Daily News 01/27/2015

January 27, 2015

Tuesday – January 27

Americans across the country scooped up new homes in a month that typically sees a lull in sales. The Commerce Department reported that New Home Sales rose by 11.6% from November to an annual rate of 481,000, well above the 450,000 expected. Lower unemployment rates, historically low interest rates and slowing gains in home prices were the reasons behind December’s rise.

Home price gains continue to ease as they come back down to more normal levels after the big gains seen in 2013 and the beginning of 2014. The Case Shiller 20-city Home Price Index rose by 4.3% on a year-over-year basis in November, down from the 4.5% recorded in October and well below the double digit gains seen at the end of 2013. “With the spring home buying season, and spring training, still a month or two away, the housing recovery is barely on first base,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Prospects for a home run in 2015 aren’t good.”

Consumer Confidence surged in January to levels not seen in seven years as both economic and job growth gains have been improving. The Conference Board reported that Consumer Confidence rose to 102.9 this month, a level not seen since August 2007, well above the 96.0 expected, and up from the December reading of 93.1. The jobs “hard-to-get” index fell again, signaling that there is less pessimism among Americans seeking jobs.