Author Archives

  • Amid the Gloom, Consumers’ View of Buying Conditions for Homes Improves

    Consumer confidence fell back sharply in March amid concerns of rising gas and food prices. Consumer Sentiment retreated 12.9% in March to 67.5, according to the University of Michigan consumer survey. This reversed the gains recorded in the prior four months. The losses were concentrated in the Expectations Index, which fell 19.1% to 57.9.  Consumers are concerned about the prospects… Read More ›

  • House Prices Fall Again in January

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly purchase-only house price index (HPI) fell a further 0.3% in January to a seasonally adjusted level of 186.5 nationally—its third consecutive month of decline.  Overall, the index has fallen 1.7% (SA) since October and is down 3.9% (NSA) since January 2010.  The FHFA HPI release includes the monthly price changes for the nine… Read More ›

  • Existing Home Sales Fall Back in February

    Existing home sales fell back in February, following three months of very strong growth. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a 9.8% decrease in existing home sales in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million units. This follows a total gain of over 23% over the previous three months. The decline in February was not unexpected… Read More ›

  • Increasing Energy Prices Drive Further Increases in Consumer Prices in February

    Consumer prices continued to rise in February, once again driven by strong growth in energy prices. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), rose 0.5% (SA) in February—its eighth consecutive increase. Over the last 12 months, the all items index is up 2.1% (NSA). Energy prices again were the… Read More ›

  • Soaring Energy and Food Prices Push the Producer Price Index Up Further in February

    A sharp increase in food and energy prices pushed the Producer Price Index up further in February—its eighth consecutive rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics release of the Producer Price Index (PPI) indicates that the PPI for finished goods jumped 1.6% in February (SA), driven by a 3.9% increase in finished consumer foods and a 3.3% rise in finished energy… Read More ›

  • Private Residential Construction Spending Up in January

    Private residential construction spending began the year on a positive note. The US Census Bureau release of January construction spending indicated that private residential construction spending rose 5.3% to $245.6 billion from an upwardly revised $233.2 billion in December.  The rise in residential construction spending was driven mainly by the remodeling sector, with home improvement spending rising 10.5% to 124.4… Read More ›

  • Consumers positive about jobs growth in the year ahead

    Consumer Sentiment returned to its upward trend in February, extending the gains in November and December of 2010 after a pause in January. The release of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey by Thompson Reuters indicates Consumer Sentiment index rose 3.3 points to 77.5 in February, its highest level in three years. The gain was concentrated in the current… Read More ›

  • Fourth Quarter Real GDP ‘Second Estimate’ Includes Downward Revision

    Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 2.8% in the fourth quarter of 2010 with the release of the ‘second estimate’ by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). While a shift down from the ‘advance estimate’, which indicated a 3.2% (SAAR) increase, the economy continues to move forward, building on the third quarter… Read More ›

  • House Prices Continue Their Downward Trend in the Fourth Quarter

    House prices continued their downward trend in the fourth quarter of 2010. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) release of their purchase-only house price index (HPI) indicates that house prices fell a further 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted index value of 188.4 in the fourth quarter of 2010 (down 2.2% to 187.7 NSA).  This follows a 1.8% decline (both SA… Read More ›

  • Existing Home sales up again in January

    Existing homes were up again in January–the fifth increase in the past six months. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a 2.7% increase to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 5.36 million units in January 2011, building on the 6.1% increase in November and 11.1% increase in December. Overall, from the low of 3.84 million units in July,… Read More ›