Black Knight’s Mortgage Monitor for December highlights a continuation of recent home price declines, an overview of current loan performances, rate lock activity, and buyer use of buydowns. December saw the sixth straight monthly decline in Black Knight’s Home Price Index (HPI). The seasonally adjusted index fell 0.45 percent from November , roughly on par with the 0.48 percent average decline over those six months. The unadjusted index was down 0.87 percent. December’s decline pushed the annual home price growth rate down to 5.0 percent — only 0.4 percent above its 30-year average – and the slowest home price growth rate since June 2020, near the start of the pandemic. However, if recent monthly changes are annualized, they would represent a 3.8 to 7.7 percent decline which may offer insight into where we could be headed in coming months. If the current pattern persists, the company estimates we will see the annual home price growth rate turn negative within the next three months.  As always, there are substantial differences in markets. Fourteen of the 50 largest have seen declines of 6 percent or more from the 2022 peaks, with San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Phoenix all falling more than 10 percent on an SA basis while one in five markets have fallen 10 percent or more on an NSA basis. Four markets, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Virginia Beach, and Louisville continue to see SA prices rise. Declining home prices, of course, mean a loss of homeowner equity and Black Knight estimates it has fallen by $2.3 trillion or 13 percent over the last two quarters . Tappable equity, the share available to borrow while still maintaining a 20 percent cushion – fell by $1.8 trillion over that span. This is an annual change of -1 percent, marking the first decline in equity available to lend against since 2012. West Coast markets are exacerbating the issue. Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle account for nearly one-third of the overall national decline over the past two quarters.
Source: Mortgage News Daily