Home Price Gains remained steady, Consumers less confident, Average gas prices

October 25, 2016

Home price gains remained steady in the year ending in August, though the sector has cooled a bit in the past month, which is typical, as we head into the holiday season. The August S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index rose 5.1% annually, which was in line with estimates and comes after a 5.0% increase in July. From July to August, prices were up 0.2%. Portland, Seattle, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities over each of the last seven months. “Supported by continued moderate economic growth, home prices extended recent gains,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Consumers across the nation were less confident surrounding the economy in October with jobs a bit harder to find ahead of the presidential election. The October Consumer Confidence Index fell to 98.6 this month, down from the 103.5 hit in September, which was a 1 1/2 year high. “Consumer confidence retreated in October, after back-to-back monthly gains,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current business and employment conditions softened, while optimism regarding the short-term outlook retreated somewhat.

Headed into the winter season, average national gas prices remain near where they were last year this time. Gasoline demand typically retreats during the fall due to lower driving demand. Motor club AAA reports that the average price at the pump has fallen for 15 of the last 16 days, for a total savings of $0.04 per gallon. The national average currently sits at $2.22 per gallon, which is $0.02 less than one week ago, $0.01 more than one month ago and $0.01 more year-over-year. The National average is down $0.17 per gallon versus the 2016 peak price reached in June of $2.39. The all-time high of $4.11 was set back on July 17, 2008.