NATIONAL MARKET UPDATE
November Pending Home Sales came in 16.4% higher than a year ago, the highest November on record. But the index of contracts signed on existing homes did slip a bit for the month due to tight inventories.
An online real estate data base reports year-over-year sales from September to November were up 6.8% for lower priced homes, up 14.8% for mid-priced homes, and up a whopping 60.7% for luxury homes.
For 2021, experts see more home sales, driven by three tailwinds: low mortgage rates; demand from millennials, the largest demographic group in history; and more inventory, as home building grows and sellers come back to the market.
REVIEW OF LAST WEEK
YEAR ENDS AT ALL-TIME HIGHS… 2020 ended with the S&P 500 up 16.3% and the Dow up 7.3% for the year, each at record highs. Though not setting a record, the Nasdaq was up 43.6% on the year, its best performance since 2009!
The stock market is a leading indicator of where the economy is going, and investors are telling us things are looking up. President Trump’s signing of the $900 billion stimulus bill helped boost the mood.
Initial jobless claims came in below the prior week, while continuing claims fell to their lowest level since March, but we still have a long way to go. Forecasts call for economic growth to slow in Q1, then recover.
The week ended with the Dow UP 1.3%, to 30,606; the S&P 500 UP 1.4%, to 3,756; and the Nasdaq UP 0.7% to 12,888.
Bonds overall finished the final week of the year modestly higher, with the UMBS 3.0% up .10, to $104.77. In Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate barely rose from last week’s record low. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.