Tag Archive for ‘economics’

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 ›

House Prices Inch Toward Recovery

Recently released data by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Case-Shiller indicates that its measure of house prices, the House Price Index – National, rose by 5.1% on a year-over-year seasonally adjusted basis (5.1% on a not seasonally adjusted basis). This is the 28th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in the house price index. Over this period of more than two… Read More ›

Homeownership Rate Nears 20 Year Low

The seasonally adjusted homeownership rate, according to Census Bureau’s quarterly survey, was 64.3% in the third quarter of 2014, down from the prior quarter and the reading from one year ago. The homeownership rate remains below the historical 20-year average of 66.9% and has not been this low since the fourth quarter of 1994 when the homeownership rate was 64.1%…. 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 ›