Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.
- Stocks across the globe are taking a hit this week as investors react to mounting concerns about a deadly virus in China and its effect on travel and spending.
- President Trump is threatening more tariffs on European auto imports if the bloc doesn't agree to a trade deal. Trump has delayed imposing these tariffs a number of times.
- Jobless claims rose slightly last week to 211,000 but were still lower than expected. The labor market continues to tighten, even as job growth is slowing.
- New home builders can't keep up with demand. Even with an above average pace of construction, it would take 4-5 years to get back to a balanced market.
- Existing home inventory is just as bad, as supply in December hit the lowest level since tracking began in 1982. Current supply would sell out in just 3 months.
- The huge imbalance between supply and demand contributed to a jump in prices. The median home price in December was up 7.8%, the biggest annual increase in almost 4 years.