Economics, Housing, & Commercial Real Estate Analysis

Keepin' It Real 

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  • 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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