Get ready for a potentially slow buying season in the housing market.
Pending home sales are down 11% from a year ago, mortgage rates are about 1% higher than a year ago and homebuilders are breaking ground at a slower pace than expected -- at an annual rate of 946,000 units, more than 2% below forecasts.
Robert Shiller, co-founder of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index, tells The Daily Ticker that the momentum in housing may be changing.
Investors who had become a growing part of the market are pulling back and the Fed, which has been supporting the housing market through its quantitative easing policies, continues to reduce those purchases, says Shiller.
"It's not at all clear that momentum is a safe bet anymore," says Shiller, a Nobel prize-winning economics professor at Yale. But he expects home prices will continue to rise, though most likely at a slower rate.
The latest S&P/Case-Shlller home prices index, covering 20 major metropolitan markets in January 2014, fell 0.1% for the third month in a row but was up 13.2% from a year ago.
Home buyers and sellers may get a better handle on the market next week when the National Association of Realtors reports on March existing home sales on Tuesday and the government reports on new home sales Wednesday.
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