6/22: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy

Chicago Fed National Activity Index rebounds in May

What does this mean?  The economy rebounded more robustly in May after an April lull

Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) increased to +0.29 in May from –0.09 in April. Three of the four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made positive contributions in May, and three categories improved from April.


Virtual home selling tools likely here to stay after the pandemic

What does this mean?  Sellers who embrace technologies including online 3D tours will benefit.

Open houses decreased in popularity throughout the pandemic as virtual tours and other tech tools became more popular. As the pandemic recedes, these trends are not reversing.  The share of listings on Zillow advertising an open house in April was down 42% from pre-pandemic levels, while those featuring a 3D tour were up about 200%. Buyers may value the efficiency and convenience of virtual and self-touring, but sellers are also likely to reap benefits — home listings with these features get more attention from prospective buyers in the crucial early listing period.


Buyer interest in relocating to a different metro area remains elevated in April and May

What does this mean?  Areas such as Phoenix, Austin and Sacramento remain highly popular with relocating buyers. 

Nationwide, 31.4% of users looked to move to a different metro area in April and May, roughly the same share as the first quarter and up from 27% a year earlier. Although the overall housing market is starting to stabilize after a red-hot start to the year, homebuyer interest in relocating remains elevated above pre-pandemic levels. Phoenix, Austin and Sacramento were three of the five most popular migration destinations in May, and they’re also among the top five metros with the biggest home-price increases.

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