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Consumer confidence slipped in November, amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and business restrictions, reinforcing expectations for a 4th quarter economic slowdown.
 
Durable goods orders grew at a faster than expected clip in October, demonstrating the manufacturing sector's continued support of the economy.
 
Jobless claims rose the 2nd week in a row for the first back-to-back increase since July. The rising COVID-19 count is likely causing labor market weakness.

 

 

The FHFA released the 2021 conforming loan limits to be used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Limits will rise 7.42% to $548,250 in most places and to $822,375 in most high-cost areas.
 
Home prices surged to a 6-year high in September, according to Case-Schiller. The 7% increase over last year marks the fastest 12-month gain since 2014.
 
Existing home sales grew 4.3% over September and 26.6% over last year. New home sales were also strong in October, remaining near their best pace since 2006.

 


 

 

October retail sales rose 0.3% over September. The pace was the slowest in 6 months, suggesting consumers may be growing more hesitant to spend as pandemic numbers rise.
Congress remains locked in a stalemate over a coronavirus stimulus. Increases in job losses and reduced spending could slow the economic recovery.
Jobless claims unexpectedly rose by 31,000 to 742,00 last week, as new business restrictions sparked a fresh wave of layoffs.

 

November's homebuilder confidence index for construction of single-family homes shattered record highs for the 3rd straight month, as more buyers are heading for the suburbs.
Housing starts increased more than expected in October, suggesting low rates and strong demand continue to sustain the housing market.
Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 4% for the week, up 28% annually. Refinance application volume was down 2% for the week but was up 98% over last year.


 

 

The consumer price index was unchanged in October, missing forecasts that called for a modest gain. Low inflation helps keep mortgage rates low.

Stocks rallied to new highs early this week on positive COVID-19 vaccine news but fell later due to concerns about possible lockdowns to curb a resurgence in cases.

Jobless claims fell by the most in 5 weeks to a 7-month low. The drop signals a continued recovery in the labor market despite COVID-19's recent surge.

 
 

NAR is exploring ways to reduce tax burdens on home sellers and spur housing development. Changes could help reduce the historic housing inventory shortage.

Mortgage demand from homebuyers dropped to its lowest level in 6 months last week. Purchase applications fell 3% but were still 16% higher than a year ago.

Reduced turnover in the construction labor market is a positive sign for home building. Construction sector layoffs have been low since May and continue to decline.

 
 

 

Manufacturing activity accelerated more than expected in October, with new orders jumping to their highest level in 17 years. A pandemic related spending shift is driving the surge.

According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, passing a new stimulus package before the end of the year remains a top priority when the Senate reconvenes.

The Fed left policy rates unchanged once again at this week's meeting and pledged to continue implementing policy to help the economy recover.

 

Coronavirus-related forbearance rates dropped to a 7-month low in October. Data shows that most homeowners who take forbearance actually continue making payments.

Construction spending was up 0.3% in September over August and was 1.5% higher year over year. Residential construction was strong, with single family home projects up 5.7%.

This winter's real estate market is shaping up to be unlike any before. NAR's Lawrence Yun predicts the season "will be one of the best winter sales years ever."

 


 

 

The economy bounced back in the 3rd quarter with another record surge, recording gains of 33.1% and reversing much of the collapse from coronavirus lockdowns.
New orders for key U.S. made capital goods jumped 1.9% in September, exceeding expectations of a 0.5% increase and pointing to an improving economy.

Jobless claims fell once again last week, even lower than expected to 751,000. The labor market remains on a path of gradual improvement, although still far from pre-pandemic health.

 

 

According to CoreLogic, home prices continue to increase at a modest rate. Nationally, home prices were up 5.7% annually in August and up 4.8% from the previous month.
Pending home sales unexpectedly declined in September for the first time in 5 months, a sign elevated asking prices and lean supply are tempering the housing boom.
Sellers are requesting odd contingencies these days. One asked buyers to maintain the wardrobe of a plastic skeleton at the front door, and another included the cat with the home.


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