|The economic indicators–gold, a barrel of crude, currency exchange rates and interest rates–ALL made little if any movement. The growth of mortgage applications, in the few cases where there was any, was similarly minimal, yet there are reasons to find a solid bit of cheer in recent data.
There is evidence that the number of home sales may pick up along with the overall national economy and with the hiring of needed employees. (Notice that the latest employment report, due out August first, may prove to be very important.)
Current good news, in any case: the highest number for the consumer confidence index since the recovery began was achieved in July. This is often rather easy to brush off, as we imagine the guy down the street being interviewed, and saying that yes, he feels better about the economy. Just a gut feeling, you know. But an important gut feeling, it turns out…because people are spending their dollars based on those feelings. Sales of autos, of appliances, of other large-ticket items improved over the last quarter, as the Gross Domestic Product figures indicated last week.
And the movement of the GDP from a negative, winter-inflected low to a rise of 4% is important. It suggests that the most important part of our economy-the consumer sector-is beginning to grow in a very meaningful way. And though there are still reasons to be confused among the data being generated by the real estate market, there is growing evidence that employment is picking up and the street-level economy is beginning to move in positive directions.
If this reading of current indicators is correct, then we’re working in an economy in which the specific real estate indicators just take longer to strengthen than those of the overall economy. We could also be shifting into stronger real estate data soon.
Let’s watch very closely, therefore, for all indications of broad and general improvement in the economy, and not be swayed by the momentary ups and downs of indicators with limited scope, meaning and shelf life. The strengthening of the real estate market may be inspired by a deeper recovery of the overall economy…and we won’t want to miss the business this could bring
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