After posting their 39th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains, home prices in 33 states and the District of Columbia are at or within 10 percent of record highs, according to a report issued today by CoreLogic.
Home prices increased 6.3 percent year-over-year in May, and 1.7 percent month-over-month. Relatively low mortgage rates have helped fuel the price gains. In cities like San Francisco, where there is limited supply and high demand, prices are growing at a double-digit clip.
Prices are so high in certain areas that some economists are starting to worry about localized bubbles. The number of homes on the market is increasing slightly. Total housing inventory at the end of may reached 2.29 million houses, 1.8 percent more than this time last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s a 5.1-month supply, giving sellers a slight edge in today’s market. (A six-month supply is considered a healthy market.)
South Carolina saw the biggest price gains, with homes showing annual appreciation of 10.3 percent. Other states showing big gains were Colorado (9.8 percent) and Washington (8.8 percent), CoreLogic reports.
High prices have also spurred builders to start constructing new single-family homes, sales of which increased 23 percent year-over-year in May.
While most states have seen price gains, five states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Mississippi, and Louisiana) saw local home prices fall in May.
CoreLogic economists expect prices to increase 5.1 percent year-over-year in June and 0.8 percent month to month.
The leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have all proposed increasing taxes on corporations, including raising income tax rates to levels ranging from 25% to 35%, up from the current 21% imposed by the Republican tax cuts in 2017. With Bernie Sanders leading the way at $3.9 trillion, here’s how much revenue the higher proposed corporate taxes, along with additional proposed surtaxes and reduced tax breaks, would generate over a decade, according to calculations by the right-leaning Tax Foundation, highlighted Wednesday by Bloomberg News.
The federal government’s total non-defense discretionary spending – which covers everything from education and national parks to veterans’ medical care and low-income housing assistance – equals 3.2% of GDP in 2020, near historic lows going back to 1962, according to an analysis this week from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated this week that President Trump has now signed legislation that will add a total of $4.7 trillion to the national debt between 2017 and 2029. Tax cuts and spending increases account for similar portions of the projected increase, though if the individual tax cuts in the 2017 Republican overhaul are extended beyond their current expiration date at the end of 2025, they would add another $1 trillion in debt through 2029.
Are interest rates destined to move higher, increasing the cost of private and public debt? While many experts believe that higher rates are all but inevitable, historian Paul Schmelzing argues that today’s low-interest environment is consistent with a long-term trend stretching back 600 years.
The chart “shows a clear historical downtrend, with rates falling about 1% every 60 years to near zero today,” says Bloomberg’s Aaron Brown. “Rates do tend to revert to a mean, but that mean seems to be declining.”
Lawmakers are considering three separate bills that are intended to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Here’s an overview of the proposals, from a series of charts produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation this week. An interesting detail highlighted in another chart: 88% of voters – including 92% of Democrats and 85% of Republicans – want to give the government the power to negotiate prices with drug companies.