Monthly Mortgage Market Trends

August 2019

August Mortgage Trends Insight


Producing Branch Manager

It Feels Like More of the Same.. But Is It?  

The Federal Reserve met at the end of July amidst great anticipation. It was assumed they would cut the Fed rate for the first time since 2008 but expectations for future rate cuts lead to a flurry of market excitement leading up to Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments. What we heard was a concern over global economic strength and the ongoing trade disputes.  We also heard manufacturing is down and inflation is muted. Powell continued with business investment “has been soft” though household spending “has picked up from earlier in the year.”

A quick look at the numbers confirms that while the Fed frets about the durability of the US Economy, consumer confidence is up, spending is up, unemployment is low, incomes are rising and savings are near a three year high.
While on one side of the fence; Manufacturing Output has declined for 2 straight quarters... which consequently fits the technical definition of a recession. Personal Income is up .4% and Spending is up .3%  This strong consumer spending is the primary reason the GDP growth rate has been within the 2% to 3% healthy range since the Great Recession. The first release of Q2 GDP just came out with an increase of 2.1%. Consumer Confidence is also at a near 18 year high. Unemployment remained unchanged at 3.7%

So what does all of this mean for housing? The drop in the Fed rate by .25% reduces borrowing costs. Both short term consumer costs, credit cards, car loans, HELOCs and short term Mortgage ARM loans as well as manufacturing/building costs. This would include reducing development and construction costs for homebuilders at a time when labor and material costs are increasing... leading to an increase in the inventory of homes for sale. Good news, right?


Inventory continues to regain strength as active homes for sale increased year-over-year by 22.5% to 9,359. The last time Inventory broke 9,350 was in November 2013. More homes for sale gives buyers time to be discerning; to wait for the perfect home, confident more will become available.  

Mortgage Rates continue to remain low. At an average of 3.75% (with a .5% discount), rates today are less than a half point higher than the historic lows of 2012 and .75% better than they were a year ago. These low mortgage rates are helping affordability!

Appreciation remains muted but positive. DMAR stats utilize Median Sold Price as the measure of home values. At the end of July, it landed at 1.2% year to date gains and 4.58% year-over-year. We all know, real estate is hyper local. A quick look at the 90 DMAR zip codes will demonstrate a wide range of price changes from +21% to -18%.

Year to Date Sales units are down 1% while volume is up 1%... super exciting, I know. But the reality is, last year was a great year! The fact we are tracking with 2018 confirms this is still a strong market.

Days on Market are up 37.5% WOW, but really? Median Days on Market is up from 8 days to 11 days. More inventory, more choices equates to buyers taking more time to consider choices.

Close to List Price is just under 100% at 99.4%, but this is highly dependent on purchase price. With homes over $1M at 97.6%, $750k to $1M are 99%, $500k-750k are  99.3% and $300k-500k are 99.75% price to list solds. Sellers who want to sell fast need to be smart about how they price their homes. This has never been more true than now.

Still a Buyers Market? It doesn’t feel like it, but Months of Inventory only hit 4.93 for single family and 4.36 for condos over $1 Million. All other price points are at or below 3 months of inventory.

Powell stated the Fed made a “mid-cycle adjustment”... what does that mean exactly? Is he expecting 10 more years on this already longest running expansion? Wouldn’t we all like to shine up our crystal balls?

Do you want to know what’s going on in the market and how to continue to take advantage of the slow moving shift? Or, better understand how we can utilize all of these facts and figures to help our clients make good decisions when it comes to buying or selling real estate? Then give our team a call!  We are experts in helping clients build wealth through real estate.

Nicole Rueth
The Rueth Team of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation


Why The Rueth Team?

The Rueth Team is dedicated to our clients success. It is this driving mission that keeps our team constantly learning and pushing beyond our boundaries. We find the solutions other lenders simply can’t (or won’t). We make a commitment to each borrower, fulfilling it with hard work, constant communication and creative problem solving. When a referral partner gives our name, they are confident knowing they are giving their clients the best chance of a smooth, successful experience.

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