Home Prices Sizzled in July

September 5th, 2017

CoreLogic reports that home prices, including distressed sales, rose 6.7 percent from July 2016 to July 2017. From June, home prices increased 0.9 percent month over month. CoreLogic says the “combination of steadily rising prices along with very tight inventory of unsold homes should keep upward pressure on home prices for the remainder of the year.”


GDP Jumps to Normal Levels in Q2

August 30th, 2017

The second read on second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose to 3 percent from the initial read of 2.6 percent. The boost was fueled by a pop in consumer spending to 3.3 percent from 2.8 percent and an increase in business spending. Consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy. The 3 percent boost in GDP was the best reading since the 3.2 percent registered in the first quarter of 2015. 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.



New Home Sales Sink in July

August 23rd, 2017

The Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that New Home Sales in July fell by 9.4 percent to an annualized rate of 571,000 units, below the 615,000 expected and a seven-month low. However, June was revised higher to 630,000 units from 610,000. Sales dropped in the Northeast, South and West but did rise in the Midwest. Sales inventory for new homes rose to 5.8 months in July, up from 5.2 months in June; this is near the healthy rate of six months. From July 2016 to July 2017, sales were down nearly 9 percent.



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Housing Starts Slip in July

August 16th, 2017

July Housing Starts fell 4.8 percent from June to an annual rate of 1.155 million units, below the 1.217 million expected. Homebuilders cite many reasons for the decline, including a lack of skilled labor, lack of lots to build on and higher costs for materials. Year-over-year starts were down 5.6 percent. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, fell 4.1 percent from June to an annual rate of 1.223 million annualized units, just below the 1.247 million expected. Within the report it showed that single-family starts, which make up the biggest share of the housing market, fell 0.5 percent, while multi-family dwellings with five or more units plunged 17.1 percent from June to July.fea_chart_081617

Consumer Inflation Does It Again

August 11th, 2017

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that when stripping out volatile food and energy, the Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) was unchanged in July from June. The Core CPI continues to remain tame and has been moving lower since earlier in the year. The Core CPI rose by 1.7 percent year-over-year and is moving in the opposite direction of where the Fed wants to see inflation. While Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) is the Fed’s favorite inflation gauge, the Core CPI is a close second. The Fed’s inflation target is 2.0 percent, and both the Core PCE (1.5 percent) and the Core CPI are moving in the opposite direction of that number.


Full Steam Ahead for Job Growth

August 4th, 2017

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 209,000 jobs were created in July, well above expectations. Revisions to May and June yielded 2,000 more new jobs than previously reported. The Unemployment Rate fell to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent, the lowest since March 2001. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.3 percent from June to July, in line with estimates and up from 0.2 percent in June. Year-over-year wages grew 2.5 percent compared with 2.4 percent in June. Overall, it was a good report.


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Low Inventories Fuel Home Price Gains

August 2nd, 2017

Data analytics firm CoreLogic reported on Tuesday that home prices, including distressed sales, rose 6.7 percent from June 2016 to June 2017 due in part to the continued theme: limited homes for sale on the market. On a monthly basis, prices were up 1.1 percent. “Home prices are marching ever higher – up almost 50% since the trough in March 2011,” said Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic. “With no end in sight, affordability is rapidly deteriorating nationally and especially in some key areas such as Denver, Houston, Miami and Washington.”


Economic Growth Rebounds in Q2

July 28th, 2017

The first reading on 2017 Q2 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose 2.6 percent from 1.2 percent in Q1 bolstered by a 2.8 percent increase in consumer spending and a 0.7 percent rise in government spending. The first quarter was revised lower to 1.2 percent from 1.4 percent. GDP is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.