Market Update as of March 7, 2019

New Home Sales Pickup
Sales of new U.S. single-family homes rose to a seven-month high in December, but November's outsized jump was revised lower, pointing to continued weakness in the housing market. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday new home sales increased 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000 units, the highest level since May 2018. November's sales pace was revised down to 599,000 units from the previously reported 657,000 units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 11.2 percent of housing market sales, falling 8.7 percent to a pace of 600,000 units in December. New home sales are drawn from permits and tend to be volatile on a month-to-month basis. They fell 2.4 percent from a year ago. Single-family home sales rose 1.5 percent in 2018.

Building Spend Drops
Wall Street’s main indexes pared gains on Monday after data showed U.S. construction spending un- expectedly fell in December, further evidence that the economy lost momentum at the tail end of 2018. The Commerce Department said construction spending declined 0.6 percent after an unrevised 0.8 percent increase in November. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rising 0.2 percent in December. The report extended the run of weak economic December data, that has included retail sales, housing starts, trade and home sales. Construction spending increased 1.6 percent on a year-on-year basis in December. It rose 4.1 percent in 2018, the weakest reading since 2011. The release of the December report was delayed by a five-week partial shutdown of the government that ended on Jan. 25.

US Consumer Is Important To Global Economy

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Courtesy of Sotheby's International Realty's in-house Lender Simon Atik, 310.880.8414, Simon.Atik@grarate.com, Vice President of Mortgage Lending, Guaranteed Rate Affinity.

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