8/17: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

Consumer sentiment takes a sharp dive in early August as Delta variant surges

Consumers reported a stunning loss of confidence in the first half of August. The Consumer Sentiment Index fell by 13.5% from July and 5.3% year-on-year to a level that was just below the April 2020 low of 71.8. In the months ahead, it is likely that consumers will again voice more reasonable expectations, and with control of the Delta variant, shift toward outright optimism.


Single-family home lot values surged 18 percent in 2020 as demand outstripped supply

Lot values for single-family detached homes started in 2020 surged 18%, according to NAHB’s analysis of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) data. As a result, the median lot price reached a new record high of $53,000. Though an 18% jump in lot values is unprecedented, it is consistent with other significant building material price hikes and undeniable supply challenges that have been constraining the pandemic-fueled housing boom.


94 percent of U.S. markets saw double-digit annual price gains in 2Q 2021

The median sales price of single-family existing homes rose in 99% of measured metro areas in the second quarter of 2021 compared to one year ago, with double-digit price gains in 94% of markets. Over a 3-year period, 46 markets had price gains of over $100,000.  The monthly mortgage payment on a typical existing single-family home rose to $1,215 and the income a family typically needed to afford an existing single-family home increased to $58,314.