Blog posted On November 27, 2017
Last week was a short week, with markets closed on Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving. This week, some of the final numbers from November are scheduled for release. Noteworthy housing reports include, the new home sales report on Monday, the Case-Shiller home price index on Tuesday, and the pending home sales index on Wednesday.
New home sales count the sale of newly constructed homes. In September, new home sales hit record highs, surging 18.9% month-over-month after a 3.4% decline in August. Post-hurricane reconstruction may have stimulated new home sales, as home builders worked to replace damaged inventory.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index tracks the changes in the value of homes involved in two or more sales transactions in 20 major metropolitan areas across the country. The data lags by one month. In August, the index appreciated 0.5% month-over-month and 5.9% year-over-year. Home prices have been steadily appreciating for months due to limited for sale inventory and a competitive housing market.
The pending home sales index reports on changes in homes that are under contract but not yet closed. Pending home sales are used to predict future housing market trends like new home sales and existing home sales. A home under contract typically takes four to six weeks to close. In September, the pending home sales index was unchanged month-over-month at a level of 106.0.
Last week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen announced her resignation from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, following the expiration of her term as chair in February. With this latest departure, President Trump now has four positions to appoint and a chance to restructure the board in favor of his policy preferences.