by Valorie Hanni Rice, Senior Specialist, Business Information

The Federal Housing Finance Agency released 4th quarter home price data for states and metros on Thursday, February 26. House prices in the U.S. rose 4.9% 4th quarter of 2014 Y/Y – this was faster than Arizona’s 4.7% increase. Arizona was 22nd among all states in one-year house price appreciation. In fact, the state has been steadily moving down the rankings in the last year, where it had been among the top ten states until this quarter. In 4th quarter 2013 Arizona’s house price appreciation was 3rd in the nation, in 1st quarter 2014 it was 4th, in 2nd quarter 2014 it was 5th, and  by 3rd quarter 2014 it had fallen to 10th place. Metropolitan area one-year house price appreciation for the 4th quarter 2014 in Arizona, using the all-transactions index (which includes purchase and refinance mortgages), are as follows: Flagstaff, 9.5%; Lake Havasu City-Kingman, 11.1%; Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, 7.1%; Prescott, 9.4%; Sierra Vista-Douglas, 0.7%; Tucson, 5.3%; and Yuma, 3.0%.

Phoenix house prices rose 2.4% over the year in December, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released February 24. This was the fifth straight month that Phoenix prices were slower than the U.S., which had a 12-month change of 4.6%.

In January, the inflation rate declined 0.1% over the year. This was the first negative 12-month change since October 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index release on February 26.  Consumer prices decreased 0.7% between December and January on a seasonally adjusted basis, with food prices remaining stable while the energy index dropped 9.7% for the month, due mainly to gasoline prices.

Arizona initial applications for unemployment were 3,652 the first week of February, down 274 from the week before. The four-week average dipped below 4,000 to 3,899. Continued claims in Arizona were at 29,271, a marked difference from one year ago, when they were 36,293. U.S. jobless claims were higher the week ending February 21, to a seasonally adjusted 313,000. The four-week moving average also rose to 294,500, though is still below the 300,000 mark.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released the second estimate for 4th quarter 2014 GDP on February 27. According to the more complete source data, the real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.2% in the 4th quarter. Federal government and net exports drove most of the deceleration from the 3rd quarter, when real GDP increased 5.0%.

February 20, 2015

 January producer prices were unchanged over the year, but the seasonally adjusted monthly figure dropped 0.8% from December to January. Final demand goods decreased 2.1%, primarily due to lower energy costs, which were down 10.3% over the month (read: cheaper gasoline). Final demand services decreased 0.2%.

Initial claims for unemployment in Arizona were 3,926 the last week of January, down 141 from the week prior. The four-week average was also lower at 4,130. Jobless claims decreased in the U.S. the week ending February 14 to a seasonally adjusted 283,000. The four-week moving average was down 6,500 to 283,250.

February 13, 2015

The National Association of Realtors released 4th quarter 2014 median home prices for metropolitan areas on February 11. The median home price for Tucson in the 4th quarter 2014 was $174,200, a 2.4% change from 4th quarter 2013. Phoenix median home price rose 3.9% during the same time period, with the current median price listed as $200,300. Nationally, the median price for existing single-family homes stands at $208,700, up 6% over the year, and 150 of the 175 metropolitan areas tracked had increases in home prices.

February 06, 2015

The Arizona Consumer Confidence Index, published by the Behavior Research Center of Arizona, bounced back in January to 79.1, which is the highest level since January 2008.

The U.S. gained 257,000 total nonfarm payroll jobs in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment situation report. Employment in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities, and manufacturing sectors had the highest gains. The unemployment rate was 5.7% in January, up slightly from December’s figure of 5.6%.

Hands and calculator photo courtesy Shutterstock.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email