Daily News 9/29/14

September 29, 2014

Monday – September 29

U.S. housing data continues to flip between positive and negative. The National Association of REALTORS┬« (NAR) reported that August Pending Home Sales declined by 1.0% from July and comes after weak Existing Home Sales data and a strong New Home Sales data last week. Pending Home Sales were expected to decline by a modest 0.2%. The -0.2% in August comes after four straight months of gains. Pending Home sales are based on signed real estate contracts for existing single family homes, condos and co-ops. The NAR said, “With investors pulling back, the market is shifting more towards traditional and first-time buyers who rely on mortgages to purchase a home.”

Black Knight Financial reported today that home price appreciation is slowing in both month-over-month and year-over-year. The big gains that were seen in 2013 are coming back down to more normal levels. The real estate analytics firm reported that prices declined by 0.2% from June to July and are now down just 10.2% from the 2006 peak. Black Knight said that the home price index average is $241,000. In addition, seven of 20 largest states registered monthly declines in home prices.

Consumers ramped up spending in August due to the back-to-school shopping season, a positive sign for the U.S. economy headed into the major shopping season of the year. The Commerce Department reported that Personal Spending rose by 0.5% last month from July, which was just above the 0.4% expected. The solid spending numbers were somewhat impacted by a decline in the personal savings rate, which edged down from a 1 1/2 year high in July.