INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... We certainly should have the feeling we'll succeed after last week's housing reports. April Pending Home Sales rose for the fourth month in a row, to the highest level since 2006. This National Association of Realtors (NAR) index of signed contracts on existing homes was up 3.4% for the month, and 14.0% over a year ago, its eighth month in a row of annual increases. Realtor.com's chief economist said, "All this bodes well for continued momentum into May and June." The NAR's chief economist added, "Homeowners looking to sell this spring appear to be in the driver's seat, as there are more buyers competing for a limited number of homes available."

Earlier in the week, we learned New Home Sales came in at a 517,000 annual rate, up 6.8% for April and up a strong 26.1% over a year ago. But just like with existing homes, demand is outstripping inventory, with new homes down to a 4.8 months' supply. The tight number of total homes for sale is at least helping prices move ahead, although at a slower pace. The national Case-Shiller national index of home prices was up 1% in March and up 4.1% in the past year, versus the 9% gain of the year before. The FHFA index of prices for homes financed with conforming mortgages was up 0.3% for March and up 5.2% over a year ago versus its 6.3% annual gain the year before.

per inside lending newsletter