Consumer confidence declined in September, rebounded in October and jumped more than two points in a preliminary November estimate, beating economic forecasts and hitting a more than seven-year high.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment registered 89.4 in a mid-month reading, the best showing since July 2007. Economists had forecast the measure would hit 87.5, with some predicting as high as 89.
What factor have contributed to this improvement? The declining of oil prices and an improving job market were probably the main factors that led to this surge in consumer sentiment. A more favorable business conditions perhaps also helped the consumers’ view of the present situation. This solid increase suggests consumers have largely dismissed concerns about slowing global growth and have ignored the sharp swings in financial markets earlier this month
US consumers expect better economic growth and rising incomes in the coming months and overall positive growth in our economy, leading to a stronger dollar and making other investments more attractive. Consumers regained confidence and are more optimistic now about their future earnings potential, and with the holiday season getting closer and closer, we may see ever higher numbers in consumer’s confidence.
What about the Housing Market? Considering that the Federal Financing Housing Agency has recently opened more doors for eligibility criteria in the purchase of homes, we expect to continue with good news about the economic outlook in general.
Falling interest rates precipitated a major refinancing rally according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA’s) Refinance Index. The MBA’s Refinance Index is a weekly measurement put together by the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Real Estate Finance Industry Association.
Strong job growth, coupled with low mortgage rates, should reflect now the increase in home sales and purchase originations. Great time for purchases but even better for refinancing.
Two major banks have agreed to originate a new 15-year mortgage under pilot programs aimed at low- and moderate-income borrowers.
In addition, the creators of the so-called Wealth Building Home Loan, allows home buyers to build equity at a much faster clip than they would with a standard 30-year loan. Typically, the monthly payment on a 15-year loan is higher than that on a 30-year loan. But the loan amortizes much more quickly, meaning you build wealth — or equity — faster.
According to the latest Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances, an owner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter. The survey found that the average owner’s net worth is $194,500, whereas a renter’s is $5,400.
Sales of new single family houses in August 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, up from July’s printing of 427,000, the fastest rate in six years and the biggest monthly jump since January 1992.
The biggest gains and by far the reason for the big increase were new home sales in the West, one of the two largest housing markets, along with the South.
New home sales in the West were up 50% over July.
The South saw an 8% increase. The South is by far the largest region for new home sales, outdistancing all other regions combined.
The median sales price of new houses sold in August 2014 was $275,600; the average sales price was $347,900.
Wealthy home buyers are paying lower average rates on high dollar loans, and in some cases, they don’t even have to worry about a large down payment or mortgage insurance.
For months, lenders of jumbo mortgages have been charging interest rates that are lower than what average borrowers pay. Jumbo loans are mortgages that above $417,000 or $625,000 or more in high-priced markets.
Many lenders also have requiring as little as 10 percent, which is about half the normal rate, waiving the private mortgage insurance, and even lowered their credit standards for jumbo loan originations.
Luxury homes are selling faster than last year, according to data through July from Realtor.com. The median age of listings ranged from 80 days for homes listed at $1 million or more.