Existing Home Sales, Home Price Index, Consumer Confidence

February 23, 2016

Tuesday – February 23

The National Association of REALTORS ® reported on Tuesday that January Existing Homes Sales edged up 0.4% from December to an annual rate of 5.47 million units, above the 5.30 million expected: this was the highest level since July. In the past year, sales are up 11%, the largest year-over-year gain since the 16.3% annual rise in July 2013. Existing Home Sales is a measure of the selling rate of pre-owned single-family homes.

The Case Shiller 20-city Home Price Index rose 5.7% from the same period last year, inline with expectations. A spokesperson said that while home prices continue to rise, the pace is slowing a bit. From November to January, prices were up 0.8%. The big gains were seen in Portland, San Francisco and Denver. The ongoing positive signs from the labor markets are one of the reasons for making home affordability attractive to consumers, which is gradually pushing prices higher.

The Conference Board reported on Tuesday that Consumer Confidence hit a a seven-month low in February as the recent Stock market losses early in the year continues to weigh on the minds of Americans. Consumer Confidence fell to 92.2 this month, Below the 97.3 expected and down from the 97.8 recorded in January. “Consumers’ short-term outlook grew more pessimistic, with consumers expressing greater apprehension about business conditions, their personal financial situation, and to a lesser degree, labor market prospects,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the board.