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Real Estate News Roundup - Economic and More


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Blog by Doug Ingersoll | December 8th, 2014


From Elliott D. Pollacks Monday Morning Quarterback:

"Good news at a good time.  Strong employment growth and lower gas prices should free up more income just in time for the Christmas retail season.  No matter how modest or strong the season turns out to be, it will be stronger than it otherwise would have been.  Most other economic news was good as well.  The economy is not moving forward on all cylinders, but, it is on most of them.  Construction remains very weak (especially single family housing) and business spending on plant is not yet booming.  Yet, things look as good as they probably will in this cycle.  As was stated at the ASU forecast luncheon last week, we are probably only in the 5th inning of the up cycle.

Arizona Snapshot:    
Unemployment claims continued to decline through November. Total weekly claims are down 41.1% from a year ago.
Retail sales in Arizona were up 0.8% in October and were up 7.5% from a year earlier.  In Maricopa County, the increase
was 0.3% for the month and 7.8% from a year ago.
According to the Cromford Report, active listing in the Greater Phoenix MLS were up 3.6% from a year ago while single family resales were down 2.4%.
According to the Wilcox report, the number of distressed properties in Greater Phoenix was 1,483.  This is down 31.0% from last year and down about 90.0% from the October peak of 14,889 in October 2009.


And from Stuart Crawford at V.I.P. Mortgage Inc.:
Mortgage rates ticked up last week with stronger than expected economic data.  Bond friendly comments from the European Central Bank (ECB) helped limit the losses, but rates ended  the week higher, reversing the nice improvement in rates seen during the holiday Thanksgiving week.

Against a consensus forecast of 230K, the economy added a massive 321K jobs in November, which was the largest monthly increase since January 2012.  Upward revisions to prior months added another 44K.  The economy has added an average of 224K jobs per month over the past twelve months and is on track in 2014 for the fastest yearly pace of job creation in 15 years.  The Unemployment Rate was flat at 5.8%.  Average Hourly Earnings, an indicator of wage growth, were 2.1% higher than one year ago.  This report exceeded investor expectations across the board, raising future inflationary pressures and pushing mortgage rates higher.

In contrast to the U.S., economic growth in Europe has stalled.  This has raised expectations that the ECB will begin to buy sovereign bonds, similar to the recently completely U.S. quantitative easing (QE) program.  The expected added demand for bonds from the ECB has caused bond yields around the world to decline in recent months.
Stuart can be reached at 602.710.8975


And from Rob Clang at Lawyers Title:
Active inventory for Maricopa County remains flat at 20, 154 homes for sale. They were 4,492 homes sold in November 2014. That’s down over 600 from last month but typical for November. Sales for November of 2013 were 4,619. The one constant that I see in the market is that the cities with a higher average age range  are performing better. (El Mirage, Sun City, Sun City West, Arizona City, Avondale, Surprise, Apache Junction, Fountain Hills, Mesa)
 
The sales volume chart by price range shows that the market below $175,000 is in rapid decline as homes in that price range are fewer as appreciation is taking over. The other end of the spectrum shows that the luxury market is doing well with homes over2 and 3 million showing the largest increase in sales volume.


And from Inman News: In October there were 98.7 million visitors to real estate sites from desktop and mobile devices. According to comScore data, just under half came to Zillow.com


And from USA Today: : "Appraisal Hypocrisy Hits Home". Its all true.