Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.
- Activity in the services sector rose slightly in December, climbing to 55 from 53.9 in November, as businesses felt relieved by a partial trade agreement with China.
- The U.S. trade deficit fell more than expected in November, hitting the lowest level since President Trump took office. A reduced deficit could help employment and improve currency value.
- Stocks rallied this week as tensions eased between the U.S. and Iran. A flight to safety had helped mortgage rates late last week, seeing rates hit the best levels in a month.
- Housing inventory recently hit a 2-yr low, falling by 12% year-over-year in December. The median home list price was $299,950.
- Freddie Mac has announced a new online homebuyer course, called CreditSmart Homebuyer U. Completing the course satisfies Freddie Mac's homeownership education requirements.
- Statistics show that new home sales are stronger in growing cities. A recent study by CoreLogic shows states with the largest population growth have the most sales.