Housing Inventories, US Economy, Stimulus

April 05, 2021

Shrinking housing inventories continues to be an obstacle for the sector, especially with the spring buying season underway. Redfin reports that 59% of homes put up for sale went under contract within the first two weeks on the market … the fastest pace since at least 2012. During the 7 days ending March 28, 61% of homes sold in two weeks or less. In addition, asking prices of newly listed homes rose 14% year over year to $353,500, an all-time high, reports Redfin. “Some homebuyers have reached their limit on bidding wars and soaring prices,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.

The service sector of the U.S. economy continues to rebound after getting hit at the start of the shutdowns in March 2020. The service sector makes up about 2/3s of the U.S. economy and employs about 100 million workers. The ISM Service Index for March surged to 63.7 from 55.3 in February and above the 58.5 expected and was the highest level ever recorded. The previous high was in October 2018, when the index hit 60.9. The employment component was the best since May 2019. Many companies are now seeing pent-up demand as the country moves to fully reopening.

Accelerated vaccines, solid economic data along with stimulus hitting the U.S. economy have pushed the closely watched S&P 500 (4,074.72) to a fresh record intraday high in today’s session. Today’s record high ISM Service Index is positive news for the economic growth as many Americans get back to work. However, there are still many Americans unemployed.