ELLIOTT D. POLLACK
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29th, 2019
The Monday Morning Quarterback
A quick analysis of important economic data released over the last week
The best news we received last week was that real GDP outperformed expectations, growing 3.2% at an annualized rate despite the headwinds of a government shutdown and the waning impacts of tax cuts. New home sales increased last month while existing home sales declined (though prices increased). Mortgage rates are also up. Consumer sentiment declined slightly but is still on par with readings over the last two years.
Here locally, hotels continue to perform well, apartment development has delivered additional units with substantially more under construction or planned, and homeownership rates received mixed results.
Real GDP grew at annualized rate of 3.2% beating out expectations in the first quarter. This is especially impressive considering the effects of the tax cuts have dissipated and we experienced the longest government shutdown in history earlier this year.
U.S. Consumer Sentiment increased from its preliminary reading to 97.2 in April. This is below March’s level of 98.4 and last year’s 98.8. While 97.2 is lower than previous measures, it is identical to the 28-month average.
30-year mortgage rates were 4.20% in the week of April 25th. Mortgage rates continue to increase from the near 4.00% seen a month ago, but they remain lower than a year ago.
March’s new single family home sales (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate) was 692,000 which represents a 4.5% increase from February and a 3.0% increase from a year ago.
The homeownership rate remained unchanged for the first quarter of 2019 at 64.2% compared to a year earlier.
Existing home sales declined in March from the surge experienced in February and is also lower than year ago. The median sales price increased 3.8% to $259,400. This is the is the 85th consecutive month with year-over-year growth.
According to Smith Travel Research, hotels in the State and its major metro areas saw increases in their occupancy in the first quarter over last year. Greater Tucson had a 3.5% increase to 78.7%, Greater Phoenix saw a 1.4% increase to 81.6% and the State as a whole increased 1.6% to 74.8%.
ABI Multifamily reported 2,521 apartment units were completed, nearly 13,900 under construction and over 21,600 planned in Greater Phoenix. In Tucson, there were 290 units completed, 939 units under construction and over 1,700 units planned.
Homeownership rates increased in Greater Phoenix but declined in the state as a whole. Greater Phoenix saw an annual increase from 62.8% to 63.7%. Arizona decreased from 64.5% to 64.1%.
Elliott D. Pollack & Company (EDPCo) offers a broad range of economic and real estate consulting services backed by one of the most comprehensive databases found in the nation. This information makes it possible for the firm to conduct economic forecasting, develop economic impact studies and prepare demographic analyses and forecasts. Econometric modeling and economic development analysis and planning are also part of our capabilities. EDPCo staff includes professionals with backgrounds in economics, urban planning, financial analysis, real estate development and government. These professionals serve a broad client base of both public and private sector entities that range from school districts and utility companies to law firms and real estate developers.
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Elliott D. Pollack & company
7505 East Sixth Avenue, Suite 100
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251