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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Yellen Weighs Interest Rate Hike

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From Bloomberg … A rout in emerging markets led by China … triggered an equities sell-off in the U.S., with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping by more than 1,000 points in early trading before paring the decline to 588 points, or 3.6 percent, as of 4:15 p.m. in New York [on 8/24/15] . The turbulence had investors questioning whether the durable U.S. economy could withstand weakness abroad and wondering what that means for the timing of the Fed’s interest-rate liftoff.

“If market turmoil continues, the Fed will hold off hiking at the next meeting,” said Jonathan Wright, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a former economist at the central bank’s Division of Monetary Affairs. “These market movements are getting sizable, and raise downside tail risks to growth and inflation.” See more here.

Rents rise to ‘crazy’ levels: Zillow

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It’s not your imagination. Rent really is too high. The cost of renting a home in the U.S. has risen to its least affordable levels ever, taking up a record proportion of income in most major cities, according to a study from property website Zillow.

“Rents are crazy right now,” Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, said in a statement. … Renters in the U.S. can now expect to pay around 30.2 percent of their monthly income for rent, the highest percentage ever, up from pre-housing boom levels of around 24.4 percent, according to the analysis of second-quarter data on rental and mortgage affordability, which was released Thursday. The historical comparison period covered 1985-2000. Continued at CNBC.com.

Home Prices Rise in Nearly All Metro Areas in Second Quarter

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A promising climb in home sales throughout the country amidst insufficient supply caused home prices to steadily rise in most metro areas during the second quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors®.

The median existing single-family home price increased in 93 percent of measured markets1, with 163 out of 176 metropolitan statistical areas2 (MSAs) showing gains based on closings in the second quarter compared with the second quarter of 2014. Thirteen areas (7 percent) recorded lower median prices from a year earlier.

The number of rising markets in the second quarter increased compared to the first quarter, when price gains were recorded in 85 percent of metro areas. Thirty-four metro areas in the second quarter (19 percent) experienced double-digit increases, a decline from the 51 metro areas in the first quarter. Nineteen metro areas (11 percent) experienced double-digit increases in the second quarter of 2014.  For the full story, click here