Tag Archives: housing market
The FHFA measure of home prices jumped 1.3% in March and 7.2% from a year earlier. Tight inventories and ongoing easing by the Federal Reserve have contributed to recent increases and helped to cushion the blow of higher taxes. Refinancing, in particular, surged at the end of 2012 and start of 2013 which, in a [...]
Existing home sales rose to a 4.97 million unit rate in April, after being revised up for the month of March. This is the highest level since the first-time home buyer tax credit spiked sales in late 2009. Sales remain well below previous peaks, and are constrained by inventories. Prices are rising at a double-digit [...]
Consumer sentiment jumped to 83.7 in May, the highest level since July 2007. A pickup in net worth via the stock market, home values and falling prices at the pump all helped fuel the gains. Consumers’ assessments of their personal finances jumped to 97.5, the highest level since late 2007. The gains, however, were concentrated [...]
Today’s data confirm a picture of moderation in growth this spring. Housing starts were significantly lower than expected in April at an annualized rate of 853,000, while the data for March was revised down. The largest drop was in multi-family units, which plummeted 142,000 units over the month, with declines heavily concentrated in the South.
Payroll employment rose by 165,000 in April, a slight upside surprise. More importantly, data for February and March were revised up significantly, providing some reassurance that the economy will be resilient if not robust in the second quarter.
The economy expanded at a 2.5% pace in the first quarter, more than half of one percent below expectations. Stronger-than-expected increases in consumer spending, the housing market and a rebuilding of inventories were tempered by tepid business investment and a sharp decline in government spending. The trade deficit also widened, as imports outpaced the gain [...]
New home sales rose to a 417,000-unit pace in March, a bit higher than the 411,000-unit pace of February. The South, with more available land to develop, dominated gains. The Midwest and the West experienced losses. Builders have been complaining that it is particularly hard to find land, supplies and workers at reasonable prices in [...]
Existing home sales moderated to a 4.92 million unit pace in March, after being revised down to a 4.95 million unit pace in February. A lack of inventories remains the primary complaint among realtors as buyers outnumber sellers. The supply of housing was 4.7 months’ supply in March, well below the six-month norm. Indeed, sales [...]
Housing starts crossed the one million unit threshold in March to an annualized level of 1,036,000; that’s 7% above the pace of February and 46.7% above the suppressed level of last year. Gains were concentrated in multifamily starts, which had slowed a bit over the last few months and reflect more of a catch-up in [...]
Nonfarm payroll employment rose a dismal 88,000 in March, well below expectations. Job losses were heavily concentrated in areas affected by cooler-than-usual March weather. Retailers who couldn’t sell spring merchandise decided to lay off workers and are now offering discounts; building and garden stores cut workers as spring planting and lawn work was delayed; and, [...]