Economical Updates Bobbing to the Surface By now we feel the need to explain the term “underwater.” Eight years ago, virtually everyone knew its meaning, since many were experiencing it first-hand. Underwater: owing more money on a mortgage than the house is worth. It was one of the more widespread results of the 2008 housing crash and the ensuing plunge in […]
Economical Updates Another Good Deal? This week was the fourth consecutive one in which Freddie Mac reported a decline. The 30-year fixed-rate dipped another 5 basis points to 3.89%, the lowest rate in seven months. Last Friday’s Employment Situation report, however, was a major disappointment. Analysts had expected the economy to add another 185,000 new jobs in May, adding to […]
Economical Updates Flowers & Weeds Even though the spring market should be in full flower as it were, this hasn’t been the best month for home sale news. Earlier we reported downturns in April’s new and existing sales; this week pending sales followed suit. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a leading indicator […]
Economical Updates Headwinds Ahead? Home sales encountered some headwinds in the first full month of spring. April sales of both new and existing homes fell off the strong sales figures posted in March although neither the Census data on new home sales nor the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR’s) existing home sales numbers particularly surprised the experts. New home […]
Economical Updates On The Brink Last week we reported that the rate of homeownership remains stagnant. This week we learned of a new survey from the Gallup people that seems to show that could be on the brink of change–maybe even massive change. The survey, conducted among both homeowners and non-homeowners, indicates that more than half of the latter don’t […]
Economical Updates Prices Continue to Rise The first March home price data shows month-over-month appreciation at the fastest pace in 11 months. The CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) rose 1.6% compared to February, the largest gain since last April. After more than a decade of decline, the homeownership rate set a record low of 62.9% in the second quarter of 2016. […]
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Economical Updates Banner Week As weeks go, one could probably call this a banner one. Three home price indices showed home prices continuing to accelerate and two of three reports on home sales were positive (even the third wasn’t that bad). Heck, even inventories increased a bit. New home sales appear to have finally broken free of their persistent […]
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Economical Updates Trying To Keep Up Residential construction continued its ragged attempts to keep up with demand. Permits for construction, which were down in February, posted a healthy increase in March while housing starts did the exact opposite. Residential permits rose 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.26 million units, while housing starts dropped by 6.8% to 1.22 million. […]
Economical Updates And The Survey Says Bloomberg put part of the blame on the Nor’easter that tore up the East Coast last month, but last Friday’s Employment Situation Report from the Labor Department was the worst since last May. There were 98,000 jobs created during March, while analysts polled by Econoday were looking for 125,000 to 202,000. Further, the number of […]
Economical Updates Distant Memory n 2012, when home prices finally bottomed out, over 15 million homeowners, 28.5% of all those with a mortgage, were underwater, with a loan balance larger than the market value of their home. Many were recent homeowners who bought during the housing boom and at the top of the market, but even long-term homeowners saw […]
Economical Updates Brightening Prospects The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) has been making economists queasy since last fall. The index, based on signed contracts for home purchases, is a leading indicator of existing home sales over the following one or two months. For the last three months, it has wobbled between negative numbers and lackluster ones. A particularly bad […]
Economical Updates Welcome Stats We reported earlier that positive responses to the “good time to sell” question in Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey hit an all-time high; NAR’s existing home report added an exclamation point. In some West Coast metro areas, notably the areas around San Jose, San Francisco, and Vallejo, selling appears to be a matter of putting […]
Economical Updates Blizzard of Good News Good housing and economic news fell almost as thick and fast as snow on the East Coast this week. Hard to know where to start digging out. Proceeding chronologically, the first up was another very good Labor Department report announcing the creation of 235,000 new jobs in February. Below the headline number was some especially […]
Economical Updates Green Shoots As if you didn’t know, lack of housing inventory has been cited over and over (and over) as hampering homebuying. To a lesser extent, consumer confidence has been a drag both on homebuying and the economy. This week there were green shoots of hope for both. A National Association of Realtors (NAR), survey broke down […]
Economical Updates It’s All About Inventories Sales of new homes in January were every bit as good as those released last week for existing homes. There were an estimated 41,000 newly built homes sold during the month compared to 38,000 in December. On a seasonally adjusted annual basis that works out to a pace of 555,000 units, up 3.7% from December […]
Economical Updates Fifty-Nine Months in a Row Rising interest rates apparently aren’t scaring off buyers, so far at least. A spurt in existing home sales in January pushed the seasonally adjusted annual rate up 3.3% over December to 5.69 million units, a gain of 3.8% year-over-year. The rate of increase was the strongest for any month since the previous January and sent […]
Economical Updates A Bumpy Ride Residential construction was mixed in January, not unusual in an industry so easily affected by weather. Permitting was strong at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.228 million units (808,000 of them single-family), up 4.6% from the previous month and 8.2% higher than a year earlier. Housing starts, however, were down, although not seriously so. […]
Economical Updates Crushed it! In the words of several media reports, the January Employment Situation Report “crushed it.” There were 227,000 new jobs created during the month, up from a revised 157,000 in December and the best report since last September. The number was way above expectations; analysts had been looking for a number in the range of 155,000 […]
Economical Updates Pending Home Sales Up As reported last week, home sales finished out the year on a down note with both new home and existing home sales retreating from November’s levels. Rising interest rates along with an inventory of existing homes that was the smallest in the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR’s) record books got the blame. Sales numbers, of […]