Last week’s economic reporting included readings on Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, new home sales, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released. No readings were released on Thursday or Friday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Case-Shiller Reports Highest Pace Of Home Price Growth Since 2014
Case-Shiller reported higher home price growth in September with national home price growth of 7.00 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. August’s national home price growth pace was 5.80 percent. Housing markets in many areas are seeing increased activity due to higher demand for homes.
While higher home prices appear counter-intuitive during the pandemic and related economic challenges, the coronavirus pandemic has created more demand for homes as buyers move from congested urban metro areas to less populated areas. Buyers continued seeking larger homes as working from home and remote learning increased.
Phoenix, Arizona, Seattle, Washington and, San Diego, California maintained the top three ratings for home price growth in the 20-City Home Price Index. New York, New York, and Dallas, Texas reported the lowest rates of home price growth due to large numbers of Covid-19 cases reported earlier this year.
In related news, the Commerce Department reported 999,000 sales of new homes on an annual basis in October. The year-over-year gain was 41.50 percent higher than one year ago.
Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Mixed
Freddie Mac reported no change in average rates for fixed-rate mortgages, which averaged 2.72 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 2.28 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. and an increase of 0.31 basis points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages, which averaged 3.16 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.
Initial jobless claims rose last week with 778,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected 720,000 claims based on the prior week’s reading of 748,000 initial jobless claims filed. Ongoing claims fell to 6.07 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 6.37 million continuing jobless claims filed.
The University of Michigan reported a lower reading for consumer sentiment in November with an index reading of 76.9. Analysts expected a reading of 76.8 and the prior month’s reading was 77.0. Rising numbers of Covid-19 cases will likely cause further declines in consumer sentiment.
This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on pending home sales, construction spending, and labor-sector reports on public and private sector jobs and the national unemployment rate.