Though mortgage interest rates remain historically low, the average 30-year fixed rate reached its highest level since 2011. Rising mortgage rates in conjunction with home values that have appreciated more than 64 percent over the same time period are discouraging many potential homeowners from making offers due to their inability to afford mortgage payments. Because of the rising costs, the pace of sales has declined each month since March. The increasing costs of homeownership, as… Read More
Rising interest rates, midterm elections spark equity market volatility. The stock market suffered its second largest single-day decline of the year on Wednesday, Oct. 10, contributing to a 4 percent weekly drop. Simultaneously, the S&P Volatility Index (VIX), a measure of how quickly equity markets are moving, rose from 15 to 24 in the past weeks, indicating a strong market sell-off. Both were precipitated by long-term interest rates rising rapidly earlier this month, carrying the 10-year… Read More
Commercial real estate investors coma into 2018 riding a high following approval of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. Yet the latest NREI/Marcus & Millichap Investment Sentiment Survey shows that the bounce in positive sentiment that occurred in the wake of tax reform has now drifted back to levels in alignment with this time last year.
Federal Reserve raised overnight interest rate, signals another hike in December. Following the conclusion of its September meeting, the Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate by 28 basis points to 2 percent. Citing persistent levels of inﬂation, burgeoning acceleration in wages and exceptionally low unemployment, the Fed also outlined plans for an additional rate increase in December.
Soaring confidence further elevates consumption. Strong consumer spending continued in August, boosting core retail sales 5.9 percent on an annual basis and surpassing the precious four-month average of 5.8 percent. A healthy job market and steadily rising wages remain key drivers of consumer confidence, pushing it to its highest level this cycle. With optimism climbing, consumers are making more discretionary purchases, benefiting retailers of electronics and appliances as the sector recorded 4.1 percent annual growth.… Read More
Monthly housing payments surged this year for homebuyers as mortgage rate increases and rising home prices lifted the cost of homeownership. The monthly payment on a median-priced home now stands $130 higher than at the beginning of the year, driven by a 70-basis-point interest rate increase. Fixed-rate mortgages now average about 4.5 percent, their highest level since 2011, and this has increased the gap between the monthly mortgage payment on a median-price home and the… Read More
Economy gets a boost from tax reform. Economic growth surpassed 4 percent in the second quarter, lifted by strengthened consumption and business investment. The new tax law has stimulated the economy by increasing after-tax earnings and pushing consumer and business confidence to near-record levels. This combination has sparked elevated spending and accelerated job creation. Through the first half of 2018, the economy added over 1.3 million jobs, driving unemployment below 4 percent and boosting wage… Read More
Low unemployment and consistent job growth are boosting apartment demand. A broad base of high-wage industries and more than 8.5 million residents are driving significant net absorption of apartments, particularly as single-family homes remain out of reach for many would-be buyers. As the pace of construction soared, net absorption outpaced new supply every year since 2012, fostering a metrowide vacancy rate that reached 2 percent by the end of 2017. This year, development with contract… Read More
Retail sales accelerate as unemployment rate tumbles. Retail spending posted another strong month with help from an incredibly tight labor market. The 3.8 percent unemployment rate has placed upward pressure on wages as many companies compete for quality employees. This trend has supposed modest but steady wage growth, driving the annual pace of the wage gains to 2.7 percent in May this year, in turn supporting a 5.1 percent increase in core retail sales. With… Read More
The Federal Reserve increased the federal funds rate by 25 basis points, lifting the overnight lending rate to a range of 1.75 percent to 2 percent. Citing stronger consumer spending, and a highly optimistic business community, the Fed laid out the potential for two additional rate hikes in 2018. The Fed noted strong job growth, accommodative fiscal policy and above-target inflation as reasons for continuing to normalize monetary policy over the coming months.