The latest on pending home sales, economic activity reports from the Richmond Fed, improving housing market and more!
Pending Home Sales Drop to Lowest Level in Nearly a Year
The Pending Home Sales Index declined 2.5% in November from the October level and is 0.4% below last November. NAR blamed increasing mortgage rates and low inventory but I must point out that mortgage rates are STILL low.
The good news is that existing sales are still expected to close out 2016 at the highest level since 2006. NAR is forecasting home sales in 2017 to grow roughly 2%. They also said that the U.S. median existing-home price is expected to increase to around 5% in 2016 and 4% in 2017.
Please remember this is talking about the entire U.S. and every housing market is different. You can stay up to date on real estate market conditions in the Anderson SC area by reading the Weekly Market Reports!
From Richmond Fed:
Service sector activity continued to be modest overall, except in the retail sub-sector where activity was strong. Revenues were generally unchanged at most services firms, while retail sales gains were widely reported.
Increases in big-ticket sales were prevalent, along with rising shopper traffic. Retail inventories were little changed. Looking to the six months ahead, survey participants, particularly retailers, expected good business prospects.
Service sector employment growth spread moderately, while wage increases were reported more broadly than a month ago.
Also from the Richmond Fed:
Manufacturing activity expanded in December. The volume of new orders picked up compared to last month and shipments increased. Manufacturing employment softened, while wage increases were more widespread across firms. Prices of raw materials rose more quickly in December, while prices of finished goods rose at a somewhat slower rate.
Manufacturers were optimistic about future business conditions. Firms expected robust growth in shipments and in the volume of new orders.
Producers anticipated an increase in hiring along with broader wage gains during the next six months, while they planned for longer workweeks.
Remember because we are in the 5th District, what the Richmond Fed reports has a little more meaning for the Anderson SC area.
Freddie Mac just released their Multi-Indicator Market Index and it showed the majority of the top 100 housing markets across the country are steadily improving.
The national MiMi is indicating a housing market that’s on the outer edge of its historic benchmark range of housing activity with a +0.42% improvement from September to October and a three-month improvement of +1.86%. On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value improved +5.88%. Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 46%, but remains significantly off its high of 121.7.
South Carolina was mentioned specifically as one of the most improving states month over month.
Look at the most improved states…
The minimum payment listed on credit card statements is supposed to be just that — the exact dollar figure a consumer has to pay each month on their outstanding balance to avoid penalties. But according to new research by Wharton real estate professor Benjamin Keys, the minimum payment is often an anchor that consumers use to decide how much to pay on their account regardless of their ability to pay, which only deepens their debt and costs the nation billions of dollars a year.
I cannot stress how important good credit is when you are getting a mortgage. Credit cards make it too easy to screw yourself over.
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