by Valorie Hanni Rice
Senior Specialist, Business Information

June home price data from S&P/Case-Shiller indicated that Phoenix prices rose 4.1% over the year. This was better than the May year-over-year figure of 3.8% for Phoenix, but still below the U.S. national figure of 4.5% for June.  Denver had the highest price appreciation of the 20-city composite with 10.2% 12-month change while Chicago had the lowest with 1.4%.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released updated second quarter GDP figures on Thursday, August 25. Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.7% in the second quarter, revised up from 2.3%. The first quarter 2015 GDP was 0.6%.

Lake Havasu City-Kingman ranked among the 20 metropolitan areas with the highest rate of over the year house price appreciation for the second quarter 2015, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) August 25 release.  The one-year change in house price appreciation for Lake Havasu City-Kingman was 10.59% in the second quarter, placing it 12th among ranked U.S. metros. Over the year price changes reported for other Arizona metropolitan areas in the FHFA All-transactions House Price Index (which includes both purchases and refinanced mortgages) are: Flagstaff, 7.94%; Prescott, 7.64%; Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, 5.36%; Yuma, 5.52%; Tucson, 3.69%; and Sierra Vista-Douglas, -2.55%. All states had increases in home prices over the year in the purchase-only index with Arizona experiencing a 6.80% increase. This was higher than the U.S. total of 5.39%, but well behind Colorado, which at 10.62% was the state with the highest increase.

Initial unemployment applications in Arizona moved down the week ending August 15 to 4,147. The four-week moving average was also lower at 4,341. National figures for initial unemployment claims were a seasonally adjusted 271,000 for the week ending August 22. The less volatile four-week average rose slightly to 272,500.

THIS WEEK August 21, 2015

Arizona’s job growth surged to 2.7% over the year in July, faster than the U.S. rate of 2.1%. Sectors with the highest job gains over the year were professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state ticked up to 6.1% in July from 5.9% the month before.

Arizona initial unemployment claims were level the first week of August, moving down just 18 to 4,367. The four-week average dropped to 4,582 from 5,319 the week before. Jobless claims were up nationally the week ending August 15 to a seasonally adjusted 277,000.The less volatile four-week moving average was 271,500.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.1% between June and July with slight increases across the board. The annual inflation rate for July was just 0.2%. All items less food and energy was up 1.8% over the year, so core inflation remains tame.  

Hands and calculator photo courtesy Shutterstock.

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