Latest Unemployment Report: Great News… for the Most Part

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their latest Employment Situation Summary last Thursday, and it again beat analysts’ expectations in a big way. The consensus was for 3,074,000 jobs to be added in June. The report revealed that 4,800,000 jobs were added. The unemployment rate fell to 11.1% from 13.3% last month. Again, excellent news as the unemployment rate fell for the second consecutive month. However, there’s still a long way to go before the economy fully recovers as 17.8 million Americans remain unemployed. Here are two interesting insights on the report: What about a supposed misclassification? The BLS addressed this at length in a blog post last week, and concluded by saying: “Regardless… Read More

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A Historic Rebound for the Housing Market

Pending Home Sales increased by 44.3% in May, registering the highest month-over-month gain in the index since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) started tracking this metric in January 2001. So, what exactly are pending home sales, and why is this rebound so important? According to NAR, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHS) is: “A leading indicator of housing activity, measures housing contract activity, and is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos, and co-ops. Because a home goes under contract a month or two before it is sold, the Pending Home Sales Index generally leads Existing-Home Sales by a month or two.” In real estate, pending home sales is a… Read More

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Are New Homes Going to Be Available to Buy This Year?

In today’s economy, everyone seems to be searching for signs that a recovery is coming soon. Many experts agree that it may actually already be in motion or will be starting by the 3rd quarter of this year. With the housing market positioned to lead the way out of this recession, builder confidence might be a bright spark that gets the recovery fire started. The construction of new homes coming right around the corner is a huge part of that effort, and it may drive your opportunity to make a move this year. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): “New home sales jumped in May, as housing demand was supported by low interest rates, a… Read More

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What Are Experts Saying About the Rest of 2020?

One of the biggest questions on everyone’s minds these days is: What’s going to happen to the housing market in the second half of the year? Based on recent data on the economy, unemployment, real estate, and more, many economists are revising their forecasts for the remainder of 2020 – and the outlook is extremely encouraging. Here’s a look at what some experts have to say about key areas that will power the industry and the economy forward this year. Mortgage Purchase Originations: Joel Kan, Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting, Mortgage Bankers Association “The recovery in housing is happening faster than expected. We anticipated a drop off in Q3. But, we don’t… Read More

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New Index Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate

Earlier this month, realtor.com announced the release of their initial Housing Recovery Index, a weekly guide showing how the pandemic has impacted the residential real estate market. The index leverages a weighted average of four key components of the housing industry, tracking each of the following: Housing Demand – Growth in online search activity Home Price – Growth in asking prices Housing Supply – Growth of new listings Pace of Sales – Difference in time-on-market The index then compares the current status “to the last week of January 2020 market trend, as a baseline for pre-COVID market growth. The overall index is set to 100 in this baseline period. The higher a market’s index value, the higher its… Read More

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Should We Be Looking at Unemployment Numbers Differently?

The New York Times recently ran an article regarding unemployment titled: Don’t Cheer Too Soon. Keep an Eye on the Core Jobless Rate. The piece suggests we should look at unemployment numbers somewhat differently. The author of the article, Jed Kolko, is a well-respected economist who is currently the Chief Economist at Indeed, the world’s largest online jobs site. Previously, he was Chief Economist and VP of Analytics at Trulia, the online real estate site. Kolko suggests “the coronavirus pandemic has broken most economic charts and models, and all the numbers we regularly watch need a closer look.” He goes on to explain that the decline in the unemployment number reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) earlier this month was driven by a drop in… Read More

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What Are the Experts Saying About Future Home Prices?

A worldwide pandemic and an economic recession have had a tremendous effect on the nation. The uncertainty brought about by both has made predicting consumer behavior nearly impossible. For that reason, forecasting home prices has become extremely difficult. Normally, there’s a simple formula to determine the future price of any item: calculate the supply of that item in ratio to the demand for that item. In housing right now, demand far exceeds supply. Mortgage applications to buy a home just rose to the highest level in 11 years while the inventory of homes for sale is at (or near) an all-time low. That would usually indicate a strong appreciation for… Read More

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Homebuyers Are in the Mood to Buy Today

According to the latest FreddieMac Quarterly Forecast, mortgage interest rates have fallen to historically low levels this spring and they’re projected to remain low. This means there’s a huge incentive for buyers who are ready to purchase. And homeowners looking for eager buyers can take advantage of this opportune time to sell as well. There’s a very positive outlook on interest rates going forward, as the projections from the FreddieMac report indicate continued lows into 2021: “Going forward, we forecast the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to remain low, falling to a yearly average of 3.4% in 2020 and 3.2% in 2021.” With mortgage rates hovering at such compelling places, ongoing buyer interest is bound to keep driving the… Read More

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Is the Economic Recovery Already Underway?

The Wall Street Journal just released their latest monthly Survey of Economists. In an article on the findings, they reported: “The U.S. economy will be in recovery by the third quarter of this year, economists said in a survey that also concluded the labor market will fare better than previously expected following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.” Clearly, the latest jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed the labor market is outperforming expectations, as it revealed that 2.5 million jobs were added. Directly before the release, experts forecasted that we would lose over 8 million jobs. A second revelation indicating the economy is already about to turn around was also somewhat unexpected. More than 9 out… Read More

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Are You Ready for the Summer Housing Market?

As the health crisis started making its way throughout our country earlier this spring, sellers have been cautious about putting their homes on the market. This hesitation stemmed primarily from fear of the spread of the coronavirus, and understandably so. This abundant caution has greatly impacted the number of homes for sale and slowed the pace of a typically busy spring real estate season. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American notes: “As more homeowners are reluctant to list their homes for sale amid the pandemic, the supply of homes available to potential home buyers continues to dwindle.” With many states beginning a phased approach to reopening, virtual best practices and health and safety guidelines for the industry… Read More

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