December Home Sales and TRID, US Stock Markets, Snowstorm

January 22, 2016

Friday – January 22

The National Association of REALTORS® reported on Friday that December Existing Home Sales surged nearly 15% from November to an annual rate of 5.46 million units, above the 5.12 million expected. However, the big gains could be because of closing being put off until December due to TRID rules or “Know Before You Owe”. Sales were up 7.7% from a year ago. Existing Home Sales are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

After the recent big losses racked up the U.S. Stock markets, prices rose yesterday and are rising today due in part to oil prices gushing higher. In addition, dovish comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi also helped to push prices higher. The closely watched S&P 500 Index has lost a little over 7% to start the year, its worst start to a year on record. To put things into perspective, at the height of the Great Recession in March of 2009, the S&P hit 666 and is now at 1,894.

A massive snowstorm is set to impact nearly 75 million people stretching from the Southeast all the way up to New York City. The storm, labeled Jonas, could dump up to 3 feet of snow in some areas with blizzard warnings throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. Washington D.C. could see up to two feet of the white stuff, which has already prompted school closing and government shutdowns. Winds could reach up to 60 miles per hour with coastal storm surges and flooding set to occur.