It has been three months since the fall elections when the financial markets made a significant shift, and the data continues to show a stable housing market.
You’ll remember post-election stock prices soared higher on a wave of pro-business optimism following President Trump’s election. Bond prices fell and the yield on US Treasurys shot up. Mortgage rates tend to follow in tandem with the 10-year Treasury yield and moved higher as well. Despite all the changes, a report from Goldman Sachs this week shows the residential mortgage market is stable. Take a look at some of the highlights:
- CoreLogic’s house price index is up 7.1 percent for all of 2016, and 3.5% in the fourth quarter.
- Zillow’s Home Value Index also has data through December, and is up 6.8% year-over-year and 1.9% quarter-over-quarter.
- The Mortgage Bankers Association purchase applications index is up 5% year-over-year. That’s a great indicator for our business.
“Housing data respond to mortgage rates with lags, and some of the growth in recent activity could reflect homebuyers pulling future transactions forward in order to avoid the impact of future rate increases,” Goldman analysts wrote. “It is too early to conclude that the move up in rates will leave the housing market unaffected. However, the data at hand are not pointing to a housing market that is rolling over in the face of an 80 basis point rise in mortgage rates.”
The biggest headwind continues to be a lack of inventory. Goldman Sachs reports existing single-family homes for sale in December tumbled to just 3.6 homes on the market for every home sold. That’s compared to 5.2 homes for sale for each home sold in 2014 and 10 homes for sale for each home sold in 2008. This inventory shortage is especially tight for affordable starter homes, and competition among buyers is driving prices up.
It’s a slow week for economic indicators. So, I want to share a helpful guide to all the various indicators I cover from time to time on this blog. Click here to download my cheat sheet for Economic Indicator Definitions. It explains each indicator and why it matters.
Next week, Wall Street will get readings on PPI and CPI. What does that mean? Download my cheat sheet (link above)! Here’s a sample of all the terms we’ve defined for you:
Consumer Price Index
The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the change in the average price level of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers. That is the index shows the change in price levels since the index base period, currently 1982-84 = 100. Monthly changes in the CPI represent the rate of inflation.
The consumer price index is available nationally by expenditure category and by commodity and service group for all urban consumers (CPI-U) and wage earners (CPI-W). All urban consumers are a more inclusive group, representing about 87 percent of the population. The CPI-U is the more widely quoted of the two, although cost-of-living contracts for unions and Social Security benefits are usually tied to the CPI-W, because it has a longer history. Monthly variations between the two are slight.
Producer Price Index
The Producer Price Index (PPI) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a family of indexes that measures the average change over time in the prices received by domestic producers of goods and services. PPIs measure price change from the perspective of the seller. Effective with the January 2014 PPI data release in February 2014, BLS transitioned from the Stage of Processing (SOP) to the Final Demand-Intermediate Demand (FD-ID) aggregation system. The headline PPI (for Final Demand) measures price changes for goods, services, and construction sold to final demand: personal consumption, capital investment, government purchases, and exports.
I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from you all recently on our blog and the weekly Market Updates. Thank you for reading and sharing. Let us know how we can make changes or any suggestions on topics you would like me to comment on.