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Research

Our research methodology integrates historical and current economic, demographic and real estate factors which enables our Research Services department to develop comprehensive market forecast scenarios.

Research Brief: Housing – July 2019

Mortgage rates falling but home sales still soft. Though mortgage rates have declined 80 basis points since they peaked last November, single-family home sales remain sluggish. An increased preference for rentals, the limited number of entry-level homes for sale and caution surrounding the economic outlook are restraining buyers. Move-up homebuyers are less active in the market than in previous cycles, while renters are choosing to remain in apartments. Rentals are also attracting some baby boomers… Read More

Research Brief: Employment – July 2019

Recent hiring trends fall below pre-tax stimulus job growth. Employers created 224,000 jobs in June, bringing the total so far this year to 1.03 million. That is the lowest first-half sum since 2010, although comparable periods in 2016 and 2017 reported only slightly higher employment growth. The fiscal stimulus from tax reform encouraged greater hiring in 2018, but as those effects fade, staffs are expanding at a slower pace, further hindered by historically low unemployment.

Research Brief: Federal Reserve – July 2019

Fed has increasingly accommodative stance as trade battles weigh on economy. At its latest meeting, the Federal Reserve showed a greater willingness to ease policy rates in the near term. Chairman Powell pointed to weaker inflation and economic data, together with uncertainty amid trade tensions between the United States and China. The Fed reinforced its willingness to let inflation rise above the 2 percent level going forward, a no-table shift in its historical policy framework… Read More

Research Brief: Retail Sales – June 2019

Consumption underpinned by elevated consumer optimism. Retail sales remained steady in May, increasing 3.2 percent over the past year. Though this is slightly lower than the previous two months, spending appears to have further stabilized following heightened levels of consumption for much of 2018. Sustained economic optimism is supporting this trend as consumer confidence stays near historical highs.

Research Brief: Employment – June 2019

Hiring softens, unemployment rate unchanged in May. Employers added 75,000 jobs last month, maintaining a historically low unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. Downward revisions to March and April’s figures offset June’s gains, taking the average number of new hires to 164,000 per month in 2019. Last year, a monthly average of 223,000 jobs were created.

Research Brief: Housing – June 2019

Housing outlook rises as mortgage rates fall. Existing home sales fell for the second consecutive month in April, as the higher mortgage rates weighed on demand and the limited supply of available homes left entry-level buyers with few options. Though the housing market has had its challenges, builder sentiment is improving, leading to a moderate rise in permit issuance and housing starts.

Special Report: Trade War & Tariffs

Trade talks with China break down; protectionist policies accelerating. Following over a year of discussion with China, trade talks broke down, prompting the White House to raise tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports. The recent escalation represents the latest developments in trade talks that have been ongoing for over a year. Notable tariffs are currently in place covering steel and aluminum, as well as washing machines and solar panels. However, the… Read More