Last Friday's U.S. jobs report drew quick reaction from the real estate industry. The National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun made the following comments on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' February 2017 jobs report:
"The boosts to business and consumer confidence over the past few months is evidently leading to faster hiring. The 235,000 net new job additions in February and 2.3 million over the past year will support home buying even in the face of higher mortgage rates."
Yun continued, "Moreover, the construction job gains of 58,000 is the best monthly showing in over a decade and implies less bottle-necking to homebuilding in upcoming months. One weakness in the report is in the hours worked each week by an average worker, which remained stuck at 34.4 hours. I would like to see this figure rise a bit to assure a clearer sign of future wage growth."
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's newly released Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), U.S. mortgage credit availability decreased in December 2019.
The MCAI fell by 3.5 percent to 182.2 in December.
Based on research from Learnbonds.com indicates that U.S. mortgage debt is now the highest since the Great Depression in 2008. The outstanding US mortgage debt which has been growing steadily in recent years hit a record high of $15.8 trillion in Q3 2019.
Based on CoreLogic's latest Home Price Index for November 2019, U.S. home prices rose both year over year and month over month. Home prices increased nationally by 3.7% from November 2018. On a month-over-month basis, prices increased by 0.5% in November 2019.
The oldest Millennials, who will turn 40 in 2020, have lived through a turbulent decade of housing marked first by the initial recovery from the Great Recession, then the extraordinary home value growth of recent years.
According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales fell in November 2019, taking a small step back after October's gains. The Northeast and Midwest both reported growth last month, while the South and West saw sales decline.
Demand for design services in November 2019 increased at a modest pace for the second month in a row. During November, both the new project inquiries and design contracts scores were positive, posting scores of 60.9 and 52.9 respectively.
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