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Weekly Economic Update - Loan Limit Rise

Last week was a short one but it was stuffed with news; two home sales reports and three regarding home prices. There was also the annual announcement of new loan limits. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced the maximum conforming limits for loans acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Ma...

12.06.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Affordability Improving

It was as if the last month or so never happened. After moving in the wrong direction in recent reports, three major indicators all got back on track. Residential construction numbers are notoriously volatile so it is possible that we will be eating our words along with the last of the Thanksgiving...

11.22.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Its About Prices--Again

Home price growth has been slowing for months–it has recently been around 3% in most indices–and there are indications it is revving up again. The National Association of  Realtors’ (NAR’s) third quarter report on metropolitan prices showed a national annual increase of ...

11.15.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Apple Chipping In

Apple has joined a short list of West Coast companies that recognize their own growth has sparked an affordable housing crunch in their hometowns and has become the third in recent months to put some real dough toward solving it. The company has announced a $2.5 billion commitment to help California...

11.08.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Bringing Out the Buyers

Lower interest rates seem to be bringing out the buyers. Both new home and pending home sales were solid in September, with the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR’s) Pending Home Sales Index rising to its highest level in two years. The PHSI in September was 108.7, up 1.5% from its ...

11.01.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Breaking a Streak

Existing home sales were down in September, falling 2.2% compared to August and breaking a two-month winning streak. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million in September compared to 5.490 million in August. Because of the strong...

10.25.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Construction Crunch

It was hoped that the strong numbers for residential housing permits, starts, and completions in August were signaling a much-needed construction boom. Alas, ‘twas not to be. Not in September at least. The Census Bureau reported all three of their construction indicators were down last month,...

10.18.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Not Too Shabby

September’s employment report wasn’t quite as strong as expected, but 136,000 new jobs is not too shabby, especially as it was accompanied by an upward revision of the August report from 130,000 to 168,000 new jobs. Manufacturing continues to be weak, however; the sector lost 2,000 jobs ...

10.11.2019

Weekly Economic Update - It's Rates Again

Freddie Mac’s economists continue to think the economy is slowing, but this time around it is likely to be housing (along with consumer spending) that puts a finger in the dike rather than, as in 2008, pulling the plug. The company’s month-end September forecast still expects GDP growth ...

10.04.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Curtain Call

Home sales overall staged a strong summer finale. All three (new, pending and existing) home sales posted positive results for August. New and pending sales in the West were especially strong, prompting National Association of Realtors (NAR’s) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun to comment that the n...

09.27.2019

Weekly Economic Update -Rates Move Up and Down

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) surprised exactly nobody by cutting its funds rate at its Tuesday/Wednesday meeting. The Fed said it took the action because of a decline in business investments as well as exports coupled with a persistently low level of inflation. Tirthankar...

09.20.2019

Weekly Economic Update - "Stagflation"

The August jobs report was mixed–and confusing. Job creation slowed, and while 130,000 new jobs isn’t bad, it was 30,000 short of what analysts had predicted. Further, the total included 34,000 in new government jobs, mostly temporary hires to conduct the upcoming census. Further, while...

09.13.2019

Weekly Economic Update - More Revisions

The lower interest rates–currently the lowest they have been since October 2016–are keeping Freddie Mac’s economists busy.  Their most recent economic forecast was filled with revisions. And most of them were revisions of the revisions they made in July. On the negative size,...

09.06.2019

Weekly Economic Update - A Mixed Bag

Let’s hit the highlights of an unusually busy week in the Housing Biz. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) ticked up 3 basis points this week, but Freddie Mac’s economists predict the good times will continue to roll. They lowered their rate forecast for the second time in a month and...

08.30.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Sales Get Rate Nudge

The housing market started to wilt as rates rose late last year and while those rates reversed themselves months ago, it has taken some time for home sales to respond. Existing home sales did so in July, posting the first year-over-year gain this year. The residential construction numbers got less o...

08.23.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Refi Incentive Grows

Because rates stabilized in late June, Black Knight did not update its regular estimates of the refinanceable pool in its most recent Mortgage Monitor. However, the 15-basis point rate drop last week prompted the company to shoot out a press release with some new numbers. The company considers as &l...

08.16.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Falling Rates, Rising Affordability

The week’s news all comes down to affordability. It looks pretty positive for the home-buyer, but things are still fairly volatile. The headline of course was interest rates. While they have been drifting lower since last November’s peak, they had stabilized recently. That they did so w...

08.09.2019

Weekly Economic Update - No Surprises

As expected, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC), by an 8 to 2 vote, cut the fed funds rate at its meeting this week. The quarter-point reduction is expected to put the rate in the range of 2-2.25%. In a statement issued at the end of the monthly meeting the Committee repeated a...

08.02.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Lacking Direction

Reports on June sales of both new and existing homes were out this week and again said little about the market’s direction. New home sales broke out of a two-month slump while existing home sales returned to their weak old ways, apparently just kidding around with its May rally. The rebound i...

07.26.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Building Block

Another month--another disappointing residential construction report. The U.S. Census Bureau said housing starts slipped slightly in June but the decline in permitting was significant. Overall, permits were down 6.1% from May to 1.220 million units and lagged by 6.6% year-over-year. It wasn’t...

07.19.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Two Job Reports, Zero Consensus

The June Employment Situation Report more than made up for its dismal predecessor, coming in at 224,000 new jobs. It was great news for job seekers, perhaps not so much for those hoping for a Federal Reserve rate cut this year. Manufacturing, which has been a Fed concern, added 17,000 jobs and prof...

07.12.2019

Weekly Economic Update - What a Difference .75 Makes

What a difference three-quarters of a point makes. Mortgage rates have retreated by that much since the first of this year. While they stabilized this week, taking back 2 of last week’s 11-basis point plunge, the lower rates are being felt throughout the housing market. For the second time in...

07.05.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Mixed Messages

It’s rare when all three home sales reports are published in the same week but when they are, the overall picture they paint is often about as clear as pond water. Existing sales were, for a change, pretty good, rising 2.5% from April, the first gain in three months. The sales of 5.34 million ...

06.28.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Fed Decides to Hold 'Em

You could have gotten pretty good odds a year ago had you bet on the Fed lowering interest rates anytime soon. The smart money was on one or two additional rate hikes in 2019 on top of the nine the Fed has made since resuming increases in December 2015. Sentiment began to change early this year. An...

06.21.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Fed Watch Resumes

The unemployment rate remained at a five-decade low of 3.6%, but last Friday’s Employment Situation report was otherwise not reassuring. Only 75,000 jobs were created in May, way less than half of what was expected. In addition, there was a downward revision of 39,000 to th...

06.14.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Refi Boom Looms

Did you buy or refinance a home in 2018? If so, Black Knight’s new Mortgage Monitor has some news for you. With lower rates the “refinanceable” population of homeowners has spiked by 1 million over the past month and 3 million since March. A refinanceable homeowner can both qualify...

06.07.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Why Not Better?

One economist can’t understand why housing sales aren’t doing better. Two others say things will change for the better any minute now. This week there was support for both views as home prices continued to slow and both pending home sales and interest rates fell again. David M. Blitzer,...

05.31.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Grwoing Inventories

One might expect that the new era of low interest rates, the record low unemployment numbers, and spring flowers popping up everywhere would prompt a flood of home buyers into the market. One would be wrong. Both new and existing home sales were down in April. The decline in new home sales, down al...

05.24.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Construction Steps Up

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said its Housing Market Index has finally climbed out of the low 60’s range where it has hovered for months. The uptick in the index measures the confidence of builders in the new home market, hopefully indicating they are emboldened to start bu...

05.17.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Myths And Misconceptions

Freddie Mac occasionally mentions myths that keep first-time homebuyers on the sidelines. One of them is particularly persistent; the need for a 20% down payment. The company’s economists said a recent survey found that nearly a third of those who planned to buy within three years still think...

05.10.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Housing News Nuggets

Some weeks have big housing headlines, others have a bunch of housing related news nuggets. This week was one of the latter, and fortunately most of them glittered, at least a little. The largest bit was pending home sales, a leading indicator of existing home sales. They have been tepid for quite ...

05.03.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Construction Zig Zag

The graph included by the Census Bureau in its monthly residential construction report looks like three rows of rickrack, the zig-zag trim that shows up occasionally on children’s clothing. While all three measures, construction permits, housing starts, and completions, have moved up and down ...

04.26.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Property Taxes Rise

Home prices, until recently, were rising rapidly, increasing homeowner equity and household wealth. Good news, but not an area where Newton’s Third Law (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction) can apply. Property taxes inevitably react to increased home values, but unfortuna...

04.19.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Has Spring Finally Sprung?

In general, it has been a rough six months for those who provide the quotes that accompany various housing reports. Spokespersons for trade groups representing mortgage lenders, home builders, and Realtors have been grappling for words to put the best face on a discouraging picture. Every setback h...

04.12.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Refinance Revival

After last week’s largest one-week decline in mortgage interest rates in a decade, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 39% increase in its Refinance Index on top of a 12% gain the previous week. This brought the index, based on mortgage applications, to its highest point since January ...

04.05.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Interest Inversion

Whew, what a week. So much news that we are going to hold some over for next time. Residential construction numbers (which weren’t all that hot) and pending home sales (which weren’t either) will have to continue pending. The big news this week was interest rates. Long-term, and thus mo...

03.29.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Fed Takes a Long Pass

Not only did the Federal Reserve hold the fed funds rate unchanged at its current 2.25-2.50% range at the Tuesday and Wednesday meeting of its Open Markets Committee (FOMC), but it announced there would probably be no rate hikes at all this year. In its post-meeting statement, the Fed cited slowing...

03.22.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Not An Illusion

It is true that the older one gets the faster time seems to fly by, but this time it isn’t your imagination. We really did get two new home sales reports in 10 days and the second batch of residential construction data in three weeks as the Census Bureau catches up with its shutdown data droug...

03.14.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Going For The Hat Trick

New home sales in November surprised everyone, surging almost 17% after what had been a lackluster late summer and fall. While the 657,000 unit annualized estimate was downgraded to 599,000 in this week’s Census Bureau report, December sales scored another unexpected hit. Sales were at an annu...

03.08.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Covering the Bases

Lots of housing news this week and it touched all of the bases; construction, sales, and home prices. It also ranged from pretty good to very bad with a bit of “we aren’t quite sure.”  Pending home sales were the good news. They have been, to put it kindly, sluggish for month...

03.01.2019

Weekly Economic Update - More Buyers on the Way

Existing home sales slipped again, but the phrase “its all relative” jumps to mind. So do the words “at least it’s not as bad as last month.” Sales were down by 1.2% from December. Disappointing, but hardly the 6.4% dive they took then. Lawrence Yun, chief economist fo...

02.22.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Bubble in Trouble?

In late 2017, Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, wrote a long essay on price bubbles, asserting that a bubble isn’t a bubble unless it bursts. At that point there was a lot of concern that housing was heading for one. Today we appear to be in the midst of a slow leak. There i...

02.15.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Job Gains, Missing Homes

We’re still waiting for most of the shutdown-delayed housing data to come out of the Census Bureau, but we did get another excellent Employment Situation report. There were 304,000 new jobs created in January, almost twice what analysts were expecting. Tempering the news a bit was a 90,000 do...

02.08.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Patience Rewarded

The Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis have begun to catch up on economic and housing data reports delayed because of the partial government shutdown. First out of the gate was the Census Bureau’s new home sales report for November, originally scheduled for release at the end of...

02.01.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Blindsided

Existing home sales were approaching the end of the year on a promising note. Monthly data from the National Association of Realtors had shown sales slipping in May, June, July…. Then in October there was an unexpected rebound, not a big one, an increase of 1.4% from September, but still a we...

01.25.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Signs of Spring?

The January’s mortgage application numbers are often skewed by a post-holiday “getting back to business” mindset; the first week after the holiday is always pretty wild. But last week’s report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) was extraordinary. Instead of settling ...

01.18.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Year-End Blockbuster Report

The December Employment Situation report was a total blockbuster. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 312,000 jobs were created during the month, the strongest showing since February 2017. Analyst had much lower expectations; the Econoday consensus of 180,000 was typical. There were also up...

01.11.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Let's Play Catch-Up

Wow! What a couple of weeks. A roller coaster ride on Wall Street, another Fed rate hike, more tepid home sales news, and a partial government shutdown. In spite of it all, most of us managed to celebrate our special traditions surrounding a half dozen religious and secular holidays. We hope you wer...

01.04.2019

Weekly Economic Update - Every Cloud has…

The economic news over the last few weeks hasn’t been bad, but it does indicate things are slowing down. This week’s news one both jobs and consumer prices shored up this view.  But economists prefer to see this as some moderation.  And when t...

12.14.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Flattend, Not Falling

We planned to continue catching up from Thanksgiving by giving out full attention to the home sales reports we skipped over last week. Other matters suddenly intervened and existing, new, and pending sales got less ink than we planned. The headlines go instead to the tumbli...

12.07.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Higher Loan Limits

You come back from a holiday and always find the in-box stuffed. This week we catch up on lots of news – new loan limits, lackadaisical construction data, and two price reports.  There were also three home sales reports and we didn’t want to give them s...

11.30.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Cool Do

CoreLogic is pointing to an apparent shift in California real estate. While the market, while has been a great one for sellers, hasn’t yet flipped to the other extreme, September sales, not to mention those through much of the summer, indicate that buyer urgency is moderati...

11.16.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Releasing Some Pressure

A strong Employment Situation report is generally viewed as increasing inflationary pressures, however the September version, with its strong 250,000 new jobs, caught the eye of at least one set of analysts as doing the opposite. Slowing wages gains, while not happy news for work...

11.09.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Slower Appreciation Has Upside

There was more proof this week that home price increases may be, at a minimum, Both the NAR and S&P Case-Shiller indices showed smaller annual increases in August than in July. This could alleviate some affordability concerns while a Case-Shiller executive waves off thou...

11.02.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Market Shifiting

The past week was all about home sales, and the results were mixed. Both existing and new homes sales were down–again–while pending sales managed a small increase. The pending sales numbers are only considered more than marginally encouraging because they may indicate...

10.26.2018

Weekly Economic Update -- Better Than it Looks

The headlines for the Census Bureau’s residential construction report didn’t look so red hot. Permits, starts, and completions were all down and all missed analysts’ predictions. But digging deeper, the lower numbers were hiding some good news for single-family construction and ...

10.19.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Crossing the Line

It may have felt like the era of low interest rates just ended, but as the 30-year conforming mortgage rose above 5% for the first time in seven years last month it was really just a blip in a long history of lower but usually much higher rates. Then too, home prices now app...

10.12.2018

Weekly Economic Update - FICO Scores Way Up

Consumers have apparently learned a lesson from the housing crisis and are using credit more judiciously. FICO, the credit score people, say there is a new record high average score for the nation and scores have increased especially fast over the last few years.   One ...

10.05.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Increase Not a Shock

To no one’s shock, the Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rate at the September Open Market Committee meeting this week. It cites the strong economy as a reason and almost pinkie swore another increase before year end. The strong economy however has one weak spot,&nbs...

09.28.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Down is Up

Construction permits posted another bad month in August, but housing starts rose by a gratifying amount. At least until a closer look revealed the near double digit gains from July were almost all in multi-family housing. Single-family starts rose to only a small degree and remain beh...

09.21.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Jobs, Wages & the FOMC

The Employment Situation report was a bit of a double-edged sword. Lots of jobs created, unemployment unchanged at its nearly non-existent level, and a very strong uptick in wages. All good so far. However, at least one source thinks the report will prompt the Fed to raise i...

09.14.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Lot Sizes Shrinking

Welcome back from summer. It appears the housing newsmakers haven’t yet unpacked their pens and calculators from their beach bags, but there were a few interesting info-bits floating around.  It isn’t your imagination that you neighbors seem closer than ever. New&nbs...

09.07.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Home Sales Trilogy

The last of the three monthly home sales reports was out this week, the one tracking pending home sales.  Like the two that were released last week, it also continued to show the housing market cooling. This isn’t necessarily bad news, especially for those in...

08.31.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Home Sales Update

Both new and existing home sales were disappointing in July. The numbers for new home sales fell for the second month and existing homes for the fourth time.  But while the latter has been lagging their 2017 monthly numbers for most of this year, new home sales are...

08.24.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Builders Skittish?

Residential construction numbers continue to be sluggish. While they improved over those in June, July numbers are still not what analysts and the housing industry are hoping to see.  Builders aren’t clicking their heels together the way they were at the end ...

08.17.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Cool Down?

There is both data and growing sentiment among consumers that home price growth might finally be leveling off. Two price indices released this week indicate that prices rose during the spring market as usual, but not with their recent irrational exuberance. An...

08.10.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Big Picture

The economy’s strong performance in the second quarter—the GDP rose more than 4%—didn’t scare the Fed. They say the economy isn’t overheating and kept rates fixed at their meeting this week. They still seem committed to two more hikes this year....

08.03.2018

Weekly Economic Update - Summer Sales Sag

Despite a bit of growth in the existing home inventory and a bit of a dip in new home prices, sales of each were down in June.  It was the third straight month that existing homes were down, and they are now lower year-over-year. The Libor may not be a familiar name, but it...

07.27.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Fed Chair Speaks

New Fed Chair Jerome Powell assured both houses of Congress that the economy is in great shape.  Oh yeah, and rates are going to continue to rise. Residential construction had a horrid June. Housing starts plunged and permits dipped, but both managed to...

07.20.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Flat or Curvy?

Lots of talk over the past few weeks about yield curves.  Lots of anxious talk.  What is a yield curve?  Why is its current shape scaring investors? Should it? We investigate.   The housing markets (and a lot of parents) heaved a sigh of relief ...

07.06.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Southern Exposure

It was supposed to be about home sales, but the news this week took a slight detour into the prices of those homes. Pending sales had another bad month and, while new home sales were up nationally, outside the South they weren’t. New home prices were down as well....

06.29.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Mixed Messages

Housing news sent some mixed messages this week. Home builders are pretty sure their houses will sell if they can get them built, but that is steadily growing more difficult. Still housing starts are waaaay higher than last year, even as permitting slows.   &n...

06.22.2018

Weekly Economic Update-In Great Shape

The Fed’s Open Market Committee met this week, declared the economy to be in “great shape,” and raised interest rates. Their concern has switched from stimulating the economy to managing inflation, and they promised more rate hikes this year and next.  ...

06.17.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Can't Win For Losing

There was another strong Employment Situation Report in May, with more than 200,000 new jobs. Wages, which have stubbornly stable, rose as well and that has economists worried. They see the looming specter of inflation which means further and faster Federal Reserve rate...

06.08.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Grazie Italia

Interest rates fell back this week; in the case of mortgage rates it was the first decline in a month. The reason was the classic “flight to safety” that economists love to cite. In this case investors were fleeing some scary government goings-on in Italy. Home ...

06.01.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Shifting Directions

Both new and existing home sales reversed direction, again. April wasn’t a good month for either, and the western region of the country put on a particularly lackluster show.   The good news was a substantial boost to inventories since March, but they are still well be...

05.25.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Builders Optimistic

The National Association of Home Builders said their members are “buoyed” by demand for single family houses. Still, that confidence isn’t translating into production. The Census Bureau reports builders pulled fewer permits in April and started building few...

05.18.2018

Weekly Economic Update-JOLTS And Jobs

After remaining at a low, low 4.1% for months, the unemployment rate pushed even lower last month, dropping to 3.9% and calling forth reports of “full employment.” The Employment Situation report for the month also noted the creation of 164,000 new jobs. Th...

05.11.2018

Weekly Economic Update- Relatively Speaking

Mortgage rates finally took a breather this week, declining slightly after a nearly uninterrupted climb since the first of the year. Rates opened the year at a still historically low 3.95% but have increased in all but four of the 18 weeks that have elapsed since. Last week they hit the highest lev...

05.04.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Spring Sales Spring

Even though some parts of the country are convinced winter will never end, home sales seem to be getting in the mood for spring. Both new and existing home reports posted decent numbers, strong enough to boost new home sales ahead of last year and bring existing sales close to that level. Home pric...

04.27.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Getting Brighter

The worrisome home construction numbers from February were partially offset by this week’s report on March building activity. The good news was muted however because the improvement was due to strong gains in multifamily building.  The Census Bureau has added a new set of numbers to the r...

04.19.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Lowering the Temperature

The employment picture wasn’t quite as bright in the first quarter of 2018 as in the last one in 2017, largely because of a disappointing March report. Weather was probably to blame for the drop in construction jobs, but unemployment was stable and wages were up.  ...

04.13.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Curve Ball

Another month, another price increase. Are we near an affordability breaking point? We might never know as Freddie Mac publishes more evidence that we could become a nation of renters: Voluntarily.   Every week we publish a round of economic indicators. Home prices, interest...

04.06.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Swinging Into Spring

Spring seems to be bursting out all over, but the housing market is confronting some headwinds (although we prefer the term vernal zephyrs), like high home prices, short inventories, and rising rates. This week we learned that pending home sales had rebounded strongly after two v...

03.30.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Fed Watch

To hardly anyone’s surprise, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) ended its March meeting with a unanimous vote to raise the fed funds rate. Citing expectations that “economic activity will expand at a moderate pace in the medium term and labor market conditions will remain strong,&r...

03.23.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Generational Trends

Here's this week's eWeekly Economic Update with a focus on Generational Trends in Real Estate. Last Friday’s Employment Situation report for February was a standout. There were an estimated 313,000 new jobs created during the month, 80,000 above the highest prediction made by analysts...

03.16.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Bulls And Bears

Americans may be going a little wobbly in their attitudes toward housing if February’s National Housing Survey is correct. The survey and the resulting index Fannie Mae constructs from some of the results, show less enthusiasm about the wisdom of buying and selling coupled ...

03.09.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Serious Sales Stall

Home sales have been having a bit of a bad go. Sales of newly constructed homes have fallen significantly for two months in a row, and the Pending Home Sales Index for January didn’t bode well for future sales, falling to a near four-year low.   Three home price index&...

03.02.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Yin & Yang

The yin and yang of housing news this week was a very good construction report and the second bad one in a row for existing home sales. Those sales are now running below those a year ago. Together however they point toward an increase in housing inventories. This could ...

02.23.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Gyrations

Wall Street grabbed the headlines again this week, but the print was a lot smaller. Volatility still ruled and there were some crazy days, but the general trend was positive, and the Dow gained back about a third of its losses from the wild week that preceded it.  NAR noted a little softening ...

02.16.2018

Weekly Economic Update-How Now Dow Jones

The big new of the week was obviously the unprecedented gyrations on Wall Street. Stocks plummeted from record highs, wiping out trillions of dollars of paper money, only to swing back to the high side, then fall again. Experts say such volatility may be the new normal for a while. ...

02.09.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Picking Up The Pieces

Lots of items to cover this week from home sales and prices to homeownership and the Fed. It was a week of bits and pieces rather than any major news. Home sales, prices, and some broader economic indicators all had a brief turn on the stage. Pending home sales finished up 2017 with a third consec...

02.02.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Great Year For Homes Sales

Last week's key indicators confirmed that 2017 was a great year for home sales. It's the most number of sales in eleven years.  Both existing and new home sales had a rough December, but each had an excellent year. It was, in fact, the best year for existing home sales in 11 years, and...

01.26.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Weak End to a Strong Year

December construction numbers were weak, some even weaker than expected, but overall it was a good year for home building. The Census Bureau says permits, housing starts, and completions all had higher numbers than in 2016. Interest rates are on the move, rising 9 basis points i...

01.19.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Construction Jobs Rise

Despite a rather disappointing jobs report, unemployment remained at a 17-year low. Wages are finally responding to the tight market; growth picked up the pace at year’s end. While rising home prices are tough for those wishing to own a home, many who already do are counti...

01.12.2018

Weekly Economic Update-Catching Up

A lot happened during the past two weeks, and most of it fell on the positive side of the ledger. All three home sales reports covering November activity were up, although by wildly varying degrees. Home prices continued to increase, and the rate of those increases were...

01.05.2018

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