ALL GOOD NEWS THIS WEEK!
While economic growth was well below average for the first three quarters of 2011, a pickup during the fourth quarter bodes well for stronger housing market activity next year. Nearly all of the economic data released during the fourth quarter pointed to improvement. The labor market picked up, consumer confidence rose, and home sales activity increased. This week, in the final piece of housing data for 2011, Pending Home Sales rose 7% from the prior month, to the highest level of the year.
Low mortgage rates also contribute to the improving environment for the housing market. As we enter 2012, mortgage rates are at the lowest levels in decades, making homes very affordable. While there are factors which could push rates higher, such as an unexpected increase in inflation or a major reversal in European debt troubles, the outlook is for mortgage rates to remain relatively low next year as well.
All the Best for a Happy, Prosperous 2012!