Recent data suggests that the U.S. housing market is in recovery. However, the data also shows this to be an uneven recovery.
According to the monthly S&P/Case-Shiller Index, for example, home values rose in three of 20 tracked markets between December 2011 and January 2012. 17 tracked markets showed home prices still in decline. Unfortunately, Sacramento is not one of the 20 markets tracked, but you can gleam a general trend from this report. Continue reading
The new construction housing market appears primed for growth this season.
According to the Census Bureau, the number of single-family building permits issued in February rose to 472,000 on a seasonally adjusted, annual basis, marking the highest building permit tally since April 2010 — the last month of that year’s federal home buyer tax credit program.
Building permits are a pre-cursor to new home construction. Continue reading
The U.S. economy is expanding, fueled by a renewed consumer optimism and increased consumer spending.
As reported by the Census Bureau, Retail Sales in February, excluding cars and auto parts, rose 1 percent to $335 billion as 11 of 13 retail sectors showed improvement last month.
February markets the 19th time in twenty months that U.S. Retail Sales increased on a month-over-month basis. Couple this with 24 consecutive months of job growth and you have an economy that is showing some fight! Continue reading
Tuesday, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged within its current target range of 0.000-0.250 percent.
For the fourth consecutive month, the Fed Funds Rate vote was nearly unanimous. Just one FOMC member dissented in the 9-1 vote.
The Fed Funds Rate has been near zero percent since December 2008. It is expected to remain near-zero through 2014, at least. Continue reading
Mortgage markets were mostly unchanged last week despite a series of positive developments. In addition to Greece successfully reaching a deal with its private creditors, the U.S. economy turned out strong reports — most notably with respect to Non-Farm Payrolls.
In February, the U.S. economy added 227,000 new net jobs and the figures from December and January were revised higher by an additional 61,000. It marked the 16th straight month of job gains nationwide. Continue reading