Economic News in Review Greenville SC - Sept 29, 2015

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Economic News in Review Greenville SC

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


Existing home sales dropped, but continued an overall upward trend, while new home sales hit a seven-year high, and layoffs saw a slight increase.


Existing Home Sales


Sales of existing homes broke a three-month growth streak by dipping in August, according to data released last week by the National Association of Realtors. Total transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co–ops, dropped 4.8 percent to an annual rate of 5.31 million in August from July’s pace of 5.58 million. That said, sales were still up 6.2 percent from last year, marking the 11th consecutive month posting year-over-year growth.

“Sales activity was down in many parts of the country last month — especially in the South and West — as the persistent summer theme of tight inventory levels likely deterred some buyers,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The good news for the housing market is that price appreciation the last two months has started to moderate from the unhealthier rate of growth seen earlier this year.”

Looking at price, August’s median existing–home price for all housing types grew to $228,700, marking a 4.7 percent increase over August 2014. This was the 42nd consecutive month of year–over–year gains. In terms of supply, total inventory of existing homes at the end of August ticked up 1.3 percent to 2.29 million units for sale, representing a 5.2–month supply at August’s sales pace.


New Home Sales


While existing home sales volume might have declined, sales of new single-family homes in August grew 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 552,000, marking a seven-year high, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly reported last week. Compared annually, this was a whopping 21.6 percent higher than August 2014’s pace of 454,000. Many economists took note of the performance.

“Housing has been an economic bright spot this year and activity in the new home construction market remains solid,” RBS Securities Economist Michelle Girard told the Associated Press.

In terms of price, August’s median sales price for new homes was $292,700, and the average sales price was $353,400. Looking at inventory, the estimate of new homes for sale at the end of August totaled 216,000, which represented a 4.7-month supply at August’s sales rate.


Initial Jobless Claims


Lay-offs continued to stay in safe territory, with initial claims for unemployment benefits filed during the week ending September 19, ticking up to 267,000, the Employment and Training Administration reported last week. This was an increase of 3,000 claims over the preceding week’s total of 264,000.

“We’re not seeing a whole lot of layoffs,” Raymond James Financial Inc. Chief Economist Scott Brown told Bloomberg. “Claims have settled at a pretty low level. The labor market is definitely improving.”

The four-week moving average — considered a more stable measure of layoffs — dipped slightly to 271,750 claims, a decline of 750 from the prior week’s average of 272,500 claims.


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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