Average home sale price, unemployment

April 21, 2016

Thursday – April 21

RealtyTrac®, the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, reported this week that home sellers in March on average sold for $30,500 more than they purchased for, a 17% average gain in price. The 17% was the highest average price gain for home sellers since December 2007. “Home sellers in many markets are now seeing average price gains close to or above what home sellers experienced during the last housing boom,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac®. After a positive reading in March, regional manufacturing in the Philadelphia region took a hit in April as the sector continues to struggle with the headwinds of a strong dollar coupled with weak overseas demand. The Philadelphia Fed Index fell by 14 points to -1.6, below the 9.9 expected. March saw the first positive reading in seven months. The components of the index were also weak; the new orders index was at zero, while the gauge of workers declined to -18.5. Americans filing for first-time unemployment fell to 42-year lows in the latest week as the sector continues to churn out positive news. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims declined 6,000 in the latest week to 247,000, below the 263,000 expected. The drop in claims comes despite somewhat weak economic growth, while wage growth has been stalling. The report measures the number of people who are filing or have filed to receive first-time unemployment insurance benefits, as reported weekly by the U.S. Department of Labor.