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Home | News | Market Studies

Economic Growth Slows as GDP Expansion for Q4 Falls Short of Economists’ Predictions

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According to BEA, the slowdown mostly came from a rise in imports coupled with a decline in exports, a downturn in government spending, and decelerations in nonresidential fixed investment. Those weaknesses were offset by an upturn in private inventory investment and a pickup in consumer spending as falling gas prices left Americans with more discretionary income.

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Homeownership Rate Drops to 20-Year Low

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The rental vacancy rate, meanwhile, fell 0.4 percentage points to 7.0 percent on a combination of tighter supply conditions and a rise in demand as homeownership looks like a distant dream for some Americans. In a survey last month, Freddie Mac found 61 percent of adults living in rental housing don't plan to purchase a home within the next three years as housing costs and credit challenges keep them on the sidelines.

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Flipping Still Near Historic Averages in Some Areas

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While percentages of homes being flipped nationwide are nowhere near their peak reached in 2005 and 2006, in some areas such as California they remain near their historic levels consistent with home price gains in those areas, according to a report released by Trulia on Thursday.

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Unemployment Rate Falls in 42 States Monthly in December

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The latest improvements in regional and state employment statistics across the United States are keeping in line with the latest drop in the nation's unemployment rate (down to 5.6 percent in December) – and in line with analysts' assessments of consistently improving economic and labor conditions.

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Mortgage Risk Rises, Causing Concerns Over Expansion of Credit Access

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December's index, which saw about 215,000 new loans added to the pool of risk-rated mortgages, was up 0.4 percentage points from the average for the prior three months and 1.1 percentage points from a year earlier, AEI said. As ever, the largest portion of risk came from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which had a risk index of 24.33 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from the prior three-month average. Following that were the Veterans Affairs index, which was at 11.5 percent, and the Fannie/Freddie index, which was 6.2 percent, just above the 6 percent threshold AEI says is "indicative of conditions conducive to a stable market."

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Existing-Home Sales Expected to Inch Upward in January

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In its latest look at resale data, NAR reported that the stock of available existing homes for sale was around 1.85 million in December, putting the national supply at 4.4 months at the current sales rate. Also challenging the housing market right now are stringent credit conditions, stagnant wages, and "lingering wariness about homeownership benefits," said Auction.com's chief economist, Peter Muoio.

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Mississippi Has Highest Delinquent Mortgage Rate Again

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Just as it did in November, Mississippi led all states with the highest percentage of non-current mortgages and serious delinquent mortgages in December, according to data released recently as part of Black Knight Financial Services' December 2014 “First Look” at mortgage data released Friday.

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