NAHB: Home Builder Confidence Near 1999 High

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The National Association of Home Builders reported a housing market index reading of 74 in February; the index reading was one point lower than for January and was only two points below the highest reading of 76 reported in December. Readings over 50 indicate that most builders consider housing market conditions to be positive. Factors contributing to builder confidence included strong housing markets and low mortgage rates; job growth and higher wages also boosted builder confidence. Low Inventory Influences Home Prices Low inventories of available homes continued to drive demand and rising home prices. Homebuyers faced with low supplies of…
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FOMC Statement: Key Fed Rate Unchanged; Policymakers Monitor Impact of Asian Flu Outbreak

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The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve issued its scheduled post-meeting statement Wednesday. Policymakers unanimously decided to leave the target federal funds rate range unchanged at 1.50 to 1.75 percent. FOMC members reasserted previous views that inflation was "subdued" and the economy was growing at a moderate pace. The Fed typically bases decisions about interest rates on its dual mandate of achieving maximum employment and an annual inflation rate of 2.00 percent. U.S. Economy Strong, Fed Chair Sees No Immediate Risk From China FOMC cut the target interest rate range three times in 2019 to offset higher prices…
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Case-Shiller Reports Growth In Home Prices In November

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Case-Shiller Home Price Indices reported that national growth of home prices rose by 0.30 percent in November. Analysts said that slim inventories of available homes boosted home prices. Whether or not home price growth continues gaining speed depends on variables including supplies of homes for sale, affordability and home-buyer confidence in the economy. Mr. Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices said, "It is, of course, too soon to say whether this marks an end to the deceleration [of home price growth] or is merely a pause in the longer-term trend."…
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