Daily News 3/30/2015

March 30, 2015

Monday – March 30

Consumers across the U.S. hardly spent on good and services in February, while households increased savings to their highest level in more than two years. Personal Spending in February edged up just 0.1%, below the 0.2% expected after a decline in January. Incomes rose by 0.4%, above the .3% expected, while the savings rate hit 5.8%, the best level since December 2012. Within the report it showed that the Personal Consumption Expenditures, the Federal Reserve’s favorite gauge of inflation, rose 1.4%, well below the target rate of 2%.

In housing news, Pending Home Sales rose in February from January, despite the harsh weather around the country. The National Association of REALTORS® reported on Monday that Pending Home Sales rose by 3.1% last month, above the 0.4% expected to 106.9. This was the highest level since June 2013 and an increase for six the sixth consecutive month. On a year-over-year basis, sales were up 12%. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not yet closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one to two months of signing.

Black Knight Financial Services reported on Monday that home prices edged up 0.1% in January from December, according to its latest Home Price Index report. On a year-over-year basis, home prices rose by 4.6%. Here are a few highlights from the report: New York state home prices hit new high; NYC metro area still 9.4% off peak; Florida’s major metros see declines; many remain approximately 30% off peaks. San Jose, California hits new peak and leads U.S. metros with 11.3% year-over-year gain. Las Vegas sees second consecutive monthly decline after nearly two straight years of increases.