This Week in Real Estate: March 6, 2017


Home price appreciation continues to capture headlines. Case-Shiller reported This Week in Real Estate that the annual December number was the largest increase in 30 months, while consumer confidence reached it’s highest peak in a decade and a half to close out February. Below are a few highlights from the last week of February that influence our business:

* Case-Shiller: Home Price Appreciation Highest in 30 Months. Home prices accelerated their growth again in December. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, rose by 5.8% compared to one year earlier. The year-over-year increase has been larger each month since July and Case-Shiller called the annual December number the largest increase in 30 months. Among the 20 cities the largest annual gains were again registered in Seattle, Portland and Denver. Seattle led the way with a 10.8 percent year-over-year price increase followed by Portland with 10.0 percent and Denver at 8.9 percent. Case-Shilled says that an analysis of prices in Portland and Seattle, which have alternated in first and second place as price increase leaders, show that, over the course of 2016, prices in the highest tier, over $532,716 for Seattle and $411,335 for Portland, to be the most stable while those in the lowest tier, (under $335,111 and $296,361) are the most volatile.
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* Consumer Confidence Hits 15-Year High in February. Consumers are more confident in the economy than they’ve been in the previous 15 years, according to the Consumer Confidence Survey conducted by The Conference Board. The Consumer Confidence Index increased in February to 114.8, up from 111.6 in January. Similarly, the Present Situation Index increased from 130 to 133.4 and the Expectations Index increased from 99.3 to 102.4. In 1985, the index was set to 100, representing the index’s benchmark. This value is adjusted monthly based on results of a household survey of consumers’ opinions on current conditions and future economic expectations. Opinions on current conditions make up 40% of the index, while expectations of future conditions make up 60%. “Consumers rated current business and labor market conditions more favorably this month than in January,” said Lynn Franco, The Conference Board director of economic indicators. “Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue expanding in the months ahead.
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* Pace of Residential Construction Spending Continues Positive Trend. Private residential construction got off to an auspicious start in 2017, continuing the growth trend that began in October of last year. NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending grew 0.5% in January 2017 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $476.4 billion. Multifamily construction spending in January grew by 2.2% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $63.5 billion, more than double that of December. The SAAR spending on new multi-family structures was 9.0% higher than one year prior, while single-family construction grew by 2.3%.
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Have a productive week!

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