Ratchford: Consumer confidence hits 18-year high

Sept. 3, 2018

This paid piece is sponsored by The Tony Ratchford Group.

By Tony Ratchford

The Conference Board, a nonprofit business research group, has reported that its index of U.S. consumer confidence climbed to 133.4 in August, up from 127.9 in July.

The reading well exceeded expectations. And it’s the highest level since October 2000.

Factors of a buoyant job market and rising incomes are helping people feel better about the economy. All signs are go for continued increases. That’s great news for the housing market!

The national index showed signs of the market beginning to falter over the past three months, starting in May. Rising home prices, coupled with higher mortgage rates, sapped buying power from consumers.

Since then, mortgage rates have softened to 4.5 percent for a 30-year loan. Prices have slowed in their increase and even retreated slightly in the lower brackets. Luxury properties, however, are doing quite well in this environment.

Household incomes on the average are up year-over-year from 3 percent to 4 percent depending on the bracket, and inflation is marching at a 2 percent rate. Couple the extra money from wages with lower tax rates and we have a strong buying economy that could last for a good while.

Of course, the Sioux Empire economy has been strong for some time, and by adding a strong national economy on top, it most certainly will drive average household income even higher. Some of this counts for the 4 percent increase in closed sales this year in the Sioux Empire and an average sale price increase of 4.9 percent year-over-year, according to latest Realtor Association of the Sioux Empire report.

The near-future outcome in the Sioux Empire likely will be exceptional compared to the previous decade. Projections of 5 percent-plus average appreciation have been made, and household income may see as much, with lower income brackets doing as well as the higher brackets.

A GDP at 4.2 percent in the second quarter indicates a strong economy is at hand. and it appears to be on fire. Expect to see even more strength going forward, with increased sales and prices over the next year.

Even with all the good news, making a move can be scary and confusing. The Tony Ratchford Group has a proven process that will help you discover more clarity about how to maximize your dollars, save you time and give you peace of mind knowing you are doing the right thing at the right time.

We invite you to call or text 605-359-4100.

Ratchford: Consumer confidence hits 18-year high

Consumer confidence is the best it has been in years. Here’s what that means for the Sioux Falls housing market.

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