Time to check out the latest real estate, housing and economic news:
Case-Shiller House Price Index Increases!
One of the BIG indicators for home prices in the US was released earlier today. S&P/Case-Shiller released their monthly Home Price Index for November 2015. Well actually it is a 3 month average of September, October and November prices but it is still important.
Anyway it was good news as single-family home prices rose more than expected in November and at the fastest pace in 16 months!
Case Shiller said:
- The 10-City Composite increased 5.4% YoY
- The 20-City Composite’s increased 5.8% YoY
- The National Index is up 5.3% YoY
David M. Blitzer of S&P Dow Jones Indices said:
Home prices extended their gains, supported by continued low mortgage rates, tight supplies and an improving labor market.
2 important things to remember:
- This is NOT the down and dirty local information for your area
- Home prices are 4.8% below the level before the housing market crash
Because the Case-Shiller data is somewhat behind median home prices, we may see their numbers increase even more!
FHFA House Price Index Increased Too!
Also released today was more good news from FHFA that their House Price Index increased in November.
It is up 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis from October.
More importantly (to me anyway) is that November 2015 house prices were up 5.9% compared to November 2014.
It also good news that according to FHFA, house prices in October and November 2015 were higher than the prior peak back in March 2007.
Check out the charts from FHFA:
ICYMI: NAR Existing Home Sales
Not sure how you missed the most recent news from NAR about existing homes sales…
Well if you are NOT subscribed to this blog or following me on Twitter, I can see how you might not be up to date on all the latest real estate news…
Anyway, NAR said that existing homes sales in December 2015 were 7.7% higher than December 2014. This makes 2015 the best year for existing home sales since 2006!
Some of the bad numbers from November was blamed on TRID and I believe this is quite possibly true. If you really want to screw something up, ask the government to improve it!
Black Knight on Home Prices
Yet another important report on home prices just came out. Black Knight just reported:
- US home prices up 5.5% Year-Over-Year
- US home prices still 5.3% below the June 2006
- US home prices are up 27% from the market’s bottom
While this yet another national report and not local, it does help to shape consumers views and attitudes. Plus it also is an important indicator for our economy.
If You Build It…
Also to be filed under ICYMI, HUD and the Census Bureau just released their report for New Residential Construction Activity in December.
They reported that construction permits for housing units issued in December were 14.4% higher than December 2014. Starts on construction of private housing in December 2015 were 6.4% higher than December 2014.
The R Word
Most dirty words only have 4 letters but there is one I have been hearing or reading a lot lately: Recession
A drop in oil prices means less money in the hands of oil producers but more money in the hands of oil consumers. Currently the U.S. is importing about 5.1 million barrels a day more than we’re exporting of crude oil and petroleum products. At $100 a barrel, that had been a net drain on the U.S. economy of $190 billion each year.
Despite the lower price of oil, it has NOT translated into consumers spending more. I think this is because people are uneasy or still have not recovered from the down turn.
I suggest you read Can lower oil prices cause a recession?
Initial Jobless Claims
First-time claims for unemployment benefits increased and this was the exact opposite of what the many expected. The four-week moving average — considered a more stable measure of jobless claims — also increased.
A Bright Spot: Housing
The latest Economic and Financial Newsletter from Wells Fargo has an interesting little tidbit:
Housing was a bright spot in 2015 and we expect this strength to continue into 2016. Although housing starts stumbled in December, starts still rose a robust 10.8 percent in 2015.
Gallup just reported that their US Economic Index decreased. See the chart:
The key thing to remember is YOU do not have to be paralyzed by fear because others are! Decide what is best for you and act accordingly.
The High Price for Strong Job Growth
Probably the most consistent bright spot for the economy last year was the U.S. job market, and it finished 2015 in fine form. That’s great for job seekers, and for economic growth in general, but mortgage shoppers should be advised that the price for this strong job creation may be higher rates.
Now read the rest at Higher Mortgage Rates Could Be the Price for Strong Job Growth
The High Price of Being Evil
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) will pay $1.42 billion in cash to resolve most of a lawsuit accusing it of draining Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc of critical liquidity in the final days before that investment bank’s September 2008 collapse.
I get tired of reading about settlement after settlement but never about some Wall Street or Bank Exec going to jail. And the sad thing is, I bet they will write these settlements off on their taxes.
Call it a business expense…
Call it the high price of being evil…
Call it proof of the 2 justice systems in America…