In November, the Federal Reserve reduced its benchmark rate for the third time this year. This action was widely anticipated by the market. Mortgage rates have remained steady this month and are still down more than 1% from last year at this time. Residential new construction activity continues to rise nationally. The U.S. Commerce Department reports that new housing permits rose 5% in October to a new 12-year high of 1.46 million units.
• Single Family Closed Sales were down 3.6% to 6,328.
• Townhouse-Condo Closed Sales were up 3.0% to 1,845.
• Adult Communities Closed Sales were up 3.0% to 662.
• Single Family Median Sales Price increased 7.1% to $337,250.
• Townhouse-Condo Median Sales Price increased 3.8% to $275,000.
• Adult Communities Median Sales Price increased 6.1% to $217,500.
While many economic signs are quite strong, total household debt has been rising for twenty-one consecutive quarters and is now $1.3 trillion higher than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion in 2008. While delinquency rates remain low across most debt types (including mortgages), higher consumer debt loads can limit future household spending capability and increase risk if the economy slows down.