Thursday, March 16, 2017

March 10, 2017

Keeping Current

·         New home sales rose 3.7% in January to an annualized rate of 555,000 units. Last year, 561,000 new homes were sold. 1
·         The median price of new homes sold in January was $312,900, up 7.5% from January 2016. 1
·         The number of new homes on the market, relative to the sales pace, remained the same in January as in December, after seasonal adjustment. The months’ supply figure in January of 5.7 months – the time it would take to sell all of the new homes on the market if they continued to sell at January’s sales pace – was half a month higher than 2016’s average of 5.2 months. A year ago, in January 2016, months’ supply for new homes was 5.5 months. 1
·         Construction on private residential projects rose 0.5% in January, below the average 0.8% average monthly increase of the past three years. The value of construction put-in-place during the fourth quarter of 2016 rose at a 12.4% annual average, more than double the 5.3% increase recorded for the year as a whole. 2
·         Consumer credit outstanding rose 0.2% in January, matching its slowest monthly increase of the last five years. Over the past year, consumer credit rose 6.3%. Revolving credit dropped 0.4% in December, its largest decline since late 2012. Consumer credit excludes credit secured by real estate. 3
·         Household net worth climbed by 6.3% from year-end 2015 through year-end 2016. During the current economic expansion, net worth has grown at a 7.1% average annual rate. 4
·         Owners’ equity as a percentage of real estate owned climbed to 57.8% at the end of 2016, its highest share since early 2006. Its recessionary low of 36.0% came in early 2009. A year ago, owners’ equity stood at 55.8%. 4
·         Households held $9.754 trillion in home mortgage liabilities as of year-end 2016. That’s a 2.3% increase over year-end 2015. 4
·         The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in Freddie Mac’s survey was 4.21% during the week ending March 9, up 11 basis points from the previous week. February’s average was 4.17%; January’s was 4.15%. October averaged 3.47%. All rates quoted have fees and points averaging 0.4% to 0.6% of the loan amount. 5

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