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Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in December

From housing economist Tom Lawler: Based on publicly-available local realtor/MLS reports released across the country through today, I project that existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.40 million in December, up 0.9% from November’s preliminary pace and up 8.0% from last December’s […]

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CAR on California December Housing: Sales up 7.4% YoY, Inventory down 26.5%, Lowest Inventory in “nearly seven years”

The CAR reported: Low interest rates boost housing market in second half of year as home prices post strong gains in December, C.A.R. reports Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 398,880 units in December, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 […]

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Q4 GDP Forecasts: 1.2% to 2.0%

From Merrill Lynch On balance retail sales cut our 4Q GDP tracking by 0.2pp to 2.0% qoq saar. [Jan 17 estimate]emphasis added From the NY Fed Nowcasting Report The New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 1.2% for 2019:Q4 and 1.7% for 2020:Q1. [Jan 17 estimate] And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNow The GDPNow model […]

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Comments on December Housing Starts

Earlier: Housing Starts increased to 1.608 Million Annual Rate in December Total housing starts in December were well above expectations and revisions to prior months were positive. The housing starts report showed starts were up 16.9% in December compared to November, and starts were up 40.8% year-over-year compared to December 2018. These were blow out […]

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Industrial Production Decreased in December

From the Fed: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Industrial production declined 0.3 percent in December, as a decrease of 5.6 percent for utilities outweighed increases of 0.2 percent for manufacturing and 1.3 percent for mining. The drop for utilities resulted from a large decrease in demand for heating, as unseasonably warm weather in December followed […]

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Housing Starts increased to 1.608 Million Annual Rate in December

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions Housing Starts:Privately‐owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,608,000. This is 16.9 percent above the revised November estimate of 1,375,000 and is 40.8 percent above the December 2018 rate of 1,142,000. Single‐family housing starts in December were at a rate of […]

Real Estate

US Home Prices Up 7% in December

A record shortage of homes for sale drove prices up on a monthly and annual basis. U.S. home-sale prices increased 6.9% year over year in December to a median of $312,500 across the 217 metros Redfin tracks. Home prices were also up 1.1% month over month on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the largest increase since February […]

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3 tips for investing in the low-carbon transition

We’ve read the headlines. Extreme weather events from wildfire to floods are forcing governments and companies around the world to consider climate-related risks as they plan for the future. Reducing greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions has been central to these plans and is already under way. According to the Global Carbon Project, the U.S. has seen […]

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Hotels: Occupancy Rate Decreases Year-over-year

From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US hotel results for week ending 11 January The U.S. hotel industry reported negative year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics during the week of 5-11 January 2020, according to data from STR. In comparison with the week of 6-12 January 2019, the industry recorded the following: • Occupancy: -3.1% to […]

Estate Planning

Deciding which IRA Works Best for You

Deciding which type of IRA works best for your estate plan can be challenging. While Roth and traditional IRAs are the most common types of retirement accounts, there are other options that you should consider as well. These lesser-known accounts can provide numerous tax advantages based on a person’s situation. This article reviews the six […]

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NAHB: Builder Confidence Decreased to 75 in January

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 75, down from 76 in December. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor. From NAHB: Builder Confidence Begins Year Strong as Single-Family Growth Continues Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes […]

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Philly Fed Manufacturing Suggests Activity Increased in January

From the Philly Fed: Current Manufacturing Indicators Suggest Growth in January Manufacturing activity in the region increased this month, according to results from the January Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The survey’s indicators for current activity, new orders, shipments, and employment were all positive and increased from their readings in December. The survey’s future activity indexes […]

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Retail Sales increased 0.3% in December

On a monthly basis, retail sales increased 0.3 percent from November to December (seasonally adjusted), and sales were up 5.8 percent from December 2018. From the Census Bureau report: Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December 2019, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, […]

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What to watch in geopolitics in 2020

The U.S. killing of a top Iranian military leader and the subsequent retaliation by Iran in recent weeks marked an escalation in U.S.-Iran tensions. This reminds us of still heightened geopolitical risks across many dimensions, even as we see a relatively benign backdrop for risk assets in 2020. The U.S.-China trade conflict – the dominant […]