Housing Starts, Traveling, Gas Price Decline

December 16, 2015

Wednesday – December 16

The housing sector is ending the year on a high note! The Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that Housing Starts in November rose 10.5% from October to an annualized rate of 1.173 million units, above the 1.135 million expected. The big jump in November nearly erases the 12% decline from September to October. Within the report it revealed that single-family starts were up 7.6 percent from October to the highest level since January 2008. Housing Starts are up nearly 17 percent in November from a year earlier.

Americans are gearing up for the end of year holiday traveling to Grandma’s house in a big way. Auto club AAA predicts that year-end holiday travelers will hit over 100 million for the first time ever. AAA reports that 1 in 3 Americans will travel 50 or more miles between December 23 and January 3, which is a 1.4% increase over last year and the seventh consecutive year of travel growth for the holiday period. The auto club cites low gas prices at the pumps and a strengthening economy and labor market for the increase. AAA went on to say that driving will be the most popular way to travel.

The decline in gas prices this year has put some extra money in the pockets of American drivers. It is estimated that drivers saved about $540 in 2015 thanks to the low prices at local gas stations. And if you have two drivers in your household, that would double to $1,100. So, what are people doing with the extra cash? Dining out more. The low gas prices have also helped Americans buy a record number of new vehicles this year. If you think gas prices are low now at an average price for a regular gallon of gas at $2, 2016 may bring even lower prices.