2012 Predictions-Job Market Improves Leading to Rise in Home Sales

By February 20, 2012Traditions Property Blog

At last, good news about the countries economy.  Applications for unemployment are at a four-year low leading to strong numbers from the housing industry.   At the close of 2011, Florida’s existing home and condominium markets reported higher sales in comparison to 2010.  The statewide existing home median sales price last month was $134,300, up 1 percent from the $133,000 reported in December 2010, according to Florida Realtors’ data.  This data reinforces the claims that Florida is in a slow real estate recovery.  The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.96 percent, down from the 4.71 percent average during the same month a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac. The annual average rate for a 30-year mortgage in 2011 was 4.45 percent.  What does all this data mean?  If you are considering buying a house or condo in Jacksonville FL, now is the time.

Traditions Realty and their staff will be happy to assist you in purchasing residental or investment property in Jacskonville Florida.  With a large property management department, we can assist you in purchasing and manage your investment.   Read more below.

Job  market continues its improvement

WASHINGTON – Feb. 17, 2012 – The healthier job market that’s lifted the U.S. economy in recent months shows no signs of slowing.

Applications for unemployment benefits are near a four-year low, raising expectations of further hiring gains. The news Thursday helped lift the Dow Jones industrial average to its highest close since May 2008.

More jobs locally and abroad, like offshore jobs Thailand, and tame inflation are giving consumers more buying power. Their higher spending could further boost growth and lower the unemployment rate for February for a sixth-consecutive month.

Even the troubled housing market is benefiting. Builders expect improved sales in the near future. In response, they’re planning to break ground on more homes.

“The housing starts and unemployment claims numbers add to the belief that the economy is shifting gears,” said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisers. “The decline in the unemployment rate is real, and it should continue.”

A series of positive economic reports Thursday reinforced that message:

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, the Labor Department said. That’s the lowest since March 2008. Unemployment applications have dropped 11 percent in four months.

Builders broke ground in January at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 699,000 homes, the Commerce Department said. That nearly matches November’s three-year high. The single family homes for sale construction heated after a big jump in December.

Factory activity in the Philadelphia region grew in February at the fastest pace in five months, a survey by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank found. That followed a report that showed a third-consecutive month of factory growth in the New York region.

Wholesale prices were largely unchanged in January, Commerce said. While gasoline prices are rising, they’ve been offset by falling costs for electricity, home heating oil and natural gas. Most economists see inflation as little threat.

Many analysts expect more good news in next month’s jobs report for February. Some say the net job gains could match or top January’s 243,000. For the past three months, the economy has gained an average of about 200,000 jobs.

© Copyright 2012 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc., The Associated Press.