Home Prices March Higher; Job Openings Hit Record Again

What Tuesday’s Economic Reports Tell Us

Couple reading paperwork in new house.
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Roberto Westbrook / Getty Images

Home prices rose at a record-setting pace for the fifth straight month, and the number of job openings reached a new high in March, reports showed Tuesday.

Here’s a quick look at the most significant economic indicators of the day and what they tell us.

CoreLogic Home Price Index 

  • The average cost to buy a single-family home in the U.S. rose 3.3% in March, the most for any March in the 46 years of data used by CoreLogic’s home price index. (The historical average for March is a 0.6% increase.) Since March 2021, prices have jumped 20.9%, a record for any 12-month period.
  • The 20.9% reflects the fifth straight month that prices rose at a record-setting pace, underscoring the near-record low numbers of homes for sale. But a slowdown is inevitable, according to CoreLogic economists who predict only 6% growth over the next year. A recent spike in mortgage rates is making buying a home vastly less affordable and driving many would-be buyers out of the market.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

  • The “Great Resignation” regained momentum in March: A record 4.5 million workers quit their jobs and employers posted a record 11.5 million job openings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which has data going back to 2000.
  • Unprecedented numbers of people have been quitting their jobs, making for record-high volumes of job openings and underscoring just how confident workers are that they’ll find better pay and conditions at other companies, economists said. Both measures topped previous records set in December, adding to several all-time highs reached over the last year or so. 
  • With workers enjoying the upper hand in hiring, employers have been forced to raise wages, although in most cases the pay hikes have not kept up with rampant inflation. One downside of employers having such difficulty hiring is that manufacturers have had a hard time keeping up with orders, contributing to supply chain woes that have worsened consumer price increases. 

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