Consumer confidence, home prices drop
Posted March 27, 2012 6:45 p.m. EDT
Consumer confidence dropped unexpectedly in March as higher gasoline prices weighed on consumers and their bank accounts. Even with the drop, however, we still see confidence levels remain close to highs for the year.
The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for January indicated that home prices declined across the nation by 0.8 percent. This is the fifth month in a row for price declines, and we’ve now reached a price level that we haven’t seen since 2003. As a reminder, Charlotte is the closest city to the Triangle that is a part of the 20-city index measured by Case-Shiller.
As is generally the case, when we have less than positive economic data, it usually means good news for treasuries and mortgage rates, and Tuesday was no exception. We saw the 10-year yield go from 2.26 Monday to 2.18 by the close of trading Tuesday, and that drop helped to put downward pressure on mortgage rates.