From the monthly archives:

February 2012

Pending Home Sales: Prelude To A Healthy Housing Market?

February 29, 2012
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Unseasonably warm weather in many parts of the country has given home sales a welcome boost this winter, a trend that will likely continue as the employment outlook improves and housing affordability remains at record levels, according to a new report. Contracts to purchase previously owned homes surged to a near two-year high in January, […]

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Rent Was Too Damn High. Now It’s Even Higher

February 29, 2012
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The data on housing costs isn’t pretty. Most experts recommend spending no more than one-third of your income on housing, and yet, in a new study, nearly one in four American households now spends more than half of its income on housing. Renters are more likely than owners to face such formidable housing costs. In […]

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Consumer Confidence Surges On Brightened Jobs Outlook

February 29, 2012
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Rising gasoline prices weren’t enough to keep consumers’ confidence from surging upward in February, according to data released by The Conference Board Consumer Research Center in its monthly Consumer Confidence Survey. Thanks to improved employment prospects, the index was up 9.3 points for the month to a reading of 70.8 – the highest level seen in a […]

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How The Warm Winter Is Mother Nature’s Mini Stimulus Program

February 29, 2012
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Signs indicate that the mild non-winter of 2011-2012 is giving the economy a much-needed boost. Warm weather has helped employment in fields such as construction, and also helped consumers save on heating bills. More jobs, and a little more money in American consumers’ pockets, have meant increased spending at places such as home improvement stores, […]

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Real Estate Debt, Delinquencies Decline: Report

February 29, 2012
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Real estate-related debts are on the decline, as are overall delinquencies, according to a quarterly report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Debt maintained through mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOC) declined $146 billion during the fourth quarter of last year. Mortgages made up a majority of the decline – $134 […]

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Purchases Of New U.S. Homes Exceeded Forecasts In January

February 27, 2012
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Purchases of new homes in the U.S. exceeded forecasts in January after climbing a month earlier to a one-year high, more evidence the housing market is stabilizing. Sales, tabulated when contracts are signed, fell 0.9 percent to a 321,000 annual pace from a 324,000 rate in December that was stronger than previously reported, figures from […]

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Housing: The Bottom Is In

February 27, 2012
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Economic news this week had its moments of drama, but it was otherwise basically sedate. There wasn’t a lot of economic news this week except a batch of housing data that showed continued improvement. I believe the bottom in the housing market is definitely in. The main question from here is the pace of that […]

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Economists See More Reasons For Optimism This Year

February 27, 2012
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Economists are increasingly confident that some pillars of the U.S. economy will improve this year, but they still remain cautious in their expectations on the overall pace of economic growth. The National Association for Business Economics said that forecasters have raised their expectations for employment, new home construction and business spending this year. But they […]

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Where Are All The Home Sellers?

February 27, 2012
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Inventories of homes listed for sale in January dropped by 6.6% from December to 1.77 million, the eighth straight month that listings have declined. For-sale listings are 23.2% below year-earlier levels and at the lowest point since the housing bust accelerated five years ago, according to data from Realtor.com. All but one of the 146 […]

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Job Growth Drives Consumer Sentiment To Year High

February 27, 2012
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Consumer sentiment rebounded from a midmonth dip to finish February at the highest level in a year, buoyed by recent employment gains. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index rose to 75.3 from a preliminary February reading of 72.5. Economists surveyed by Econoday expected a more modest increase to 73, with a consensus range between 71 […]

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