Housing Market Cools a Tad; Our Hopes for Economy Dim

What Tuesday’s Economic Reports Tell Us

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Homes continued to grow more expensive in November, although at a slower pace than earlier in the year, and the COVID-19 spike made consumers more gloomy about near-term economic prospects, reports showed Tuesday.

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

S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index

  • The widely used index showed that home prices rose 1.1% in November, and were 18.8% higher than a year earlier. Believe it or not, that annual increase was lower than in October. In fact, it’s been decelerating for three months since peaking at 20% in August. 
  • The steep price increases of the pandemic—the highest since records going back to 1988—are starting to slow ever so slightly, offering a glimmer of hope to prospective homebuyers. Prices are likely to cool down more as the ultra-low mortgage rates that have helped fuel the pandemic-era homebuying boom rise this year, according to Craig J. Lazzara, a managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices. 

Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index

  • The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, a measure of how consumers feel about the economy and their own finances, fell in January for the first time since September, as the surge in COVID-19 cases brought about by the omicron variant dampened expectations for economic prosperity in the near future.
  • Consumers’ pessimism influences their spending, which is a main source of jobs and growth in the U.S. economy. 

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Article Sources

  1. S&P Dow Jones Indices. "S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Index Reports

    18.8% Annual Home Price Gain in November." Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  2. The Conference Board. "U.S. Consumer Confidence." Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.