Last week’s economic reporting included readings from S&P Case-Shiller home price indices, data on pending home sales, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.
S&P Case-Shiller: December Home Price Growth Slows in 20-City Index
Home price growth slowed in December according to S&P Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index. Home prices rose by 4.60 percent year-over-year as compared to November’s year-over-year home price growth rate of 6.80 percent. The top three cities for home price growth in the 20-City Index were Miami, Florida, Tampa, Florida, and Atlanta, Georgia.
Former leading cities for home price growth have fallen to the bottom of the 20-Cities Home Price Index. Year-over-year home prices fell by -4.20 percent in San Francisco, California, and were – 1.80 percent lower in Seattle, Washington. The slowest pace of home price growth was reported in Portland, Oregon with a year-over-year home price growth rate of + 1.10 percent.
In related news, the Commerce Department reported construction spending rose by 5.70 percent year-over-year in January. Although analysts expected month-to-month construction spending to rise by 0.30 percent in January, spending fell by -0.10 percent as compared to December’s positive reading of 0.70 percent growth in month-to-month construction spending.
Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims
Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week as the rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 15 basis points to 6.65 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 13 basis points on average. Initial jobless claims fell below 200,000 first-time jobless claims for the seventh consecutive week with a reading of 190,000 first-time claims filed as compared to the expected reading of 197,000 initial claims filed and the previous week’s revised reading of 192,000 claims filed.
This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on job growth, national unemployment, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims. Several Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to testify before House and Senate committees next week. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will attend and will also testify.