The Dow finished the week by breaking through 17,000 following the Labor Department’s report that our economy created a much better-than-expected 288,000 jobs in June. More good signs emerged as the employment rate fell to 6.1 percent… that’s the lowest rate since September 2008. As such, we’ve now acquired back the same number of jobs lost since the downturn. What’s more, consumer sentiment continues to be more positive than expectations, with the leading economic indicators rising for the fourth straight month.
New homes surged some 19 percent in May, the largest gain in more than two decades. And as if on cue, pending home sales jumped more than 6 percent to reach their highest level in eight months. While foreclosure starts rose over 9 percent for the month – the first time in 8 months – the trend remains at the lowest level since 2007 and down 32 percent from a year ago. With 30 year mortgage rates once again at or below a “four-handle,” pre-payment activity rose for the third consecutive month.
Home prices continue to climb in all but eight of the 146 markets reporting as the median listing price of homes rose 8 percent year-over-year. Interesting, the median age of the housing inventory is identical for this May as was the case last May… demand is continuing to absorb homes as quickly as was the pace the year before.
The Kleber & Associates team traveled from Chicago to California last month to check first-hand the state of the industry from the perspective of four separate trade shows. I hope you enjoy our reporting from each unique experience as you celebrate America’s birthday with friends and family this holiday weekend.
All my best,
Kleber and Associates