Existing home sales, GDP, Holiday shopping

December 22, 2015

Tuesday – December 22

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported on Tuesday that Existing Home Sales in November fell 10.5% from October to an annual rate of 4.76 million units. It was the sharpest monthly decline since July 2010. A spokesperson from the NAR said that new regulations from TRID, affordability and lower inventories led to the decline. Sales declined around the nation, down 13.9% in the West, 6.2% in the South, 15.4% in the Midwest and 9.2% in the Northeast.

The government reported the final figures on economic growth for the third quarter of 2015 today revealing that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) edged lower to 2% from 3.9% recorded in the second quarter. Growth fell due to a larger trade deficit and a smaller buildup in inventories. So far in 2015, GDP is running at 2.16%. well below the historic rate of 3.3%. If the economy continues on this lackluster pace through December 31, it will have failed to reach 3% growth for the 10th straight year, marking the slowest stretch since the end of WWII.

With the holiday shopping season coming to a close, retailers were looking to the weekend before Christmas to boost sales in what has turned out to be a slow start to the season. This past weekend retailers did have increased store traffic, but they were led by promotions. In many parts of the country, the temperatures have been unseasonably high, which slowed sales of sweaters, winter coats, scarves and the like. So if you are heading out for some last minute shopping, there could be some great deals on winter apparel.