10/1: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Pending home sales up 8.8 percent in August and 24.2 percent year-on-year to record high

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) rose 8.8 percent to 132.8 – a record high – in August. Year-over-year, contract signings rose 24.2 percent. The Northeast PHSI grew 4.3 percent to 117.1 in August, a 26.0 percent jump from a year ago. In the Midwest, the index rose 8.6 percent to 124.5 last month, up 25.0 percent from August 2019.Pending home sales in the South increased 8.6 percent to an index of 154.2 in August, up 23.6 percent from August 2019. The index in the West rose 13.1 percent in August to 120.3, up 23.6 percent from a year ago.


ADP:  Private sector adds another 749,000 jobs in September, highest rate since June

Private sector employment increased by 749,000 jobs during September, which compares to 481,000 jobs in August and 164,000 jobs in September 2019.   Since May, a total of 9.3 million private-sector jobs have returned versus a total loss of 19.7 million jobs in March and April, or a difference of 10.4 million jobs.  We’ll get a fuller read on the job market on Friday, when the BLS releases their figures for September.


Purchase loan apps dip 2 percent from previous week but up 22 percent year-on-year

The Market Composite Index decreased 4.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 2 percent (but up 22 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity falling 7 percent (and up 52 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.05 percent from 3.10 percent.


July Case-Shiller Index up 4.8 percent year-on-year, highest annual rate since Dec. 2018

The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index reported a 4.8 percent annual gain in July, up from 4.3 percent in the previous month.  After seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month increase of 0.4 percent.


Consumer Confidence Index jumps in September, but still below pre-pandemic levels

The Consumer Confidence Index increased sharply in September, after back-to-back monthly declines, rising 15.5 points to 101.8, but still remains below pre-pandemic levels.  A more favorable view of current business and labor market conditions, coupled with renewed optimism about the short-term outlook, helped spur this month’s rebound in confidence.