What did the February inflation report have to say?

Homes in Cincinnati | mortgage rate news

How hot was February’s inflation report?

When compared to a year ago, yesterday’s inflation report was pretty tame. However, when compared to expectations, the inflation came in a little hotter than expected.

The consumer price index rose by 3.1% in January. This was a smaller annual increase than the 3.4% mark in December but was slightly higher than expected. Shelter, food, electricity, and airline fares were up a bit year-over-year.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, stated, “You get zigs and zags in all these data, and this was just a zag. The bottom line: Inflation continues to moderate. It’s still uncomfortably high — though … moving in the right direction. And all the trend lines still look good aside from today’s data detour.”

There was good news mixed into the report. Workers’ buying power has increased each month since May 2023. Wage increases have actually exceeded the rate of inflation for the last nine months.

What does the latest housing data have to say?

The most recent data from Altos Research indicated that sellers are starting to come back to the housing market, but are buyers willing to keep up?

According to the latest data, new listings in the U.S. are over 14% higher right now than they were at the same point in 2023. This indicates that sellers have started to list homes again. The increase is still below demand, and shows recovery, not panic.

Weekly listings of available homes sits at 495,000 units. That’s an 11% increase compared to last year. However, there was a slight dip on a week-over-week chart. We should see available inventory continue to build into the Spring. It also indicates that price pressure shouldn’t be as strong as it was last year because more homes are coming onto the market.

The good news is that we’ve seen a 6% increase in immediate sales when comparing this past week to the same time period last year. This shows that buyers are in the market, and looking to get into homes.

Could Cincinnati rank among the hot markets for 2024?

If recent data is to be believed, Cincinnati may finish 2024 among the top housing markets in the country.

A detailed report from a large real estate data firm showed that Cincinnati is shaping up to be a popular market for 2024. Almost 70% of the homes sold in the Cincinnati metro area are below the national median average, and it ranks among the most affordable areas in the Midwest.

Local real estate agent Holly Finn said, “Cincinnati has a lot of sports teams, arts, culinary scene, both sides of the river, so it’s attractive for a lot of reasons and why a lot of people love to come to Cincinnati for the affordability and all those factors.”

The report also cited a strong local labor market, new construction, and growth in home values as additional reasons for optimism.

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