I hope this email finds you in good spirits and with a cup of coffee in hand to tackle the day. Now, brace yourselves because it’s time for a riveting update on the housing market—with a touch of underdog humor, of course.

So, the existing home sales (national) took a slight hit in December, like a champion boxer stumbling in the ring but gearing up for a comeback. Sales dropped 1%, but hey, who doesn’t love a good plot twist? Year over year, we’re down 6.2%, but fear not! Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist, is our coach, and he’s saying this is just a strategic move before the big win in the new year.
Now, the housing inventory is like the team players holding back the pace – down 11.5% in a month. We’ve got a tight supply, but don’t worry; it’s all part of the suspense. The median home price took a little dip, but it’s up 4.4% year over year – the housing market’s way of keeping us on our toes.

And can we talk about those First-Time Home Buyers? They’re like the rookies getting into the game, accounting for 29% of sales. Meanwhile, cash buyers are flexing their muscles at 29%, showing us that cold, hard cash still has its place in this arena.
Switching gears to the economy – the Leading Economic Index is doing its best impression of a rollercoaster, falling 0.1% for the 21st consecutive month. But hey, we’ve got the Housing Market Index rising, builder confidence soaring, and a hint of déjà vu from last year when things picked up. Looks like the underdogs are rallying!

Housing starts had a slight stumble in December, but building permits are up—it’s like the construction team is revving their engines for a big race. With demand outpacing supply, our home values are still in the game.

Oh, and Initial Jobless Claims – lowest since the ’60s! But let’s not get too carried away; holidays might be throwing us a curveball. Fed Governor Waller is cautiously optimistic about cutting rates, but the bond market isn’t exactly doing a victory dance yet.
Inflation is the star player, and all eyes are on the PCE data coming Friday. Will it be a slam dunk or a buzzer-beater? Will the Lions walk out of San Francisco with an out-of-nowhere NFC Championship? Only time will tell!

So, Team, buckle up for this rollercoaster ride through the housing market. We might be the underdogs now, but with a bit of humor and a whole lot of resilience, we’re set for a comeback in 2024! Below is a little happy chart showing mortgage purchase applications revving their engines. Buckle up!

Tell me where you will be at 3:30 PM MST on Sunday and who you are rooting for. LFG!