small business index – Realtor.com Economic Research

Cecilia Nysing

 

August 13, 2021

  • To keep up with the rapid changes COVID-19 is causing in the economy and housing market, the realtor.com® economics team provides a weekly blog and video update on the relevant real estate and economic information you need to know to navigate the housing market in these challenging times.
  • This week, Senior Economist George Ratiu talks about the latest economic and real estate indicators, starting with job openings reaching a new record, for the fourth consecutive month. He also discusses the wage pressures facing small businesses, along with the continued decline in jobless claims. He follows up with the latest on consumer prices, which showed strong growth in July.
  • George covers Realtor.com’s July housing data (authored by Sr Economic Research Analyst Sabrina Speianu) which show signs of positive change for homebuyers, as more affordable homes are listed for sale. He continues with Realtor.com weekly housing figures (published by Chief Economist Danielle Hale), which point to a noticeable slowing of price appreciation into single digit territory over the past two weeks, in tandem with rising new listings.
  • George also touches on this week’s mortgage rates, which jumped on improving economic conditions. And he concludes with affordability, the central theme for Realtor.com’s new 2021 Hottest Zip Codes release (authored by Chief Economist Danielle Hale and Economic Research Analyst Nicolas Bedo), which highlights that buyers are looking at spacious homes and outdoor features in suburban areas with strong millennial job markets.
  • For more real-time updates, follow the realtor.com® economics team on twitter: @rdc_economics.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

  • I’m George Ratiu, Senior Economist with Realtor.com®.
  • The summer heat has enveloped large parts of the country, as many families prepare to say goodbye to vacation and transition into a new school year, while workers and companies navigate the new hybrid work landscape amid a surging COVID Delta variant.
  • The economy and real estate markets continue to normalize, with clear signs of improvement.
  • The number of job openings in June reached a new record, the fourth consecutive month hitting an all-time high. As the labor market tightens and businesses pay more to attract workers, more employees feel comfortable quitting their jobs in search of better ones.
  • Increased labor mobility, coupled with rising prices, is pushing many small businesses to increase wages. Close to a third of small business owners plan to raise compensation over the next 3 months, based on the NFIB Index.
  • Improvements in labor conditions also surfaced in this week’s jobless claims numbers, which showed the third weekly drop. More Americans are finding gainful employment as business activity expands.
  • Prices rose again in July with the consumer price index up 5.4% compared with a year ago for the second month in a row, at a 20-year high. However, core inflation remained below expectations, as food and used car prices saw slowing growth. For most Americans, there is increasing pressure on monthly budgets.
  • On the real estate front, markets are moving further toward normalization. Realtor.com’s July housing data showed signs of positive change for homebuyers, as more affordable homes are listed for sale. Compared with last year, there’s a growing number of smaller homes hitting the markets, leading to a noticeable moderation in price appreciation.
  • This trend was mirrored in more recent Realtor.com weekly housing figures, which showed that price gains have slowed into single digit territory over the past two weeks, in tandem with rising new listings.
  • Buyers are beginning to finally see more affordable options, which comes at a good time, with mortgage rates jumping 10 basis points this week.
  • Speaking of affordability, it is the central theme for Realtor.com’s new 2021 Hottest Zip Codes release. With prices at record highs, and remote work here to stay, buyers are looking squarely at spacious homes and outdoor features in suburban areas with strong millennial job markets. The majority of zip codes on our list are substantially lower in price than the national median.
  • Stay safe and keep cool as we navigate the mid-part of August, and keep updated with the latest information from Realtor.com
  • Find the trends in your market and download the data at realtor.com/research or follow us on twitter for real time updates.

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