2/16/21: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy

Consumer sentiment index slips 3.5 percent from January in early February survey

What does this mean? Those households earning below $75,000 are in need of immediate stimulus to bolster their finances as vaccines are rolled out.

The consumer sentiment index edged downward 3.5% from January in early February (and fell nearly 25% year-on-year), with the entire loss concentrated in the Expectation Index, and among households with incomes below $75,000. When asked to assess their current financial position, the deep divisions become apparent: among those with incomes in the bottom third, just 23% reported improved finances, the lowest since 2014; in contrast, among those with incomes in the top third, 54% reported their finances had improved.



Remodeling market forecast to grow 4 percent in 2021 and 2 percent in 2022

What does this mean? With employees and students doing their work remotely, homeowners have had more time and interest in more in remodeling projects.

The remodeling market declined significantly at the onset of COVID-19 in March and April 2020, but has since more than fully recovered. Remodeling spending for owner-occupied single-family homes is predicted to increase four percent in 2021 to $285 billion, and increase another two percent in 2022.



NAR:  All metro areas saw home prices rise in 4Q20

What does this mean?  Competition for existing homes rose even more during the final quarter of 2020, with gains widespread throughout the country.

Every metro area tracked by through the fourth quarter of 2020 witnessed home prices grow from a year ago. Eighty-eight percent of the metros followed (161 areas) saw double-digit price increases. For comparison, only 115 metro areas saw such growth in the third quarter. Single-family existing-home prices rose in all measured metro areas in the fourth quarter.