Great news at the beginning of 2018 from the end of 2017-- existing home sales jumped 5.6% in November 2017 to its highest level in 11 years. The U.S. housing market recovered from its hurricane-based slowdown and pent up demand for purchases caused a surge in existing home sales; it's unlikely to see more significant increases like this until new housing can meet current demand. Additionally, the Case-Shiller U.S. National Housing Prices Index continued to climb past its 2007 peak before the Great Recession. (Image below displays data from Jan. 2006 to present)
Some economists are concerned by the latent demand for housing by financially-strained millennials. "Higher student debts and the difficulty of getting on the housing ladder have made it harder for millennials to build a nest-egg. That disparity might come back to bite the baby-boomer generation, who are fast moving into retirement. When baby-boomers want to cash in their assets, they may find millennials can’t afford to buy them at current prices," full article here. Whether or not millennials will be able to purchase those assets could be the crux of another macroeconomic issue in the housing market.
The U.S. Senate convenes today and the House of Representatives will start again next Monday. At the top of the agenda: passing a budget deal by January 19th to avoid a government shutdown, renewing funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, and reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Be on the look out for our Calls-For-Action as congress and the state legislature reconvene!