Alex Pettee, CFA
Solid Week For Real Estate As Mortgage Applications Surge
Adding to strong gains so far in 2019, REITs and Homebuilders delivered another solid week of outperformance, pushing YTD gains above 20% and 30%, respectively.
The major equity indexes finished modestly higher as investors await the much-anticipated Federal Reserve meeting next week. Two rate cuts by the end of 2019 are priced into expectations.
Economic data was generally better-than-expected this week, potentially casting some doubt on the urgency of rate cuts. Retail sales were above estimates, but growth has slowed this year.
Inflation remains muted as CPI and PPI data were generally cooler than expected. Excluding the steep and continued rise in housing costs, inflation has averaged less than 1% over the last half-decade.
Low mortgage rates have been a godsend for US housing markets. Mortgage applications surged this week as forward-looking housing data continues to suggest a housing market rejuvenation in 2019.
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