In this week’s economic review, mortgage rates ended the year on a higher note, home prices posted gains, and pending home sales point to a slower December sales report.
Bloomberg called strengthening home prices “one of the biggest stories of the 2017 economy”. October’s S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index jumped a seasonally-adjusted 0.7 percent. The 20-city index has had across-the-board gains for two months in a row. Unadjusted, the index is up 6.4 percent year-over-year.
After rising to a 17-year high, the Consumer Confidence Index eased slightly in December, down from November’s revised 128.6 to 122.1. Though the index dropped, it was not due to the assessment of the current jobs market. Just 15.2 percent of respondents said that job are hard to get in comparison to 16.8 and 17.1 in the two prior months.
Pending Home Sales
As home inventory has fallen, the pending home sales index has struggled to gain traction. November’s report shows just a 0.2 percent gain. Year-over-year, pending home sales are up just 0.8 percent and well below the year-over-year sales gain of 3.8 percent.
This week in the economy:
- As of December 28th, the 30-year average fixed rate was 3.99 percent with 0.5 points, according to Freddie Mac.
- In the week of December 23rd, initial jobless claims were unchanged (15 state totals were estimated due to holidays) at 245,000. The 4-week average was up slightly at 237,750.
The economic calendar for the week of January 1st, 2018:
- Monday – Markets Closed
- Wednesday – MBA Mortgage Applications, Construction Spending
- Thursday – ADP Employment Report, Jobless Claims, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
- Friday – Employment Situation
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