MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
September existing home sales slip 1.5 percent, down 23.8 percent year-on-year
Existing-home sales sagged for the eighth consecutive month in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.71 million. Sales slipped 1.5% from August and 23.8% from the previous year. The median existing-home sales price increased to $384,800, up 8.4% from one year ago. The inventory of unsold existing homes declined for the second straight month to 1.25 million by the end of September, or the equivalent of 3.2 months’ supply at the current monthly sales pace.
Leading Economic Index slips for sixth consecutive month as recession risks mount
The US LEI fell again in September (this time by 0.4 percent) and its persistent downward trajectory in recent months suggests a recession is increasingly likely before yearend. The six-month growth rate of the LEI fell deeper into negative territory in September (by 2.8 percent) versus a 1.4 percent rate of growth during the prior six months. Amid high inflation, slowing labor markets, rising interest rates, and tighter credit conditions, The Conference Board forecasts real GDP growth will be 1.5 percent year-over-year in 2022, before slowing further in the first half of next year.
Federal Reserve Beige Book reveals variety of economic conditions across the U.S.
National economic activity expanded modestly on net since the previous report; however, conditions varied across industries and Districts. Four Districts noted flat activity and two cited declines, with slowing or weak demand attributed to higher interest rates, inflation, and supply disruptions. Rising mortgage rates and elevated house prices further weakened single-family starts and sales, but helped buoy apartment leasing and rents, which generally remained high. Commercial real estate slowed in both construction and sales amid supply shortages and elevated construction and borrowing costs, and there were scattered reports of declining property prices.