CoreLogic reports that home prices, including distressed sales, rose 4% from February 2018 to February 2019 as gains begin to cool to more normal levels after the 4.4% increase year-over-year seen last month in January. In early 2018, gains were seen in the 7% range. Month-over-month, prices rose 0.7% from January to February. Looking ahead, prices are expected to rise 4.7% from February 2019 to February 2020.
Ahead of two key jobs reports this week, ADP on Wednesday and Non-Farm Payrolls on Friday, the Paychex Small Business Employment Watch saw its first decline in job growth in 2019 last month. However, employers remain challenged in their ability to fill open positions with qualified candidates in a tight labor market. The ability for people to find qualified workers can put more upward pressure on wages, which would be welcome for workers given the stagnation that has taken place in wage gains in previous years.
The government will report jobs data for March this Friday and comes after the weak reading in February where just 20,000 jobs were created. Most pundits feel that February's low reading will be revised higher but that remains to be seen on Friday when the numbers for April are released. The labor market continues to be solid on all fronts with employers searching for qualified candidates to fill positions, as referenced by the Paychex data released this week. Key components within the report are hourly earnings and the unemployment rate.