Data rss

Great Expectations

Spurred by improved consumer expectations, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index reached its highest level since July 2007, and the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased sharply. This 3-month moving average charts both surveys. The Consumer Sentiment Index increased to 86.9 in October from 84.6 the previous month. The survey’s measure of consumer expectations increased to 79.6 in… Read More ›

Rate on New Home Loans Stays Just Above 4 Percent

Earlier today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that mortgage interest rates declined in September.  That was true as well for the subset of mortgages used to purchase newly built homes, but the changes were very small.  On conventional mortgages for new homes, the average contract interest rate edged down by just 2 basis points, to 4.11 percent. Meanwhile, the average… Read More ›

Federal Open Market Committee – No October Surprise

The October meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) concluded with no surprises. As widely expected, the committee followed through on its September pledge to end asset purchases this month absent any significant deterioration in the economic outlook between the meetings. The committee reiterated its intention to keep the federal funds rate target in its current 0-25 basis points… Read More ›

Pending Sales Trend Up

Pending home sales increased 0.3% in September, suggesting continued steady improvement in existing sales. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased to 105.0 in September from 104.7 in August. The September reading was up 1.0% from the same month a year ago, and pending sales… Read More ›

Home Sales Hold Steady

September new home sales were virtually unchanged from a revised August report. At an annual rate of 467,000, new home sales were the highest since July 2008. The August number was revised downward after an unusually large and unsustainable spike. Given the month-to-month variation in the series, a quarterly average may be clearer. The third quarter finished at 446,000 up… Read More ›

Remodeling Market Index Reclaims All-Time High

The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) rose one point to 57 in the third quarter of 2014, the sixth consecutive 3-month period the index has been over 50.  An RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is lower. The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with… Read More ›

Increased Sales Leave First-Time Buyers Behind

Existing home sales increased to the highest level of the year, having posted gains for five of the last six months, despite weakness among first-time buyers. Existing home sales increased 2.4% in September, but remain 1.7% below the same period a year ago. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported September 2014 total existing home sales at a seasonally adjusted… Read More ›