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Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

 

  • A phase one trade deal with China was announced late last week and is expected to be signed in January. Trade talk headlines have caused volatility in mortgage rates.
  • Manufacturing data this week points to increased orders, shipments and work hours for employees. Easing trade tensions likely support a turnaround in manufacturing.
  • Jobless claims dropped from a 2-year high last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength. Claims remain near the lowest levels in about a half century.

 

 

  • Housing starts increased more than expected in November, and permits for future construction hit a 12-1/2-year high. Housing starts jumped 13.6% year-over-year.
  • Despite inventory shortages in some areas and an unexpected dip in November, existing home sales still rose 2.7% from a year ago.
  • Seniors who own a home saw housing wealth grow by 0.3% in the 3rd qtr, equating to $24 billion. The increase brought senior housing wealth to a record high of $7.19 trillion.

 


Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

 

 

  • The Fed kept policy rates unchanged at this week's FOMC meeting and also signaled that rates are unlikely to change in 2020 with moderate economic growth.
  • Consumer prices increased more than expected in November, mainly due to higher gas costs. Price increases drive inflation, which pressures mortgage rates higher.
  • Stocks continue to hit record highs as a phase one trade deal with China seems to be moving closer to completion. If not postponed, more tariffs take effect Dec 15th.

 

 

  • Builders continue to move away from basements. A recent survey shows 60% of new single-family homes in 2018 were built on slab foundations and 14% with a crawl space.
  • Sustainable features are the latest trend to attract buyers. Favorites include low-flow toilets and showerheads; multipane windows; and electric charging stations.
  • First-time buyers are on the rise, up from a year ago. FTB's comprised 39% of all single-family home buyers and 55% of purchase mortgages in the 3rd quarter.

 


 

Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

 

 

  • The Fed meets next week for the last FOMC meeting of the year. A policy rate cut is not expected, but markets will be looking for signs of what may happen in 2020.

 

  • Trade talks with China continue on a 'phase one' deal. A trade deal is expected to boost the global economy, and a deal announcement could pressure mortgage rates higher.

 

  • The trade deficit dropped to its lowest level in nearly 1-1/2 yrs in October, suggesting trade could contribute to economic growth and higher rates in the 4th quarter.

 

 

  • Federal regulators expressed cautious optimism on the use of alternative credit models to expand access to credit and enable consumers to obtain more favorable rates and terms.

 

  • CoreLogic reports that October house prices were up 3.5% year-over-year. Prices increased month-over-month by 0.5%.

 

  • NAR forecasts the possibility of record low housing inventory in 2020. A shortage could lead to higher prices and make it even more challenging for buyers to find a home. 

 


Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

  • Trade talks with China are still moving markets. Investors worry the 'phase one' deal is taking too long, but China's chief negotiator Vice Premier Liu He says he is "cautiously optimistic."
  • October Fed meeting minutes show Fed officials felt risks to the economy remained elevated, even as they agreed to hold off on further rate cuts.
  • Unemployment applications last week unexpectedly remained at 227,000. The Fed minutes showed officials viewed labor market conditions as strong despite a slowdown in job growth.

  • Housing starts were up in October, with single-family construction rising for a 5th straight month. Home construction permits jumped to more than a 12-year high.
  • Homebuilders remain confident in the housing market, spurred in part by low mortgage rates. This is the 4th month at least half of surveyed builders reported positive buyer traffic.
  • October's existing home sales increased 1.9%, beyond expectations. Tight supply combined with low rates to boost home prices, which grew at the fastest pace in more than 2 years.


Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets

 

 

Trade talks with China continue, as the two sides try to reach a 'phase one' deal. A signed deal could pressure mortgage rates slightly higher, as it is expected to improve the economy.

 

October's consumer prices saw their largest gain since March. Underlying inflation picked up slightly, supporting the Fed's stance of holding off on more rate cuts in the near term.

 

Producer prices rose by the most in 6 months in October, due to gains in the costs of goods and services. Rising inflation follows fairly upbeat economic data, including strong job growth in October.
   

 

According to NAHB's Housing Trends Report, 12% of adults are considering a home purchase within the next 12 months. Roughly 60% of these will be first time buyers.

 

NAR recently approved MLS Statement 8.0 or the Clear Cooperation policy. Listing brokers are now required to submit listings to the MLS within 1 business day of marketing to the public.

 

Despite a rise in unconventional mortgage lending, economists do not believe we're headed for a mortgage meltdown. These loan types represented less than 3% of all loans made in 2018.

 


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