June Housing Starts Jump

July 19th, 2017

The Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that Housing Starts in June surged 8.3 percent to an annual rate of 1.215 million units, the highest since February and after three straight monthly declines. Single-family starts, which represents the largest share of the residential housing market, rose 6.3 percent, while the multi-family dwelling sector soared by 13.3 percent. Housing Starts were up 2.1 percent from June 2016. Higher lumber prices and shortages of workers and land space could be potential hurdles to jump in the near future for new home building.

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Low Inventories Fuel Home Price Gains

March 8th, 2017

CoreLogic, a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, reported that January home prices, including distressed sales, rose 6.9 percent from January 2016 to January 2017 due in part to lean inventories of homes for sale on the market. From December 2016 to January 2017, prices rose 0.7 percent. CoreLogic’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft, said that “Many markets have seen housing prices outpace inflation.” Looking ahead, CoreLogic sees a 4.8 percent increase in prices from January 2017 to January 2018.fea_chart_030717_print

Home Price Gains Remain Robust

December 27th, 2016

Home price gains stayed robust in October, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index. Prices posted a 5.1 percent annual gain in October, up from 5.0 percent in September. Seattle, Portland, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains.

“Home prices continue to outpace gains in wages and personal income,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director & Chairman of the Index Committee. This trend cannot continue indefinitely, he noted.

November Existing Home Sales at 9-year Highs

December 22nd, 2016

The National Association of REALTORS® reported on Wednesday that Existing Home Sales in November edged higher by 0.7 percent from October to an annual rate of 5.61 million units, a 9-year high. Potential borrowers locked in before the presidential election on November 8 to secure low rates because the feeling was that rates may edge higher after the election results. Year-over-year, Existing Home Sales were up 15.4 percent, but that number could be distorted. “Know Before You Owe” or “TRID” rules went into effect November 2015, and last year many mortgage applications were pushed into December with the new requirements.

November Housing Starts Slide

December 19th, 2016

November Housing Starts fell 18.7 percent from October to an annual rate of 1.090 million units, well below the 1.225 million expected. October was revised slightly higher to 1.340 million from 1.323 million. Building Permits declined 4.7 percent from October to an annual rate of 1.201 million versus 1.236 million expected.

Retail Sales Slip in November

December 15th, 2016

Consumers pulled back on spending at the start of the 2016 holiday shopping season in a month that featured the presidential election and Black Friday. The Commerce Department reported that Retail Sales rose 0.1 percent last month, down from the 0.6 percent recorded in October, which was revised lower from 0.8 percent. Sales were up 3.8 percent from November 2015. The report showed that sales slowed in the first two weeks of the month, but picked up after the election.

Home Price Gains Remain Solid

December 6th, 2016

CoreLogic, a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, reported that home prices, including distressed sales, rose by 6.7 percent from October 2015 to October 2016. Month-over-month, prices rose 1.1 percent as the sector continues to graze in greener pastures. Looking ahead, prices are expected to rise 4.6 percent from October 2016 to October 2017.

Job Growth Steady in November

December 2nd, 2016

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that U.S. employers added 178,000 new workers in November, near the expected 180,000. That brings the monthly average to 181,000 in 2016. Part-time jobs jumped by 118,000 while full-time positions rose 9,000. Within the report it showed that average hourly earnings fell by 0.1 percent, while the Unemployment Rate fell to 4.6 percent, the lowest level since August 2007. The low unemployment rate is due in part to some unemployed Americans dropping out of the workforce.

U.S. Economic Growth Surges

November 29th, 2016

After weak economic growth to begin 2016, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the second reading of third quarter Gross Domestic Product surged ahead by 3.2 percent, the fastest pace in two years. The 3.2 percent was above the first reading of 2.9 percent and just above the expected 3.0 percent. Within the report it showed that consumer spending rose by 2.8 percent, above the original estimate of 2.1 percent. In addition, business investment rose sharply by 10.1 percent, well above the first reading of 5.4 percent.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period. It is considered the broadest measure of economic activity.