Olympia home sales usually do respond to seasonal patterns that are familiar in most other areas. Spring and summer lead the way for weather-related, financial, school scheduling and other family-related reasons. From now into well into the early fall, house sales activity can be counted on to peak. Those are the typical expectations.
But when any segment of United States home sales numbers quadruple expectations even before spring bulbs see daylight, that’s worthy of special attention. This was the case last Thursday when the Commerce Department reported on February purchases of newly built homes, and that they rose by 6+%. Since The Wall Street Journal’s experts had only predicted 1.4%, it drew attention.
In fact, this was the second month in a row for sharp rises in U.S. new home sales—and what could be a bright sign for Olympia’s own prospects as the spring selling season begins. Press reports were, to put it mildly, enthusiastic:
MartketWatch: “New-home sales roar to a 7-month high”
Reuters: “…strength in housing should underpin economic growth”
ABC News: “Americans…snapping up new homes at the fastest pace since July”
Bloomberg: “U.S. New-Home Sales Climbed to a Seven-Month High”
CNBC: “[Sales] were the highest since July of last year—and that was the best number since January of 2008”
Bloomberg’s Michelle Jamrisko believes the house sales rise that the impact from the recent rise in borrowing costs was, at most, “modest.” That sentiment was echoed by the Realtor, which quoted the National Association of Housing’s chief economist. “The uptick in mortgage interest rates,” he said, “is having a minimal effect.”
We’ll have to wait and see whether it holds true what the impact of mortgage interest rates on Olympia’s own home sales. They could be either “modest” or “minimal”—or the prospect of continuing hikes might induce more new seller prospects to get busy sooner rather than later. If “sooner” describes your own inclination, I hope you’ll decide to put thought into action by giving me a call!