posted on November 01, 2014 15:06
Economic news this week underscores the positive momentum we have been observing throughout the third quarter.
Pending home sales grew slightly in September but also registered the first year-over-year gain since the summer of 2013. While we are in the slower time of the year for listing count and sales activity, it appears that home buyer demand is strengthening.
The housing market now has the potential to grow even more as mortgage rates remain near one-year lows and credit is starting to loosen.
What is ultimately driving demand is the strength in the labor market and related improvements in consumer attitudes.
Jobless claims in October remained beneath 300,000: The last month that averaged under 300,000 weekly claims was June 2000. Continuing claims were last this low at the height of the housing boom.
Consumer confidence and consumer sentiment are both now at seven-year highs.
The first estimate of the third quarter GDP indicated the economy expanded 3.5% as all sectors including government spending contributed to growth. The condition of the U.S. economy is clearly improving.
In every year of this recovery we’ve seen growth fade as we reached the fourth quarter, but now almost all fundamentals are much healthier. Expect to see solid employment numbers for October next week and more positive momentum to carry us through the winter.
Jonathan Smoke is realtor.com®’s chief economist.