This Week in Real Estate: Dec. 7, 2015


Due to a healthy November employment report, This Week in Real Estate once again fueled speculation that the Fed will raise interest rates before years end. Below are a few of the highlights from the first week in December that influence our business:

* 35 Percent of U.S. Markets at New All-Time Home Price Peaks. RealtyTrac released its October 2015 U.S. Home Sales Report, which shows that among 94 major metro areas analyzed for the report, 33 markets (35%) have now reached new all-time home price peaks in 2015. “More than one-third of the nation’s major housing markets have now reached new home price peaks this year. Home sellers are sitting pretty in this market, realizing an average profit-since-purchase of 16 percent – the highest in any month since December 2007,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. Metro areas that have reached new home price peaks in 2015 include Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Denver, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Portland, San Antonio and Columbus, Ohio. There were a total of 2,815,704 single family homes and condos sold in the first 10 months of 2015. That was a nine-year high for the first 10 months of the year and a 6 percent jump from the same time period in 2014.
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* Does November Jobs Report Signal December Interest Rate Hike? With the addition of 211,000 jobs in November, the economy continues to recover at a steady clip. It was the 69th consecutive month of private sector job growth, to the tune of 13.7 million jobs created – the longest streak on record. For the first time since 1999, we are on track to have back-to-back years of average monthly job growth over 200,000 jobs. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.0 percent. Job growth in November was not just solid but also widespread, including very strong growth in construction.
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* U.S Construction Spending Rises Solidly to Near Eight-Year High. U.S. construction spending rose more than expected in October as outlays rose across the board. Construction spending increased 1.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted $1.11 trillion rate, the highest level since December 2007, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. Construction outlays were up 13 percent compared to October of last year. Construction spending has risen every month this year.
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* Pending Sales Hold. After two consecutive monthly declines, the Pending Home Sales Index increased modestly in October from an upwardly revised September reading, and has increased year-over-year for 14 consecutive months. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors, increased 0.2% in October to 107.7 and is 3.9% above the same month a year ago. The PHSI increased in the Northeast and West by 4.5% and 1.7%, but declined in the South and Midwest by 1.7% and 1.0% respectively. Year-over-year, the West, Northeast and Midwest were up 10.4%, 6.8% and 3.3% respectively.
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Have a productive week!


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