New home sales increased by less than expected across the U.S. last month, after a slump in April, according to data released today by the Census Bureau. Sales of new single-family houses in May were 10.7 percentage points above the revised total of 629,000 in April, when new home sales plunged 16.6 percent month-on-month to their lowest level since April 2020, as costs continued rising for both home builders and potential buyers. May's new home sales were still 5.9 percent below the May 2021 estimate of 740,000. Why Are New Home Sales Stalling? First-time buyers are being squeezed out of the market, as a combination of soaring mortgage rates, the limited inventory available, soaring inflation and record-high home prices—34 percent higher now than two years ago—is hitting them hard. Buying a house is simply not affordable for many people at the moment. Mortgage rates are at their highest levels since 2008, after the average 30-year rate rose from 3.1 percent to 6.28 … [Read more...] about Are we heading for a housing market crash? What home sales data reveals
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The FTSE 100 closed in the red after traders digested another 40-year-high for UK inflation levels. A consumer price index (CPI) inflation reading of 9.1% was in line with expectations for May, but rocketing producer prices showed inflationary woes are not likely to reverse any time soon. Nevertheless, London’s index of top stocks finished the day with a slight improvement on early trading after growing positivity on Wall Street. The FTSE 100 ended the day down 62.83 points, or 0.88%, at 7,089.22. Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “The fragile nature of this week’s rebound has been laid bare today, with a sharp slide in oil prices in Asia, spilling over into broader market weakness, with the Dax sliding below last week’s lows, before rebounding, while the FTSE has also slipped back sharply. Recommended Russia says EU sanctions that prompted transit ban ‘unacceptable’ “Today’s inflation numbers from the UK came across … [Read more...] about FTSE slides as trading knocked by rise in UK inflation
Gas prices aren't changing the minds of SUV owners to switch over to sedans, according to the latest data from automotive research firm AutoPacific . In a survey of more than 300 current SUV owners, the firm found that most of them would not consider downsizing to a smaller SUV or switching to a sedan when making their next vehicle purchase. But 45 percent of those surveyed said that they'd consider making the switch to a hybrid or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV or crossover the next time they're car shopping. "Most new traditional gasoline SUVs get much better fuel economy now than they did when fuel prices spiked in 2008 and caused a shift in the market," AutoPacific president and chief analyst Ed Kim said in a press release. "Couple that with an influx of hybrid, PHEV and EV SUV offerings and consumers have so many choices that they don't have to downsize or change vehicle types." More than a quarter of respondents said that gas prices won't affect their next car purchase … [Read more...] about SUV owners won’t downsize just because of high gas prices.
A government-backed “Great British Rail sale” offering cheap train tickets will not help hard-pressed commuters, critics say. The Department for Transport (DfT) said the offer was “further supporting families with the cost of living” at a time of high inflation . Around a million tickets will be reduced , some to less than £3, but overall that amounts to just 1% of all rail journeys available. But it will only target intercity travel at off-peak times. The fares include a single journey from London to Edinburgh for £22, Manchester to Newcastle for £10.30, and Birmingham to Bristol Temple Meads for £12.60. The cut-price tickets will only be available for a five-week period before the next half-term holiday, from April 25 to May 27, and are not expected to be available over the first May bank holiday weekend. But the scheme has been criticised by Labour and trade unions, who say it doesn't do anything to help commuters. An advert for the Great British Rail … [Read more...] about Great Rail Sale branded a ‘headline grabbing gimmick’ that won’t help commuters
This Friday marks a year since a 12-story condominium partially collapsed in south Florida, killing 98 people. Most of Champlain Towers South crumbled to the ground suddenly while many residents slept in the early hours of June 24, 2021, sparking a weeks-long search in the rubble for survivors. In May, the prime oceanfront site on Collins Avenue was sold to billionaire developer Hussain Sajwani for $120 million, who made the sole bid for the land. Sajwani's Dubai-based DAMAC Properties has previously partnered with the Trump Organization to build the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai that opened in 2017. Now, in its first foray into the U.S. real estate market, DAMAC Properties is planning to build an "ultra-luxurious" Cavalli-branded condominium on the land where Champlain Towers once stood, according to a press release announcing the purchase. The release said the land, comprising 1.8 acres, offers residents "200 feet of direct beach frontage" and noted that Surfside … [Read more...] about Surfside collapse site sold to Trump business partner to build new condo
After the US Federal Reserve has raised its key interest rate by 75 basis points, there are concerns over its impact on inflation in India as it may weaken the rupee through possible foreign investment outflows going forward. However, four economists news18.com spoke with said it will not have any direct impact on the consumer prices in India for now. They, however, said that in the coming months, if the rupee keeps weakening due to the FPI outflows, it will raise inflation through costlier imports. Else, the US Fed hike might have a positive impact on prices here if global commodity prices are “anchored” as a result of higher interest rates. The US Federal Reserve has raised its key interest rate by 75 basis points (bps), which is the highest since 1994. It had earlier planned a 50-bps hike for the June meeting but the US consumer inflation came higher than expected in May, at a four-decade high of 8.6 per cent. Bank of Baroda Chief Economist Madan Sabnavis said, “There is … [Read more...] about US Fed Rate Hike: Will It Impact Consumer Prices In India? Know What Economists Say
Operating profit growth of listed private companies decelerated across broad sectors in the January-March quarter of 2021-22, on the back of rise in expenditure, according to an RBI data. The Reserve Bank has released its data on the performance of the private corporate sector during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021-22 drawn from abridged quarterly financial results of 2,758 listed Non-Government, Non-Financial (NGNF) companies. Operating profit of manufacturing companies decelerated sharply to 7% in the fourth quarter of last fiscal as against 70% in the corresponding quarter of the preceding fiscal. In case of companies in services sector (non-IT), the growth in operating profit slowed to 6.1% in the fourth quarter of 2021-22 compared with 62.5% in the year-earlier period. The operating profit in case of IT firms slowed to 5.9% from 19.7%. RBI data further said sales of 2,758 listed private non-financial companies recorded a healthy growth of 22.3% (year-on-year) in the … [Read more...] about Operating profit growth of listed firms decelerated in Q4 of FY22: RBI data
This week’s average mortgage rates are up again. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 5.81%, up 0.03 percentage points from last week, according to Freddie Mac. This is the third week in a row that the 30-year rate has moved higher and is now almost 3% higher than it was at this time last year. Additionally, “Fixed mortgage rates have increased by more than two full percentage points since the beginning of the year,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. This, combined with skyrocketing home prices, has made the recent sales of existing homes decline, Khater added. However, “Many potential homebuyers are still interested in purchasing a home, keeping the market competitive but leveling off the last two years of red-hot activity,” he said. Rates are higher for all other loan categories as well . The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is averaging 4.92%, up 0.11 percentage points from last week. The rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate loan increased 0.08 … [Read more...] about Freddie Mac’s 30-Year Mortgage Rate Edges Closer to 6%
With most big cities’s economies continuing to grow, the most pressing issue they face is how to connect their low-income communities to the opportunities that growth creates. New efforts developing in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Chicago show the many creative alternatives cities are exploring to respond to that challenge—and the obstacles they face. From 2010 through 2015, all of the 100 largest metropolitan areas added jobs, and 98 of them increased their total economic output, according to calculations by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. But in most cities, that revival has largely bypassed communities of concentrated poverty, like large swathes of Chicago’s predominantly African-American South Side or mostly Hispanic East Charlotte. Across the country, many cities have fueled their growth by importing streams of young college graduates from elsewhere, while struggling to place their own low-income kids on a track to obtain the education necessary … [Read more...] about How Can Growing American Cities Spread Their Wealth Around?
Stanford University researchers have published a new analysis supporting a pillar of the modern gun control movement: a prospective ban on military-style rifles commonly known as "assault" weapons. The research from Stanford Law professor John Donohue and student Theodora Boulouta found that from 1994 to 2004, the Clinton-era federal assault weapons ban was associated with a marked decrease in mass shootings and victims of those shootings. According to a preliminary draft of the study, set to be published in the journal Law and Contemporary Problems , in the decade preceding the assault weapons ban, there were 33 percent additional mass shootings and 65 percent more associated fatalities. (Because the raw number of mass shooting was so low, this only correlates to an additional two incidents.) In the decades following the ban, the results were exceedingly stark. Ten years after the ban expired in 2004, the number of mass shootings more than tripled and the number of fatalities … [Read more...] about A new study is backing a cornerstone initiative of the gun-rights movement: the Clinton-era ban on assault weapons did work