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Tag Archives: Service Providers

Consumer Sentiment Rebounds as Stagnant Outlook Emerges

The Index of Consumer Sentiment, a joint measure tracked by the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters, rose to 75.1 for the final November tally, making up some of the ground lost in October, when it dropped to 73.2. Last year, the index was measured at 82.7. While November's improvement made up somewhat for October's shutdown-related losses, consumers still feel stung by the government's economic debate. Spontaneous negative references to the government's economic policies were made by 32 percent of Americans in November.

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National Home Values Post Second Consecutive Monthly Decline

For the first time in two years, national home values registered a decline for two straight months, according to the Zillow Real Estate Market Reports released Tuesday. Furthermore, while annual gains continue, they are cooling, according to Zillow. "The months-long period of annual home value appreciation rates in the 6 and 7 percent range was great while it lasted, but we knew it would not continue indefinitely," said Zillow's chief economist, Stan Humphries.

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Mortgage Applications Experience Slight Decline

Last week saw another drop in mortgage application volume, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported in its Weekly Applications Survey. MBA's Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent the week ending November 22, the group reported. It was the fourth straight week of decreases in loan application activity. On an unadjusted basis, the index declined 9 percent week-over-week.

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FHFA Reports ‘Another Strong Quarter’ of Home Price Appreciation

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Following a trend maintained over the past nine quarters, the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA's) Home Price Index (HPI) posted an increase over the third quarter. The index, which incorporates sales data from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, rose 2 percent over the third quarter and 8.4 percent over the year. Also notable, the third quarter is the first time since 2009 that national home prices are higher than they were five years earlier, according to FHFA.

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Consumer Confidence Still Shaky in Month After Shutdown

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index dropped two points to 70.4 in the most recent reading, the company reported. The decline follows a more substantial decrease in October stemming from the partial federal government shutdown. "Sentiment regarding current conditions was mixed, with consumers saying the job market had strengthened, while economic conditions had slowed," explained Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. "However, these sentiments did not carry over into the short-term outlook."

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