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Update: Stocks, Bonds, Jobless Claims and Pending Home Sales

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Stocks and Bonds are both a bit lower so far this morning.  Initial Jobless Claims were released for the week ending March 22th, and Claims dropped 10k to 311k from last week’s slightly upwardly revised figure of 321k.  This was stronger than estimates of 323k, and the lowest reading since December.  Claims have been consistently trending lower, which is encouraging for the economy.  


Final GDP for Q4 of last year was released at 2.6%.  This was stronger than the preliminary reading of 2.4% last month, but still lower than estimates of 2.7%.  This number is still a little weak, but this this ready does start to get a little old because we are almost done with the first quarter, and this is for the fourth quarter of 2013.

Pending Home Sales for February were reported this morning.  Pending Home Sales measures signed contracts on existing homes, so while these contracts will have fallout, the data is more timely because it measures activity in the month of February.  The report was released at 93.9, down 0.8%.  Last month’s initial reading of 95 was revised slightly lower to 94.7.  Pending Home Sales are now down 10.5% from this time last year.  The areas that suffered the most were the Northeast and South, where weather was a big issue in February.  Tight inventories also did not help the number.

The Research Triangle Park a Place to Call Home

Photo Credit: RTP Blog

Photo Credit: RTP Blog

The Research Triangle Park was established in 1959 and become one of the top research hubs in the United States. In 1965, IBM made it’s footprint in the park. The Research Triangle Park offered highly trained workers, great climate and inexpensive housing.  Some describe the area as a golfer’s paradise as, “Tees, trees, and PHDs.”

The Research Triangle Park is now home to 170 companies  and growing.

RTP currently employs nearly 40,000 people. For the people employed in the Research Triangle Park they reside in what is known as “The Triangle” comprised of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. There are many surrounding towns such as Apex, Holly Springs, Pittsboro, Cary and Morrisville that offer great housing communities for those who prefer a smaller town feel.

RTP is centrally located therefore making the location a prime place to work and live. RTP is 9 – 11 miles from downtown Durham, 12 to 14 miles from Chapel Hill and 18 to 21 miles from the state capital in downtown Raleigh.

Raleigh and Durham have been attracting more young professionals then what could have ever been imagined. In more recent years old warehouses are now hubs to many retailers and offer co-op working environments for many up and coming startups.  Recently awarded one of the top places to start a business Raleigh is an entrepreneur’s dream destination.

Recently, the not for profit Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina discussed plans for developing the park as not just a place to live and work, but a place to go. One of the attractions being discussed is the RTP’s very own Sydney Opera House. A rail path is also being discussed with a direct path to the three connecting cities that make up the Triangle.

If you haven’t figured out why so many people are attracted to the Research Triangle Park then continue to read.

  1. People *love* Research Triangle Park.
  2. The people who made it in the park are now older and richer.
  3. It’s great central location.
  4. Great landscape and various paths for hiking, biking and exercising.
  5. Young professionals find great potential for business and pleasure.
  6. New companies and more employment opportunities.

 

Read more about the Research Triangle Park at Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2014/02/04/7-reasons-its-finally-time-to-live-in-research-triangle-park/

Triangle jobless rate drops to 5.3 percent

NC Unemployment rates drop

The jobless rate in the Triangle has been on a steady decline since December.  In a report released on Wednesday by the NC Department of Commerce the North Carolina unemployment rate is at the lowest level since August 2008.

In December, the Triangle added 2,500 jobs and 19,300 jobs were added last year. The majority of job growth in North Carolina is in the Triangle and Charlotte metropolitan areas which accounted for 64,500 jobs last year.

Forecast predict that the Triangle will add about 25,000 to 30,000 jobs in 2014, this would lower the unemployment rate close to 5%.

Michael Walden, an N.C. State University economist said, “It could still be stronger, but I think we’re on a path to see better growth in 2014, primarily fueled by two things: the housing market recovery and household finances in better shape.”

“Despite the recent sell-off in the stock market, Mark Vitner stated, “The economic outlook is better today than it’s been at any other time since the recession. … Over the course of the year, I think we’re going to find out that a lot of the surprises are going to be to the upside for a change.”

THE HOUSE BUYING PROCESS

Congrats @coldwellbanker for the Featured Tweet of the Day

What do you think? Is home ownership still the American Dream?

Thank you @coldwellbanker for having the featured tweet of the day and sharing what I believe is still the American Dream!!

 

How does the Government Shutdown Affect You Buying a Home?

New Index Shows Housing Markets Back to Normal in 52 Metros

Eye on Housing

Housing markets in 52 out of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide have now returned to or exceeded their pre-recessionary levels of activity, according to the new National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI).

The index’s nationwide score of .85 indicates that, based on permits, prices and employment data, the nationwide housing market is running at 85 percent of normal activity.

LMI 102013

Baton Rouge, La., tops the list of major metros on the LMI, with a score of 1.41 – or 41 percent better than its last normal market level. Other major metros at the top of the list include Honolulu, Oklahoma City, Austin and Houston, Texas, as well as Harrisburg, Pa. – all of whose LMI scores indicate that their housing markets now exceed previous norms.

Looking at smaller metros, both Odessa and Midland, Texas, boast LMI scores of 2.0 or better, meaning that their housing markets…

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Improving Markets Index reached a new high of 291 in September

Rooflines

The NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) reached a new high of 291 in September. The addition of 49 markets was also the largest number new to the list since December 2012 when 84 markets were added. Five markets were dropped, four because of a fall back in prices and one because of a dip in permits.

The large increase in new markets on the list can be attributed to several changes. First, the house price index used for each metropolitan area is calculated by Freddie Mac. After some additional study, the Freddie Mac economist improved the accuracy of their index and the change in methodology increased the rate of appreciation in 89% of the metros on the list. The metro areas that were on the list in August and September recorded an average house price increase of 3.3% from August to September.

The increase could also be due in…

View original post 231 more words

Closing Time, The Comprehensive To-Do List For Home Buyers, Launches Nationwide

Should Home Sellers Overprice or Underprice Their Home?

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