Economic News in Review Greenville SC - Feb 03, 2015

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Mortgage and Lending with Movement Mortgage NMLS #322952

Economic News in Review Greenville SC

Here is last week’s Economic News in Review Greenville SC.

 

New home sales enjoyed a solid surge in December, lay-offs plummeted to a 15-year low, and consumers are feeling upbeat.

New Home Sales

New home sales jumped to a six-year high in December with sales of new single-family homes hitting an annual rate of 481,000, according to last week’s report from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This marked an 11.6 percent gain over November’s revised rate of 431,000 and an 8.8 percent increase from December 2013’s estimate of 442,000.

Looking at price, the median sales price of new homes sold in December was $298,100; the average sales price was $377,800. In terms of inventory, the estimated number of new homes for sale at the end of December was 219,000, constituting a 5.5-month supply at the December’s sales rate.

Looking at year-end performance, an estimated 435,000 new homes were sold in 2014, which was 1.2 higher than 2013’s total of 429,000.

“On the whole, the combination of lower mortgage rates and solid labor market activity appear to have ignited a meaningful pick-up in sales activity,” Millan Mulraine, deputy head of U.S. research and strategy at TD Securities, wrote in a public statement.

Initial Jobless Claims

After a couple weeks of increases, initial jobless claims plummeted to a 15-year low. First-time claims for unemployment benefits filed by the newly unemployed during the week ending Jan. 24, plunged to 265,000, a decline of 43,000 claims from the preceding week’s revised level of 308,000, the Employment and Training Administration reported last week. This is the lowest level for initial jobless claims since April 15, 2000 when it was 259,000.

The four-week moving average, considered a more stable measure of lay-offs, dropped to 298,500, a decline of 8,250 claims from the prior week’s revised average of 306,750.

“The labor market’s in good shape going into 2015 and looks like it will be in good shape for the rest of the year,” RBS Securities Inc. economist Guy Berger told Bloomberg.

Consumer Confidence

With good news in housing and employment, consumer opinions on the economy were looking more optimistic. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index shot up to 102.9 January from December’s already encouraging 93.1 (a baseline of 100 was set in1985).

“Consumer confidence rose sharply in January, and is now at its highest level since August 2007 (Index, 105.6),” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for The Conference Board. “A more positive assessment of current business and labor market conditions contributed to the improvement in consumers’ view of the present situation.”

The Present Situation Index, which describes how consumers feel about current economic conditions grew to 112.6 in January from 99.9 December. The Expectations Index, which describes how consumers feel the economy will fare in the near future, increased to 96.4 from 88.5.

 

Economic News in Review Greenville SC

 

Have a Big day,

Randy

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Movement Mortgage, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender. NMLS # 39179 | 877-314- 1499. Movement Mortgage, LLC is licensed by the "South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions" Lic # MLS-39179. Interest rates and products are subject to change without notice and may or may not be available at the time of loan commitment or lock-in.  Borrowers must qualify  at  closing  for  all  benefits. “Movement Mortgage” is a registered trademark of the Movement Mortgage, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company.

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Randy Shamburger

Senior Mortgage Lender 

NMLS# 322952        

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