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consumer prices – Economic Research

February 11, 2022

  • the The® Economics Team weekly video update gives you the relevant economic and real estate information you need to navigate the housing market as a buyer, seller or industry professional.
  • This week, Economic Research Director George Ratiu discusses the latest data highlighting signs of a post-pandemic future. Economic momentum continues, leading to active real estate markets. However, clouds are gathering on the horizon, including inflation, consumer debt and affordability issues. George talks about the increase in consumer borrowing and record high household debt. He also discusses accelerating inflation and its impact on consumers and small businesses, and addresses the drop in initial jobless claims.
  • On the real estate front, George is covering the sharp rise in mortgage rates and the concomitant decline in mortgage applications. He also talks about’s January Housing Report (authored by Sabrina Speianu) and the latest Weekly Housing Update (published by Danielle Hale), which show strong demand and tight supply pushing prices on the rise. He discusses several reports released this week, which provide insight into the shortage of new homes (published by Hannah Jones) and the challenges facing Black families and buyers in today’s housing markets. hui (including research by Jiayi Xu).
  • Find the details with® accommodation data to download at And follow us on Twitter: @rdc_economicsfor real-time updates.


  • I’m George Ratiu, Director of Economic Research at
  • We are heading into mid-February and facing rapid changes. Covid cases and hospitalizations are rapidly declining, pointing to a post-pandemic future. The economic momentum continues as the clouds gather over high inflation, consumer debt and affordability concerns.
  • Consumer borrowing continued to rise in December. After paying off debt in 2020, Americans borrowed more in 2021 for car purchases, higher education expenses, and general credit card purchases.
  • The increase in consumer borrowing was also reflected in the latest data on real household debt, which topped $15 trillion in the third quarter of last year. With prices rising across the board, Americans have taken on more debt for home loans and car loans.
  • Speaking of rising prices, the consumer price index showed a strong acceleration in January, beating market expectations with the biggest gain since February 1982. With a higher cost of living, Americans are financially strangled in multiple directions. Rising inflation is putting pressure on the Federal Reserve to adopt more aggressive monetary changes in the coming months.
  • High inflation is also impacting small businesses across the country. The NFIB small business index slipped in January to an 11-month low. More than 60% of companies have had to raise prices due to rising costs, the highest share since 1974.
  • Meanwhile, initial jobless claims fell for the third week in a row, to the lowest level since late December.
  • Housing markets remain active, but rising mortgage rates are undermining affordability. Mortgage rates jumped this week, with the rate on a 30-year loan reaching its highest level in two years.
  • Today’s median-priced homebuyers are paying more than $270 more on a monthly mortgage than a year ago, adding more than $3,200 to their annual expenses.
  • In turn, mortgage applications to buy a home declined last week as many first-time buyers were shut out of the market.
  • January real estate data from shows that home price growth accelerated due to lower inventory levels.
  • The trend continues in February, as our weekly housing data highlights strong demand and tight supply, which has led to a further acceleration in price growth.
  • released several other reports this week. Our analysis of the gap between new home construction and household formation shows that we are nearly 6 million new homes short at the start of 2022. Without more construction, we will continue to struggle for affordability over the of the next few years.
  • Speaking of affordability, we published two reports on homeownership and black buyers. The analyzes underscore the significant challenges black families continue to face, from underwriting mortgages and home appraisals to affordability, leading to the lowest homeownership rate among all races and ethnic groups.
  • Be well this week and keep an eye out for the latest data on our website and Twitter feed.
  • You will find details and our accommodation data to download at And follow us on Twitter for real-time updates.

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August 13, 2021

  • To keep up with the rapid changes COVID-19 is causing in the economy and housing market, the economics team at® provides a weekly blog and video update on relevant real estate and economic information you need to know. to navigate the housing market. in these difficult times.
  • This week, senior economist George Ratiu looks back on the latest economic and housing indicators, starting with job vacancies hitting a new record high, for the fourth consecutive month. He also discusses the wage pressures facing small businesses, as well as the continued decline in unemployment insurance claims. He continues with the latest news on consumer prices, which posted strong growth in July.
  • George is covering’s July housing data (composed by economic research analyst Sr Sabrina Speianu) which shows signs of positive change for homebuyers as more affordable homes come up for sale. He continues with weekly housing figures from (released by Chief Economist Danielle Hale), which indicate a notable slowdown in price appreciation to single-digit territory over the past two weeks, alongside increase in new registrations.
  • George also discusses this week’s mortgage rates, which jumped on improving economic conditions. And it concludes with affordability, the central theme of the new 2021 release of’s Hottest ZIP Codes (authored by Chief Economist Danielle Hale and Economic Research Analyst Nicolas Bedo), which highlights that buyers are looking for spacious homes and outdoor features in suburban areas with strong job markets for millennials.
  • For more real-time updates, follow the® economics team on Twitter: @rdc_economics.


  • I’m George Ratiu, Senior Economist at®.
  • Summer heat has enveloped large parts of the country, as many families prepare to say goodbye to the holidays and transition into a new school year, as workers and businesses navigate the new hybrid work landscape in middle of a burgeoning COVID Delta variant.
  • The economy and real estate markets continue to normalize, with clear signs of improvement.
  • The number of job vacancies in June hit a new record high, the fourth consecutive month hitting a record high. As the labor market tightens and companies pay more to attract workers, more and more employees feel comfortable leaving their jobs to seek a better one.
  • Increased labor mobility, coupled with rising prices, is pushing many small businesses to raise wages. Nearly a third of small business owners plan to increase their compensation over the next 3 months, based on the NFIB index.
  • Improvements in working conditions also surfaced in this week’s unemployment claims figures, which showed the third weekly decline. More and more Americans are finding gainful employment as business activity expands.
  • Prices rose again in July with the consumer price index up 5.4% from a year ago for the second month in a row, to a 20-year high. However, core inflation remained below expectations as food and used car prices saw slower growth. For most Americans, the pressure on monthly budgets is mounting.
  • On the real estate front, the markets are moving more towards normalization. Housing data from in July showed signs of positive change for homebuyers as more affordable homes come up for sale. Compared to last year, an increasing number of smaller homes are coming onto the market, resulting in a noticeable moderation in price appreciation.
  • This trend was reflected in’s more recent weekly housing figures, which showed that price gains have slowed to single-digit territory over the past two weeks, alongside rising prices. new registrations.
  • Buyers are finally starting to see more affordable options, which is timely, with mortgage rates jumping 10 basis points this week.
  • Speaking of affordability, that’s the central theme of the new 2021 release of’s Hottest Zip Codes. With prices at record highs and remote work here to stay, buyers are squarely looking for spacious homes and outdoor features in suburban areas with strong millennial labor markets. The majority of postcodes on our list are priced significantly below the national median.
  • Stay safe and stay cool as we sail through mid-August and keep up to date with the latest information from
  • Find your market trends and download the data at or follow us on Twitter for real-time updates.

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