Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.
- Orders for durable goods (products designed to last at least 3 years) fell 2% in November from October. This is the biggest month-over-month decline since May.
- Stock indexes ticked higher in holiday-thinned trading as investors looked ahead to a promised trade breakthrough between the world’s biggest economies in January.
- Jobless claims fell last week in a sign of ongoing labor market strength. Claims have been volatile in recent weeks around the holiday season and end of the year.
- New home sales rebounded in November, suggesting low mortgage rates continued to support the housing market. Sales activity in the prior month was weaker than reported.
- According to the credit reporting agency Experian, the average American credit score surged to an 8-year high of 682 in 2019, hitting its highest level since 2011.
- Housing affordability fell slightly in October compared to September, but affordability conditions improved year-over-year. The overall median sales price was $273,600.