MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Pending home sales slip 1.1 percent in October, but still up 20.2 percent year-on-year
The Pending Home Sales Index fell 1.1% to 128.9 in October, the second straight month of decline. Year-over-year, however, contract signings rose 20.2%. Contract activity was mixed among the four major U.S. regions, with the only positive month-over-month growth happening in the South, although each region achieved year-over-year gains in pending home sales transactions.
Federal Reserve meeting minutes reveal more stimulus needed
Financial conditions were little changed, on net, over the intermeeting period and remained accommodative. Market participants suggested that evolving expectations for U.S. fiscal policy as well as stronger-than-expected economic data and corporate earnings reports helped support equity prices. Implied volatility in the equity market moved higher during the intermeeting period, reflecting uncertainties associated with the U.S. election and the future path of fiscal policy as well as concerns about the trajectory of COVID-19 cases.
Single-family homes selling at record premium vs. condos
The typical single-family home that sold in the U.S. this year was purchased for an average of 17.3 percent more ($58,000) than the typical condo. That’s up from 15.4 percent last year and represents the largest premium since at least 2013, when Redfin began recording this data. The median sale price of single-family homes surged 15.5 percent year over year in October, outpacing the condo market’s 9.9 percent growth.
Index of Consumer Sentiment slips another 2.27 points as virus case rebound
The U.S. Index of Consumer Sentiment reads 86.24 as of Nov. 24, down 2.27 points from the prior week. Notably, consumers’ views of the present and the future both deteriorated over the past week, with the Index of Current Conditions falling 2.58 points to 86.54, and the Index of Consumer Expectations falling 2.08 points to 86.03. Consumers have already started to feel the financial pain, and they expect things to get worse before they get better.