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Fed Raises Key Policy Rate

By Michael Neal As was widely expected, the Federal Open Market Committee (the FOMC) raised its key interest rate 25 basis points to a range of 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent following its March meeting. The Fed noted that its decision reflected “realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation”, but that the current level of the federal funds rate …

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AD&C Financing Conditions Ease in 2017

By Michael Neal Builders and developers responding to NAHB’s AD&C Financing Survey continue to report easing credit conditions for acquisition, development, and single-family construction loans and the pace of easing quickened. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the overall net tightening index based on the AD&C survey was -15.3, indicating net easing. All major categories of AD&C financing also recorded …

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Mortgage Rates Rise

By Michael Neal The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that contract mortgage rates rose by four basis points to 4.05 percent in January 2018. After falling to 3.93 percent following its February 2017 peak of 4.18 percent, rates on purchases of newly built homes have risen 12 basis points over two months to 4.05 percent. At this level, mortgage …

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Solid Fourth Quarter Economic Growth Confirmed

By Michael Neal In its second estimate, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the nation’s economy, measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), grew by 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis. The second estimate is 0.1 percent point less than the 2.6 percent growth rate recorded in the first …

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Single-family Home Sales Start 2018 Lower

By Michael Neal According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales of new single-family homes fell by 7.8 percent over the month of January. The decrease in sales partly reflected an upward revision in the December estimate from 625,000 to 643,000. However, sales fell below the 600,000 level to 593,000. Despite the …

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Inflation Steady with Growth in January

By Michael Neal The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that a measure of inflation, its Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumer (CPI), rose by 2.1 percent over the past 12 months, similar to the 12-month rate of growth recorded in December. Meanwhile, core inflation, which excludes the more volatile energy and food prices, rose by 1.8 percent, also matching its …

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Owners and Appraisers Closer to Seeing Eye-to-Eye on Home Value Than at Any Time in the Past Two Years

By John Gorecki • Quicken Loans’ National HPPI shows appraised values 0.50% lower than homeowners estimated in December • Home values rose 0.65% nationally in December, with a 6.17% year-over-year increase, according to the Quicken Loans HVI DETROIT, January 9, 2018 – The views of homeowners, and those who appraise their properties, are continuing to move closer together. Home appraisals …

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Owner Perceptions of Home Values Rise as the Year Ends

By John Gorecki • Quicken Loans’ National HPPI shows appraised values 0.67% lower than homeowners estimated in November • Home values dropped 0.09% nationally in November, with a 4.24% year-over-year increase, according to the Quicken Loans HVI DETROIT, December 12, 2017 – Homeowners, on average, have a higher opinion of their home values than appraisers do. However, the gap between …

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