Weekly economic and housing market update

July 29, 2022

  • The The Realtor.com® Economics Team weekly video update gives you the relevant economic and real estate information you need to navigate the housing market as a buyer, seller or industry professional.
  • This week, Chief Economist Danielle Hale raises a recent popular question: are we in a recession? She discusses the latest GDP results, unemployment benefit claimsand consumer confidence the numbers suggest an answer.
  • The other major economic event this week was the July Fed meetingin which the committee unanimously decided to continue with the tightening.
  • This week’s mortgage rate datacollected before the Fed meeting, actually showed a rate cut, as my colleague George Ratiu details as well as its coverage of Shiller May case data which showed that house prices continued to rise.
  • Higher costs are holding business back because my colleague Hannah Jones noted in new home sales with a similar trend observed in pending home sales.
  • In Realtor.com Weekly Housing Data these trends are also visible, manifesting in changes in inventory and, most importantly, days on the market.
  • Danielle shares the findings of a special report by Economic Data Manager Sabrina Speianu on housing investor activity and what it means for other buyers.
  • And finally, Danielle shares the results of the Summer 2022 Emerging Real Estate Markets Indexa collaboration of The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com, which highlights mid-sized affordable markets, primarily in the central United States, as areas buyers should consider.
  • Find Realtor.com® housing details and data for download at realtor.com/research. And follow us on Twitter: @rdc_economicsfor real-time updates.

WEEKLY DATA SUMMARY:

  • I am Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com® and here’s what you need to know.
  • Are we in a recession or not? That’s the question on the minds of many this week, as data shows the US economy contracted in the second quarter, marking 2 straight quarters of slight declines. Consumption rose as households spent, but investment activity lagged as rising interest rates reduced opportunities.
  • Nevertheless, the labor market remains on solid ground with jobless claims down slightly this week. And while consumer confidence has slipped, a majority of respondents still say jobs are plentiful.
  • Before the GDP figures, the The Fed met this week and announced another short-term rate hike that takes its benchmark rate to just over 2%, approaching the neutral range where policy neither encourages nor dampens activity.
  • Because the rise was widely expected and seen as a necessary step in the fight against inflation, investors cheered widely, with stocks climbing and long-term bond rates stabilizing after recent declines.
  • These the cuts helped push down this week’s mortgage rate. Despite this pleasant surprise for homebuyers, overall mortgage rates remain higher than they have been for most of the past 14 years and are expected to stay at this level or higher.
  • Along with rising house prices, this increases the cost of buying a home. In reality, Case Shiller data showed that through May the pace of house price growth slowed slightly, but remained close to 20%, more than double headline inflation.
  • In a context of rising costs, activity in the housing market continues to slow with both pending home sales and new home sales decrease from May to June and compared to a year ago.
  • As buyers become more selective, Realtor.com Weekly Housing Data showed inventory had risen, but a drop in the number of newly listed homes means buyers are seeing many of the same homes on the market. And for the first time in 2 years, the number of days on the market did not drop, on the contrary equaling the level of last year.
  • In a special research study just published, we learned that investors continue to play a bigger role in housing, buying more homes than last year and increasing their market share. While investors are also selling more homes, their purchases continue to outpace sales, meaning they are significantly driving demand for homes, competing with other buyers.
  • And finally, with costs skyrocketing but flexibility still an option for many, our Summer 2022 Emerging Real Estate Markets Indexa the wall street journal and the Realtor.com collaboration, highlights mid-sized affordable markets primarily in the central United States, including number one Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana, as areas buyers should consider.
  • You will find the complete list and other details with our accommodation data to download at realtor.com/research. And follow us on Twitter for real-time updates.

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Danielle Hale

Danielle Hale