Setting The Stage

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46 | Th e M Rep o RT o r i g i nat i o n s e r v i c i n g a na ly t i c s s e c o n da r y M a r k e t ANALYTICS The LaTesT consumer expectations steady Despite a fallback in price forecasts, Americans' outlook for housing and labor was largely unchanged in February. t he latest poll from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows consumer expectations stayed mostly flat in February, particularly on the housing side. According to responses in the New York Fed's most recent Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE), consumers last month indicated a median home price change expectation of 4.0 percent, reversing an increase to 4.6 per- cent in January. Price change expectations hov- ered around 4.5 percent for much of last year's second half, coming down only when national reports indicated a slowdown. Meanwhile, median income growth expectations fell slightly, though responses in the bot- tom and top quartiles lifted. Household spending expectations were also down. On the topic of credit access, perceptions remained largely unchanged, though slightly more consumers said they think it will be "somewhat" or "much" easier to get a loan in a year. Looking at labor, median earn- ings growth expectations pulled back slightly to 2.3 percent from January's high of 2.4 percent. While the median was down, though, the 75th percentile of responses rose to the highest level in the past nine months. If laid off, consumers projected an average chance of finding a job within three months at slightly more than 46 percent, down from January. It may be a small com- fort, then, that the mean perceived chance of being laid off was also down slightly, particularly among older workers. The LaTesT It may be a small comfort that the mean perceived chance of being laid off was also down slightly, particularly among older workers. despite challenges, young Buyers step Up NAR breaks down Millennials' buying habits in its latest generational study. F or all the discussion in the industry surround- ing Millennials and their apparent lack of pres- ence in today's housing market, a new study from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found they now account for the greatest market share of recent home purchases. According to the asso- ciation's Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study for 2014, Millennials—aka "Generation Y" or "Generation Next"—com- prised 31 percent of recent purchases, leading all other age groups. Following that were Generation X (defined as those born between 1965 and 1979), which made up 30 percent. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said the increase isn't that surprising, given that many in the younger generation are now in the peak period in which people buy their first homes. "Given that Millennials are the largest generation in history after the baby boomers, it means there is a potential for strong underlying demand," Yun said. "Moreover, their aspiration and the long-term investment aspect to owning a home remain solid among young people." Indeed, about 87 percent of recent buyers age 33 and younger said they consider their home purchase a "good financial invest- ment" compared to 80 percent of the total survey population. Millennials were also among the age groups most likely cite to a simple desire to own a home of their own as their motive for continUed on page 48

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