Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thursday: New Home Sales, Initial Unemployment Claims

by Bill McBride on 12/26/2012 09:02:00 PM

First, a reminder that rents can't outpace incomes for long ... from Conor Dougherty at the WSJ: Tenants Feel Pinch of Rising Rents

The rising cost of renting is putting pressure on tenants at a time when many are still grappling with slow or falling income growth. In the third quarter, renters spent 24.12% of their disposable income on financial obligations—things such as rent, debts and auto leases. That was the highest level since early 2010, according to the Federal Reserve.
And on house prices from Nick Timiraos at the WSJ: Home Prices Hit a Milestone
Home prices are on track to notch their first yearly gain since 2006, the strongest performance since the housing bust and a development that could accelerate the real-estate rebound even as the broader economy stutters.
"The tide has changed," said Ivy Zelman, chief executive of research firm Zelman & Associates. "People feel it's OK to go back into residential real estate—it's no longer taboo—and that change in sentiment could have a very powerful effect."
Thursday economic releases:
• At 8:30 AM, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to increase to 365 thousand from 361 thousand last week. If correct, this would put the 4-week average near the low for the year.

• At 10:00 AM, New Home Sales for November from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for an increase in sales to 375 thousand Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) in November from 368 thousand in October.

• Also at 10:00 AM, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for December will be released. The consensus is for an decrease to 70.0 from 73.7 last month.

Earlier on house prices:
Case-Shiller: House Prices increased 4.3% year-over-year in October
Comment on House Prices, Real House Prices, and Price-to-Rent Ratio
All Current House Price Graphs

Another question for the December economic prediction contest (Note: You can now use Facebook, Twitter, or OpenID to log in).