slow season, it’s important to be able to compare where we are today versus a year ago. With our new index-based approach to the MBS Highway Housing Survey results, it’s very easy to see that while activity levels have dropped nationwide, prices are still rising or holding up in most markets,” said Barry Habib, MBS Highway Founder and CEO.

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