Economic Update by P. DUFFY
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December existing home sales rise 0.7 percent, most home sales in 2020 since 2006
Existing-home sales rose in December, with home sales in 2020 reaching their highest level since 2006. Sales increased 0.7% from November and 22.2% year-on-year to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million in December. Existing-home sales totaled 5.64 million in 2020, up 5.6% from 2019 and the most since before the Great Recession. The median existing home sales price was $309,800, up 12.9% from one year ago. Housing inventory sank to 1.07 million and a 1.9-month supply – both historic lows.
January Economic Output Index rises to 58.0, second-fastest monthly rise since March 2015
The IHS Markit Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index posted 58.0 in January, up from 55.3 in December. The private sector seemed to regain growth momentum at the start of 2021, as the pace of increase quickened to the second-fastest since March 2015.
Apartment construction in 2021 forecast to surpass 2020 levels
There were 583,280 market-rate units under construction across the country’s 150 largest metros at the end of 2020. That figure is off its recent peak by nearly 100,000 units, reflecting that building starts slowed during the course of 2020. However, targeted deliveries in 2021 are forecast for 403,644 units, up 17% from 2020’s new supply figure of 344,380 apartments. While some of those projects will miss their scheduled completion dates, that still means that 2021 new supply is likely to surpass 2020’s tally by at least a small margin.
President Biden issues Executive Order for economic emergency relief
President Biden has issued an Executive Order that will launch an all-of-government effort to provide equitable emergency economic relief to working families, communities, and small businesses across the nation, including asking the U.S. Department of Labor to consider clarifying that workers who refuse unsafe working conditions can still receive unemployment insurance.