Economic News in Review Greenville SC - Sept 01, 2015

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Economic News in Review Greenville SC

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


Sales of new homes rebounded, as did consumers’ outlook on the economy, and lay-offs saw a decline. 


New Home Sales 


New home sales enjoyed a return to positive performance, with sales of new single-family homes in July hitting an annual rate of 507,000, according to last week’s joint report from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This rebound was 5.4 percent over June’s performance and was 25.8 percent higher than July 2014’s performance. All told, July’s sales marked a seven-month high. 


New homes sold in July had a median sales price of $285,900, and an average sales price of $361,600. In terms of inventory, the estimated number of new homes for sale at the end of July was 218,000, which represented a 5.2-month supply at July’s sales rate. Economists continued to highlight the fact that housing inventory needed to increase in order to contain prices and shore-up sales volume. 


"Inventory is expanding relative to year-ago levels in each region of the country, particularly in the Northeast,” wrote IHS Global Insight Economists Patrick Newport and Kristin Reynolds in a public report. “But new home inventory is still relatively tight, especially relative to existing single-family home inventory.” 


Consumer Confidence 


New home sales weren’t the only economic metric to see a turnaround. The Conference Board reported last week that its Consumer Confidence Index for August grew to 101.5 from 91 in July (a baseline of 100 was set in 1985). This was the index’s highest score since January 


The Present Situation Index, which measured how consumers feel about current economic conditions, grew from 104 in July to 115.1 in August. The Expectations Index, which gauges how respondents feel about the economy’s short-term prospects, improved to 92.5 from 82.3 in July. 


Notably, The Conference Board reported that consumers were more positive about the job market, with those declaring that jobs were “plentiful” growing from 19.9 percent in July to 21.9 percent in August, and those claiming jobs were “hard to get” declining from 27.4 percent to 21.9 percent. 


“If this upbeat sentiment is sustained, then it could potentially provide a strong platform for a sustained upswing in consumer spending activity, which could provide a strong tailwind for the economic recovery going forward,” TD Securities Deputy Chief Economist Millan Mulraine told the New York Times


Initial Jobless Claims 


Speaking of the job market, lay offs were down, with first-time claims for unemployment benefits filed by the newly unemployed during the week ending August 22 dropping to 271,000, a decline of 6,000 claims from the preceding week’s total of 277,000, the Employment and Training Administration reported last week. 


The Administration’s four-week moving average, considered a more stable measure of lay-off activity, notched up to 272,500, an increase of 1,000 claims from the prior week’s average of 271,500.


Economic News in Review Greenville SC


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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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